The Financial Implications of Amazon's New World Console Launch, Inc.’s (AMZN) MMORPG, New World, initially a sensation upon its 2021 release, is poised to splash on consoles later this year. Developed by Amazon Games Orange County, New World faced challenges post-launch, including long queue times and lackluster content to overpriced microtransactions and bleak plot threads.

Despite a rocky start, ongoing updates and significant expansions, such as 2022’s Brimstone Sands, have steadily improved the game's standing. Now, gamers on next-gen consoles will soon have the opportunity to experience these enhancements firsthand.

During the Summer Game Fest hosted by Geoff Keighley, Amazon Games unveiled that New World will make its console debut on October 15, 2024, under the new title New World: Aeternum. This major update introduces crossplay functionality, enabling players to team up with friends across different platforms. However, it will not support cross-progression, meaning characters will remain locked to the platform on which they were created.

The game’s controls and user interface have been redesigned to suit controllers better, and Amazon Games promises to maintain update parity across PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S from October onwards.

The rebranding to New World: Aeternum signals significant content enhancements and gameplay improvements. This update will revamp the initial game experience with more cutscenes, an enriched dialogue system, and an option for solo play. Also, it will introduce new features such as a larger PvP zone, swimming, endgame solo trials, and a 10-player raid.

Christoph Hartmann, Vice President of Amazon Games, emphasized the importance of player feedback in their development process. "Listening to player feedback is fundamental to how we make games, and we know New World: Aeternum delivers on the promise of a fresh and compelling New World experience that players can enjoy together across platforms," he said.

The game's transition to consoles comes with a price tag of $59.99 for digital copies, ensuring access for both console and PC players. Existing owners of the base game and the Rise of the Angry Earth expansion on Steam will receive Aeternum at no extra cost. However, those with only the base game must purchase the expansion to access the new content. An $80 deluxe edition will also offer a unique Bear mount and armor skin.

This console release marks a strategic move by Amazon Games to revitalize the game's player base and expand its audience. With these updates, New World: Aeternum aims to carve a new path in the MMO genre and reshape the financial landscape for Amazon's gaming division.

Upcoming titles from Amazon Games also feature the next major entry in the Tomb Raider series by Crystal Dynamics and THRONE AND LIBERTY, developed by NCSOFT.

Financial Dynamics of New World's Console Launch

In the first quarter that ended March 31, 2024, Amazon’s net sales increased 12.5% year-over-year to $143.31 billion, beating analysts’ expectations by $763.92 million. The company's ad revenue climbed to $11.8 billion from $9.5 billion, while cloud computing sales, for the first time, were on track to hit $100 billion annually.

Its operating income improved by 220.6% from the year-ago value to $15.31 billion. The company’s net income of $10.43 billion or $0.98 per share indicates robust growth of 228.8% and 216.1% from the prior year’s period, respectively. This EPS figure came comfortably above the Street’s estimate of $0.83.

“It was a good start to the year across the business, and you can see that in both our customer experience improvements and financial results,” Andy Jassy, Amazon’s chief executive, said in a statement.

The company's financial prowess extended beyond robust top and bottom-line figures, with its trailing-12-month operating cash flow soaring by 82% year-over-year to $99.15 billion. Likewise, its free cash flow also saw a significant turnaround in the same period, with an inflow of $50.15 billion, compared to an outflow of $3.32 billion for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2023.

Against this backdrop, the release of New World: Aeternum on consoles is poised to drive substantial revenue growth. The game, priced at $59.99, targets the growing base of next-gen console owners, many of whom may not have access to high-end gaming PCs. This strategic move presents an opportunity for Amazon Games to tap into a new market segment and expand its customer base and, consequently, its revenue through game sales.

Moreover, the expanded player base on consoles creates opportunities for increased microtransaction sales. Despite initial criticism over pricing, microtransactions remain a lucrative revenue stream for gaming companies. The influx of players on consoles and engaging new content and improved features are expected to bolster microtransaction sales, ensuring a steady cash flow for Amazon Games.

Looking ahead, the long-term financial implications of this console launch are promising. Successful MMORPGs often sustain revenue streams through continuous updates and expansions. If New World: Aeternum can attract and retain a substantial player base on consoles, Amazon Games stands to benefit from ongoing revenue streams generated by content updates, seasonal events, and future expansions.

Bottom Line

AMZN's robust financial performance, coupled with the strategic launch of New World: Aeternum on consoles, underscores the company's position as a critical player in the competitive gaming industry. The expansion into the console market broadens Amazon Games' reach and opens new avenues for revenue growth through increased player engagement and microtransactions.

With the potential for sustained profitability driven by a growing player base and ongoing content updates, Amazon's foray into the gaming industry signifies a significant opportunity for long-term investors seeking exposure to a rapidly evolving and lucrative market segment.