Marc Whitten, Amazon’s VP of Entertainment Devices and Services, who oversaw Luna, the company’s cloud gaming service, has resigned just five months after the service was launched. Whitten had previously served as Microsoft Corporate Vice President and Chief Product Officer for Xbox from 1997 to 2014.
Whitten has reportedly accepted a position as Senior Vice President and General Manager at Unity’s Create Solutions department. The news of his departure comes amid upheaval at Google Stadia, Luna’s competitor. Earlier this month, Google announced plans to shutter all of of Stadia’s internal game development teams to focus on third-party partnerships.
Luna, was announced on September 24, 2020, with ‘early access’ available to subscribers by invitation beginning on October 20, 2020. A rival to other cloud gaming platforms like Stadia, Xbox Cloud Gaming, PlayStation Now and GeForce Now, the gaming service enables users to stream games at up to 4K/60fps on multiple devices including Fire TV, PC, Mac and iOS, with Android set to arrive soon. The service, powered by the Amazon Web Service infrastructure, will also have integration with Twitch.
The system offers users a variety of subscription-based channels that provide access to game libraries, including the Luna+ game channel included with the subscription, which features Resident Evil 7, Control, Metro Exodus, Grid and Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, and the Ubisoft channel, which affords access to Ubisoft’s new games on the day of release and includes titles like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Amazon Luna will have 100 different games at launch, with an introductory price of $5.99 per month. The Ubisoft+ (Beta) channel will an additional $14.99 per month. Luna is currently in the early access stage and only US customers are able to request an invite, however, the service is now available to try for free in the US on select Fire TV devices without an invitation.
According to Amazon, “If you don’t have a Fire TV you can still request an invitation to access Luna at amazon.com/Luna.” The service is currently limited to the US mainland, excluding Alaska, Hawaii, and US territories.
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