Amazon CEO Replacing Jeff Bezos Won't Abandon Gaming

The new Amazon CEO acknowledges the company's struggles in gaming but believes in a brighter future if it can stay the course.


Andy Jassy, the new Amazon who is taking over after Jeff Bezos steps down, has pledged his support to help the company do better and do more in the gaming space.

Jassy said in an email to staff, obtained by Bloomberg, that Amazon Game Studios might not have succeeded right away, but he's in it for the long-haul.

"Some businesses take off in the first year, and others take many years," Jassy said. "Though we haven't consistently succeeded yet in AGS, I believe we will if we hang in there."

Amazon's highest-profile games to date have not broken out in the way the company might have wanted. The multiplayer game Crucible failed to find an audience at launch, and Amazon moved the game back into closed beta and then eventually canceled it prior to release. The company's other big multiplayer game, Breakaway, was canceled completely.

Some of the company's current projects include two MMOs, one called New World and the other being a Lord of the Rings game.

Jassy said in his memo that AGS can succeed if it can stay the course.

"Being successful right away is obviously less stressful, but when it takes longer, it’s often sweeter," Jassy said. "I believe this team will get there if we stay focused on what matters most."

AGS is run by Mike Frazzini, an Amazon veteran who has been with the company for nearly two decades. Bloomberg recently interviewed more than two-dozen people connected to AGS who said the game studios created a "bro culture" that drove women out of the company. Frazzini emailed his team to respond to this report, saying the company has "zero tolerance for this type of behavior."

He went on to acknowledge AGS's spotty track record so far with game development. "Making great games is hard, and we're not going to get everything right," he said.

Although Bezos is stepping down from his role as CEO of Amazon, he will remain on the company's board of directors and weigh in on key decisions. However, with his day-to-day role scaled back, Bezos will take more time to focus on his other pursuits and passions, like his rocket company Blue Origin and the newspaper The Washington Post.

Another technology giant, Google, recently scaled back its own video game efforts by closing its two internal game studios, impacting 150+ people.

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