Amazon Makes Changes to Games Division: Layoffs and Expansion of Teams Ahead

Amazon Games, the game development arm of Amazon, has reportedly laid off around 100 employees from its San Diego development studio, as well as its Prime Gaming and Game Growth divisions. The layoffs come amidst a larger round of mass layoffs affecting around 9,000 Amazon employees, which were initially announced in March.

Investing in internal development efforts

In a memo addressed to its employees, Christoph Hartmann, Vice President of Amazon Games, stated that the company will “continue to invest in our internal development efforts, and our teams will continue to grow as our projects progress.” Despite the layoffs, work will still continue on Amazon Games’ current project portfolio.

San Diego and Montreal development studios double down on unannounced projects

The remaining employees at Amazon’s San Diego development studio will now shift their focus to the pre-production of an unannounced project, according to Hartmann. Likewise, Amazon’s Montreal-based development studio will expand its team as it continues to work on another unannounced project.

New World continues development

Despite the recent layoffs, Amazon Games will push ahead with development on its massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, New World. According to Hartmann, the game’s Irvine, California-based development team will “continue to grow.” Amazon recently announced that New World would be shifting to a seasonal content model, with the game’s first season launching today.

Amazon Games as a publisher of MMOs

While Amazon Games has made a name for itself as a publisher of MMOs, the recent layoffs may not have a significant impact on its future publishing ventures. Amazon Games recently published Lost Ark, a free-to-play MMO that saw great success in the West. The publisher has also announced that it will bring NCsoft’s upcoming MMO, Throne and Liberty, to the West in 2023. Additionally, Amazon Games will localize Bandai Namco’s anime-MMO, Blue Protocol, which is also set to release in 2023.

Twitch layoffs also part of Amazon’s cuts

The recent round of layoffs affecting Amazon Games is part of a wider mass layoff that the company announced in March, which would affect around 9,000 employees. Around 400 of those laid off were from Twitch, the popular streaming platform that Amazon acquired in 2014.

Conclusion: The Future of Amazon Games

While the recent layoffs at Amazon Games may have caused concern for some, the company has reassured its employees that it will continue to invest in its internal development efforts. Amazon Games’ future as a publisher of MMOs also looks promising, as it continues to secure high-profile titles such as Throne and Liberty and Blue Protocol. Meanwhile, work on New World will continue as the game shifts to a seasonal content model, and its development team continues to grow.


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