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Amazon Game Studios hires Kim Swift, Clint Hocking

Portal and Far Cry 2 designers join new developer

Portal designer Kim Swift and Far Cry 2 designer Clint Hocking have joined Amazon Game Studios.

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Swift and Hocking revealed their new employer on their respective Twitter accounts. Both of the developers are well-known in the gaming industry for their design contributions at multiple studios.

Swift was hired out of college along with several of her colleagues by Valve to work on Portal, which built on ideas from their student project called Narbacular Drop. Swift also worked on the Left 4 Dead games but departed Valve for Airtight Games in 2009, before Portal 2 released in 2011.

Swift led work on the Square Enix-published downloadable first-person puzzler Quantum Conundrum. She also took top billing on the studio's rhythm-action game Soul Fjord, which was released as an Ouya exclusive.

Hocking worked at Ubisoft Montreal for around nine years, where he led design work on Far Cry 2 and the Splinter Cell series. Hocking left Ubisoft in May 2010 and then joined LucasArts, where his work would not see the light of day before the firm's development operations folded in April 2013.

Hocking joined Valve in 2012, though he departed in January after 18 months at the studio.

Amazon revealed a new set-top box called the Amazon Fire TV on Wednesday. The new device is positioned an all-in-one media solution with 2GB of memory, a quad-core processor, a dedicated GPU and built-in Wi-Fi support.

Shooter/tower-defense title Sev Zero, the system's first major exclusive game, was made by Amazon Game Studios. The developer teased an array of upcoming titles in a demo reel Wednesday.

"Amazon Game Studios is making creative, fun games that are built from the ground up for Kindle Fire tablets and Fire TV," the developer said.

Amazon also acquired Killer Instinct and Strider developer Double Helix in early February.

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