Amazon Games lay off over 100 employees
by Danny Craig ·
Just a month after Amazon announced that it would be cutting another 9,000 positions across the company and its subsidiaries, another wave has come, laying off roughly 100 more in its gaming division.
- Bloomberg obtained an internal memo from Amazon Games' vice president, Christoph Hartmann, announcing further workforce reductions, this time with "just over" 100 employees laid off from the e-commerce giant's gaming division's various departments and studios. The layoffs occurred at its San Diego studio, the Game Growth team, and Prime Gaming, with some employees being reassigned to other projects that align with the company's "strategic focus." Those who are unable to find a new position within the company will be given severance pay, health benefits, and paid time while they look for work elsewhere.
- Since its inception in 2017, Amazon Games San Diego has struggled to create a brand new IP, with many projects shelved. The studio was led by EverQuest developer and former Daybreak executive John Smedley until January 2023, but a recent job listing revealed that it is once again attempting to create a brand new AAA game. Despite hiring a variety of industry veterans, things haven't gone well for Amazon Games' other studios, with the 2020 free-to-play shooter Crucible being shut down after a few months. MMOs New World and Lost Ark, on the other hand, have seen some success, and the studios behind the titles, based in Irvine and Montreal, will "continue to grow," according to the memo.
- The company started laying off employees in November 2022, with more coming in January, bringing the total to more than 18,000 employees losing their jobs across the company, mostly in the Amazon Stores and PXT organizations. The current state of the economy was cited as a primary reason for the decision, as more businesses continue to cut expenses and instead focus their entire attention on the most financially successful areas in an effort to soften the financial blow. The company laid off over 9,000 people in March, and this time it affected its livestreaming service Twitch, causing some longtime employees to lose their jobs.
Other industry layoffs:
- Esports organization Counter Logic Gaming (CLG), including its League of Legends franchise spot, has allegedly been sold to NRG Esports by its parent company, Madison Square Garden Sports (MSG). MSG has not yet commented on the situation, but reports of "seemingly all" of its staff being laid off began circulating on April 4, suggesting that CLG could cease operations in the very near future.
- Take-Two Interactive confirmed last month that it had laid off an unspecified number of employees across the company, most notably at its indie-focused publisher, Private Division. Many were surprised by the news, as CEO Strauss Zelnick had previously stated that "any kind of broad-based reduction in force" was unanticipated.
- The Guard, a Kroenke-owned esports organization that laid off its creative, social, and content staff in February, is reportedly looking to sell both its Overwatch League and Call of Duty League spots and will cease operations once their respective seasons end. Its VALORANT team was also rumored to be departing, but it is still active in the North American Challengers circuit.