Amazon Game Studios has reportedly laid off “dozens” of staff members and cancelled several unannounced games previously in development.
According to Kotaku, “Amazon Game Studios, which is currently developing the online games Crucible and New World, told affected employees on Thursday morning that they would have 60 days to look for new positions within Amazon, according to one person who was laid off. At the end of that buffer period, if they fail to find employment, they will receive severance packages.”
Kotaku managed to obtain a statement from Amazon Game Studios, which said: “Amazon Game Studios is reorganizing some of our teams to allow us to prioritize development of New World, Crucible, and new unannounced projects we’re excited to reveal in the future. These moves are the result of regular business planning cycles where we align resources to match evolving, long-range priorities. We’re working closely with all employees affected by these changes to assist them in finding new roles within Amazon. Amazon is deeply committed to games and continues to invest heavily in Amazon Game Studios, Twitch, Twitch Prime, AWS, our retail businesses, and other areas within Amazon.”
Amazon, one of the richest companies in the world, began to establish Amazon Game Studios in 2014, and now has development teams in San Diego, Seattle and Orange County, California. It has made a number of high-profile hires, including Far Cry 2 director Clint Hocking and Portal director Kim Swift, both of whom moved on before producing any games for the company (Hocking is now directing Watch Dogs Legion).
Amazon Game Studios’ track record is so far somewhat sketchy: it managed to release The Grand Tour Game on Xbox One and its website heavily features the forthcoming empire-building game New World and third-person action game Crucible.
Recently, as reported by the FT, Amazon overtook Apple and Google as the world’s most valuable brand. With a brand value of $315.5 billion. So, one would hope that any employees laid off from Amazon Game Studios will receive some pretty hefty pay-offs.
For more Amazon Game Studios-related news, keep an eye on the company’s website.