Discover more from The Shortcut
Amazon axes 100 jobs in its gaming division
More layoffs in the tech sector
Amazon has laid off around 100 people from its gaming division as part of the 9,000 company-wide job cuts it announced last month.
According to Bloomberg, the gaming cutbacks will affect employees working at Prime Gaming – the add-on included in every Amazon Prime subscription that hands members a bunch of free games every month – its commercial Game Growth wing and its in-house game development studio.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Amazon job cuts
🙁 Around 100 employees in Amazon’s gaming wing have been laid off
🎮 They will impact those working at Prime Gaming and Amazon’s dev studio
😣 The job cuts form part of wider layoffs across the company
😬 Amazon has had a rocky entry into the video game industry
“Our resources will be aligned to support our focus on content,” Games Vice President Christoph Hartmann reportedly wrote in a memo to employees Tuesday.
“Going forward, we will continue to invest in our internal development efforts, and our teams will continue to grow as our projects progress.”
Amazon’s venture into video game development has had its ups and downs. One of its earliest in-house projects, a multiplayer brawler called Breakaway that was designed to easily pair with Twitch streaming, was canceled before launch, and development on free-to-play multiplayer shooter Crucible was canned only five months after the game was released.
MMORPG New World, however, achieved great success when it hit digital storefronts in 2021. Although reviews were mixed, players leaped on the game and its playerbase exploded in the following months. It was later nominated for Best Multiplayer Game at The Game Awards.
The tech giant has since shifted its focus from game development to game publishing, releasing hit Korean MMO Lost Ark in Europe and America. It most recently announced it will be publishing the next Tomb Raider game, describing it as “a single-player, narrative-driven adventure that continues Lara Croft’s story in the Tomb Raider series”.
Software isn’t the only element of Amazon’s gaming business. Its game-streaming subscription service, Amazon Luna, expanded from the US to the UK and Canada last month, after it hopped over to Samsung TVs and monitors last year.
Amazon offered expanded free trials of Luna following the demise of Google Stadia earlier this year, although data released as part of the UK’s ongoing review of Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard revealed the service makes up a tiny proportion of the entire cloud gaming industry.
The Shortcut is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.