- Amazon started offering free in-game content to subscribers of Amazon Prime, which already provides access to a limited selection of video, music and reading materials for no extra cost. Chinese tech giant Tencent is the first company to offer free gaming content, showcasing in-game items for its popular battle royale game PUBG Mobile, according to a Twitch blog post.
- The content announced at launch includes the availability of a different game item each week through mid-December, including Infiltrator Mask, Infiltrator Jacket and Epic Level Black Magma Parachute.
- EA, Moonton, Netmarble and Wargaming Mobile are among the game publishers that will offer free mobile gaming content to Amazon Prime members in the future, per TechCrunch. Tencent's PUBG Mobile gaming content isn't available in China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, India or embargoed countries, per Amazon's website.
By offering free mobile gaming content to Prime members, Amazon is expanding the benefits of its subscription plan and possibly broadening its appeal among young people who are most likely to play mobile games. Almost 40% of people ages 21 to 35 worldwide play mobile games, making gaming the second-most popular category of apps after streaming audio, per a study by researcher Newzoo.
Amazon also has sought to appeal to gamers with expanded content offerings on Twitch. This year, the company transformed the livestreaming platform for gamers into a shopping channel as part of this year's Prime Day shopping event. "Twitch Sells Out: A Prime Day Special Event" showcased gaming, electronics and other products in two 12-hour broadcasts in mid-July.
Gamers are receptive to advertising, with 53% of mobile gamers saying ads helped them get updates about products they need or want, compared with 42% of non-gamers, per researcher Newzoo. For instance, marketing opportunities are significant for a range of brands in the esports space, but the window to enter the space and gain a strategic advantage is quickly closing.
Gaming content has become a bigger priority for companies like Amazon that seek to capture the attention of mobile consumers. Amazon's free game content may help to fend off rivals that have expanded their gaming content. Google last month started testing a paid subscription service to its app store for Android devices, charging $4.99 a month after a 10-day free trial. The company reportedly is offering a broader range of apps, not just games, to make its service more appealing than Apple Arcade, which the iPhone maker started offering last week for $4.99 a month after a free one-month trial.