According to a report from Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, Amazon Game Studios quietly laid off dozens of employees yesterday during the final day of E3 2019. Amazon first started developing games back in 2010, announcing the move to AAA game development with a proper Amazon Game Studios in 2014, until then having focused mostly on mobile games. Two years after the studio’s initial announcement, at the September 2016 TwitchCon, they revealed their first three games: Breakaway, Crucible, and New World. Breakaway (Our 2017 Preview) was canceled in March last year.
Since then, we haven’t heard much more from Amazon Game Studios. Reportedly, the affected employees were told yesterday they have 60 days to look for new positions within Amazon. At the end of this period, if they don’t manage to find employment, they will receive severance packages. The same source also informed Kotaku that Amazon canceled some unannounced games. While the company didn’t confirm the exact number of employees that are to be laid off, they did release an official statement to Kotaku.
Amazon Game Studios is reorganizing some of our teams to allow us to prioritize development of New World, Crucible, and new unannounced projects we’re excited to reveal in the future. These moves are the result of regular business planning cycles where we align resources to match evolving, long-range priorities. We’re working closely with all employees affected by these changes to assist them in finding new roles within Amazon. Amazon is deeply committed to games and continues to invest heavily in Amazon Game Studios, Twitch, Twitch Prime, AWS, our retail businesses, and other areas within Amazon.
It should also be noted that some of the high-profile developers that were hired by Amazon Game Studios after the move to AAA development, such as Portal director Kim Swift and Far Cry 2 director Clint Hocking have since left the company and never shipped any titles.
What are your thoughts on Amazon Game Studios? Will Crucible or New World see the light of day? Let us know in the comments below!