Amazon Games is downsizing
In a recent memo to employees, Amazon Vice President of Games Christoph Hartmann announced significant changes to the company's gaming division, including the closure of its Crown channel on Twitch, the termination of its Game Growth initiative, and a refocusing of its Prime Gaming efforts.
While these changes come with the difficult news of Amazon Games layoffs affecting over 180 employees, Hartmann emphasized the company's commitment to delivering great games to players and its belief in the future of its gaming initiatives.
Failed initiatives led to Amazon Games layoffs
The Crown channel, which streamed gaming content on Twitch, is being shut down due to limited success in attracting and retaining viewers. Amazon acknowledged the channel's challenges and recognized the need to focus resources on areas with higher potential for growth.
Similarly, the Game Growth initiative, which assisted game developers in marketing their products, is also being closed. Amazon expressed pride in the work of the Game Growth team but indicated that the evolving gaming landscape required a more streamlined approach.
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Plans of refocusing Prime Gaming
Amazon Prime Gaming, the subscription service that provides Prime members with free games and in-game content, remains a key focus for the company.
Hartmann stated that Amazon has listened to Prime members and intends to refine the service to better meet their expectations. Specific details regarding these changes were not disclosed.
How are the employees affected?
The layoffs affecting over 180 employees are primarily impacting teams involved in the Game Growth initiative and the development of unannounced game projects. Amazon has pledged to provide support to impacted employees, including severance pay, outplacement services, health insurance benefits, and access to a licensed counselor.
Despite these changes, Amazon remains committed to its gaming ambitions. The company is actively developing and publishing games with high potential, such as Throne and Liberty, Blue Protocol, and projects based on Tomb Raider and The Lord of the Rings. Internal studios are continuing to recruit and hire for critical roles, and Prime Gaming is expanding its offerings for Prime members.
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