Amazon Announces GameCircle for the Kindle Fire

Amazon announced the introduction of GameCircle services for the Kindle Fire on Tuesday. Taking cues from Apple’s iOS (and soon to be Mac) Game Center, it tracks achievements, leaderboards, and allows for the syncing of games.

The online retailer released APIs for the service to game developers so that they can integrate it into their products. In addition, end users were encouraged to seek out games taking advantage of the new service.

GameCircle Achievements Screenshot

GameCircle Achievements Screenshot

For those familiar with Game Center, GameCircle will look very familiar. Achievements that are earned in-game are tracked and can be viewed later within GameCircle, as seen in the image above. Leaderboards record a player’s high scores and display them along with scores from other players. And the sync service allows you to pick up a game where you left off, even if you deleted and then restored the app or switched to a different device.

Amazon Promo Video for GameCircle

Paul Ryder, Amazon’s Vice President of Apps, Games, and Services said, “Our goal is to give developers great tools to quickly and easily reach new customers and keep them engaged. That’s why we’re creating easy-to-integrate APIs for features like leaderboards, achievements and sync. [] GameCircle gives developers the right tools to build an immersive, more entertaining experience on Kindle Fire, which will ultimately help developers grow their business.”

By offering a proprietary service for GameCircle, Amazon is further separating Kindle Fire from the broader Android tablet ecosystem. While Kindle Fire is also an Android-powered tablet, it’s a forked version of the OS (Android 2.3) with a customized Amazon interface designed to make it easier for customers to shop for and consume Amazon content and retail products. The device doesn’t offer Google Maps, Google Play, and other standard Google services.