Amazon Launches Luna, a Cloud-Based Gaming Subscription Service

No game console required

Last week, Amazon launched Luna, a new cloud-based gaming subscription service that users can play on their favorite devices, no console required. Amazon is allowing players to request early access to Luna by invitation only. At launch, Luna will be available on Fire TV, PC and Mac and on apps for the iPhone and iPad. An Android version of Luna is coming soon, Amazon said in the September 24 announcement. Luna is currently available in the United States except Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. territories.

“We created Luna to make it easy to play great games on the devices customers already own and love,” said Marc Whitten, Vice President, Amazon Entertainment Devices and Services, on the day of the product’s release. “It’s Day One for Luna—we are excited to work with gamers, streamers, and publishers like Ubisoft and Remedy Entertainment to build a great gaming experience for everyone.”

Benefits of Luna

Benefits of the new Amazon Luna gaming subscription service include:

  • Cloud gaming on devices players already own (iOS mobile devices, PCs, Fire TV)
  • No game downloads or updates
  • Compatibility with a variety of game controllers including the Luna controller with Cloud Direct technology, built specifically for cloud gaming
  • Ability to play Luna games from Amazon-owned Twitch
  • A variety of games to appeal to different tastes

During the early access period, players can subscribe to the Luna+ game channel for $5.99 a month. Once the early access period is over, players will be charged the new monthly price, but will be given 30 days’ notice of the new pricing. At launch, the game library will feature more than 100 games including Resident Evil 7, Control, Panzer Dragoon, A Plague Tale: Innocence, The Surge 2, Yooka-Laylee and The Impossible Lair, Iconoclasts, and more. Subscribers to Luna+ can stream on two devices simultaneously and get resolutions of up to 1080p/60fps.

The Amazon Luna gaming subscription service will launch with 100 titles.
The Amazon Luna gaming subscription service will launch with 100 titles. Image: Amazon

Partnership with Ubisoft

In addition, Amazon has partnered with video game publisher Ubisoft. Subscribers to the channel can access their favorite Ubisoft games in 4K resolution and with mobile game play. Titles include Assassins Creed, Valhalla, Far Cry 6 and Immortals Fenyx Rising on the day of their release.

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“We’re proud to be working alongside Amazon on Luna, utilizing the power of cloud gaming to provide our players with another way to access our games, wherever they are,” said Chris Early, senior vice president of partnerships and revenue for Ubisoft. “Ubisoft’s channel on Luna will allow players to experience our new releases along with many of our catalog games, while enjoying player-friendly features like Alexa and Twitch integrations.”

Controller compatibility

Luna can be played with a keyboard and mouse, a Bluetooth game controller or the new Luna Controller with Cloud Direct technology, said Amazon. The Alexa-enabled Luna controller is available for a promotional price of $49.99 during the early access period. Amazon did not specify when the early access period would end. Xbox One and DualShock 4 controllers will also work with Luna.

The new Luna Controller uses Cloud Direct technology.
The new Luna Controller uses Cloud Direct technology. Image: Amazon

Insider Take

We aren’t sure why Amazon is launching its own gaming subscription service, particularly since it owns Twitch which integrates with Luna. Perhaps they want to compete against Google Stadia and Apple Arcade which are relatively new gaming subscription services. We like the idea behind Luna though – allowing subscribers to play on devices they already own and integrating with existing controllers, if they don’t want to buy a Luna Controller. We expect Amazon will benefit from licensing agreements with other gaming publishers, which will be needed to compete with other gaming subscription services. Amazon will also benefit from the recurring revenue model, adding a new stream of income to its subscription holdings.