Lumberyard game engine blamed for Amazon Game Studios lay-offs

Amazon Game studios Lumberyard game engine

Amazon Game Studios staff have highlighted inadequacies in the company’s Lumberyard game engine as a major factor behind the developer’s recent woes.

As we reported, Amazon Game Studios has just embarked on a round of staff cuts. Now, a number of Amazon Game Studios developers have spoken anonymously to the (paywalled) Wall Street Journal pointing the blame at Amazon Game Studios’ in-house Lumberyard game engine.

The Amazon Game Studios employees alleged that Lumberyard was not constructed with developing multiplayer games in mind. One described the process of developing team-based brawler Breakaway – which was cancelled last year without seeing the light of day – as like: “Driving a train while the tracks were still being laid.” Another employee said of the Lumberyard team: “They’re still ironing out the kinks of what it means to own and maintain your own engine.”

According to the article, the problems with Lumberyard are so ingrained that Amazon Game Studios has decided to allow its in-house team to use other game engines. So far, the only games built using Lumberyard to have progressed as far as release are Amazon’s The Grand Tour and Coffence, from Sweet Bandit Studios.

Hopefully, Amazon Games Studios’ acknowledgment of Lumberyard’s problems will allow it to get back on track; it is readying two games for release: the empire-building New World and third-person action game Crucible. For more information, keep an eye on Amazon Game Studios’ website.

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Steve Boxer
Steve Boxer has been writing about videogames since the early 1990s. His first console was an Atari VCS, and he misspent most of his youth in the 1980s in the arcades. As well as for Green Man Gaming, he can be found writing for The Guardian, Empire, TechRadar and Pocket-Lint. He’s currently having trouble deciding whether his favourite console is his Xbox One X or his Switch, and plays a wide range of games, but especially RPGs (he loves a good JRPG) action-adventure titles, shooters of all descriptions and driving games. Follow him here.