Amazon Lays Off Around 100 Games Division Employees, But Game Dev Teams Will Expand
Despite the layoffs, some of Amazon's internal development studios, including the one behind New World, will actually expand.
Around 100 Amazon employees working in its gaming divisions have been laid off, with the cuts affecting those working at the company's San Diego development studio, as well Prime Gaming and Game Growth divisions.
Amazon Games vice president Christoph Hartmann, in a memo to employees (via Bloomberg), said that going forward, Amazon will "continue to invest in our internal development efforts, and our teams will continue to grow as our projects progress."
Hartmann said remaining employees at Amazon's San Diego studio will "double down" on pre-production of a currently unannounced project, and that the company's Montreal-based development studio, which is working on another unannounced project, will expand.
Work on Amazon's MMO New World, the company's only internally developed title (not counting the unreleased and later canceled Crucible), will continue, and the Irvine, California-based team behind the game will "continue to grow," according to Hartmann. Amazon recently announced New World would be shifting to a seasonal content model, with the game's first season having launched today.
Even as work continues on internal game projects, Amazon Games has made a name for itself as a publisher of MMOs. Amazon Games published the popular free-to-play MMO Lost Ark in the West last year to great success, and the game continues to be among the top-played games on Steam.
There will be even more on that front soon. Amazon Games recently announced it will bring NCSoft's upcoming MMO Throne and Liberty to the West. Throne and Liberty is currently slated to arrive in the first half of 2023 for PC as well as PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. The publisher is also set to localize Bandai Namco's anime-MMO Blue Protocol, which is expected to release in the second half of 2023 for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S.
The layoffs to Amazon's various gaming divisions come as part of an even larger round of mass layoffs that Amazon said in March would affect around 9,000 employees. Around 400 of those laid off were from Twitch, the popular streaming platform that Amazon acquired in 2014.
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