Amazon opens a new Austin studio for software development

Austin team will work on Lumberyard, Amazon's software for game developers

Posted October 25th, 2016

Amazon is opening a new Austin studio that will work on Lumberyard, its software for game developers.

The office is in the Domain in North Austin, at 11501 Alterra Parkway.

"Our team is still growing, and today we’re excited to announce that Lumberyard has opened a new office in Austin, one of the long-standing centers of gravity for great game-development talent, and innovation in community-driven games," said J.C. Connors, principal product manager for Lumberyard.

Connors said Amazon is investing heavily in Lumberyard at all their locations. 
"Currently we have teams in Seattle and Orange County as well, and are on the hunt for several smart engineers to join the new team in Austin," he said.

Lumberyard is a free software engine that allows game developers to create high-quality, cross-platform 3D games.

Amazon has been working on Lumberyard for the past couple years, and it launched in February.

"We’ve assembled a team of industry veterans who are inspired to build a (high quality) game engine that uses the vast computer and storage of the cloud to help (game developers) build otherwise-impossible player experiences, and engage massive communities of fans," Connors said.

"In fact, the typical developer on our team has over 10.8 years of industry experience building many of the games that have successfully built those massive communities," he said.

Connors said Austin is an ideal place for Amazon "to continue our quest to help game developers build the community-driven games that push both engine and cloud technology."

Seattle-based has quietly grown its Austin corporate offices since opening in the Domain area in the summer of 2015, more than doubling its Central Texas workforce to 350 and on the hunt for more.

The online retail giant has more than 100 openings for positions at its Austin offices, since moving there more than a year ago.

Many of the positions are tech-related and connected to developing Amazon's online presence to its customers worldwide. Amazon officials have suggested more jobs could be on the way as the company's Austin operations increasingly take on the role as Amazon's Texas headquarters.

Expansion by tech firms like Amazon continues to fuel demand for office space in Austin. In addition to Amazon, companies in expansion mode include Facebook, Google and Apple.

As they add workers, they take additional space, which has made Austin one of the top markets for high-tech office leasing.

In fact, Austin is the third most robust market in the country for tech leasing, just behind Silicon Valley and San Francisco, according to a recent report by commercial real estate firm JLL.