Reflexive Entertainment

Videogame development agency
Amazon Cemetery
GENERAL INFORMATION
Category:
Entertainment
Started:
1997
BUSINESS FAILURE
Cause:
Multiple Reasons
Closed:
2010

Description

Reflexive Entertainment was a videogame development agency founded in 1997 by Lars Brubaker, Ernie Ramirez, James Smith, and Ion Hardie. It created some well-received games for multiple platforms and one of its games, Wik and Fable of Souls, received three awards in 2005 including the Seumas McNally Award for Independent Game of the Year.

In addition to its large portfolio of games, the company launched an online Arcade to distribute downloadable casual games. The online Arcade even had a Mac division for games devoted to Mac users.

Alongside the popular online arcade, the development company also ran an affiliate program that enabled individuals to earn through sales directed to the site using custom URLs. 

Reflexive Entertainment went on to become the largest online game distribution service of its time.

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Cause of Failure

In 2008,  the CEO of Reflexive Entertainment announced that they had been acquired by Amazon. At the time of the announcement, CEO Lars Brubaker assured customers that their publishing and affiliate programs would continue to be available. However, just two years after the acquisition, a message was sent out to Game Center Solutions’ users confirming that the affiliate program would soon be closed down. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that after June 30th, Reflexive Entertainment would be completely shifting its focus to game development. This was the only reason users received for the closing of Reflexive’s affiliate program.

The focus on game development may have come from Amazon’s own motivation towards creating exclusive game titles. Just two years after the announcement, Amazon launched its own game studio. Some years down the line in 2014, Reflexive Entertainment is said to have been merged with Amazon Game Studios. With both game development studios merged, Amazon hoped to produce exclusive titles with its proprietary technologies (these efforts are still ongoing).

References

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