Amazon Games says it is streamlining its gaming initiatives by laying off nearly 200 workers.
The gaming industry has become the staging ground for a gold rush of non-endemic companies trying to plant a flag in the space. The trouble is that most of these initiatives have ended in devastating failure, whether it’s Microsoft’s Twitch competitor Mixer or the Google Stadia. Amazon is still in the business, but it’s set for a big change in approach.
Amazon Games VP Christoph Hartmann stated in an internal memo that the company is slashing over 180 jobs. This move includes closing the Crown channel on Twitch, ending the Game Growth marketing initiative, and overhauling the company’s approach to Prime Gaming. Amazon cut about 100 jobs across Prime Gaming, Game Growth, and the San Diego studio in April.
This continues a trend of job cuts across the whole of Amazon throughout the year, with this latest round of layoffs coming despite Amazon exceeding quarterly income projections. Hartmann said the company is taking steps to offer support to the now-former employees.
Is Amazon done with video games after layoffs?
Amazon is not done with video games, but it is narrowing its efforts to game publication and adding games to Prime Gaming. Hartmann says he remains confident in Amazon Games’ future, despite going through a second round of mass layoffs. The focus for Amazon Games seemingly moves toward the development and publication of games, and the expansion of its studios.
Amazon Games has shipped a number of mobile and browser games since its founding in 2012, with its first major release coming in 2021 with New World. This was followed in 2022 by the release of Smilegate RPG’s Lost Ark.
The company is both publishing and developing a variety of games, with the bulk of those efforts being focused on MMORPGs. Amazon secured the publishing rights for Throne and Liberty and is working with Crystal Dynamics on a new Tomb Raider game. It has another MMORPG based on Lord of the Rings in the works and is locked into partnerships with Glowmade and Disruptive Games.
Hartmann says the company is recruiting to shore up its efforts in creating new intellectual properties. Prime Gaming will also continue to be maintained. He added the service will continue offering games to subscribers alongside in-game rewards and will “secure deals and deliver compelling content for members every month.”