Just when you thought what other companies Amazon.com would compete against, this week the company announced a textbook rental service and a game studio. That means that they are going after companies like Chegg.com (online textbook rental) and Zynga (game studio).
Amazon’s textbook rental website offers students up to 70% off the normal cost of a purchased textbook. Students search for the textbook that they need and can receive it within two days of free shipping. Then they can mail it back to Amazon at the end of the semester with no associated shipping costs. Students can search with the ISBN and can enroll with the free shipping option for the Amazon Student program. The rental period lasts for 130 days and it has an automatic 15-day extension period with additional costs if the book is not returned. The full cost of the book will be charged to the student if the book is not returned. Highlighting is allowed as long as it is kept at a minimum.
Amazon has also announced Amazon Game Studios, a social gaming platform that will compete against Zynga. ?We know that many Amazon customers enjoy playing games ? including free-to-play social games ? and thanks to Amazon?s know-how, we believe we can deliver a great, accessible gaming experience that gamers and our customers can play at any time,? said Amazon in a blog post.
The first game launched by Amazon Game Studios is called Living Classics. Living Classics is a game where foxes can find animated scenes from their favorite books and players can help them find moving objects. These books include Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and King Arthur.