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Amazon hires 'Portal' designer to bolster gaming on Fire TV

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Amazon's just-announced set-top box FireTV will also double as a games console, and it appears that the company is aggressively courting developers to build games for it. According to a report from Kotaku, Amazon has hired both Portal designer Kim Swift and Clint Hocking, who previously worked on both the Splinter Cell and Far Cry franchises. Swift confirmed the news on Twitter, saying that "it's been killing me to say nothing." Hocking did the same. There are currently no details on the projects either will be working on, though presumably they'll be building experiences for the FireTV and other Amazon devices from within Amazon Game Studios. According to her LinkedIn profile, Swift will serve as a "senior designer" for the company.

For Swift, who left Valve in 2009, this isn't her first foray into untested gaming hardware: her studio Airtight Games previously released the Ouya exclusive Soul Fjord, a dungeon crawler that featured both norse mythology and 1970s disco style. Swift and Hocking aren't Amazon's only high profile gaming hires, either. Earlier this year the company acquired Double Helix, the studio behind recent reboots of both Killer Instinct and Strider. Amazon says that thousands of titles will be available on the FireTV by this May, and the fledgling platform has already attracted notable hits like Minecraft and The Walking Dead.