Amazon Game Studios, which is currently working on games including Crucible and New World, and possibly a game streaming service, reportedly laid off "dozens" of employees yesterday, during the final day of E3. According to a Kotaku report, Amazon also canceled the development of multiple unannounced projects.
"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," an Amazon rep told the site.
"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 made some big moves into gaming several years ago, with hires including Kim Swift, Clint Hocking, Left 4 Dead 2 project lead Tom Leonard, and Guild Wars 2 lead designer Eric Flannum. But there's not much to show for it so far: Swift and Hocking have since moved on to other things, a MOBA-style fantasy sports game called Breakaway was cancelled last year, and the Lumberyard engine Amazon rolled out in early 2016 hasn't gained much traction with developers.
The one faint upside is that employees affected by the cuts are being given a buffer before they're shown the door, which doesn't always (or even often) happen. A source told the site that they have 60 days to find new positions at the studio, or they'll be given severance packages and let go.
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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.