Amazon share price rises after it lays off even more workers, this time in its gaming divisions

An Amazon warehouse in Rialto, California, US, on Saturday, March 18, 2023. Southern California's Inland Empire, a notorious boom-and-bust economy, is showing warning signs for the rest of the US.
(Image credit: Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Amazon has laid off around a hundred employees in the latest of a series of severe cuts taking place at the company, Bloomberg reports. The affected employees were all part of Amazon's gaming divisions, and were spread out across Prime Gaming, its San Diego games studio, and Game Growth

Execs are trying to pitch this as a realignment rather than a cutback. Christoph Hartmann, VP of Amazon Games, told employees that the company's resources would be aligned to support its "focus on content," and that it would keep investing in its "internal development efforts". Hartmann even said that Amazon Games' teams would "continue to grow" as its projects moved forward.

Meanwhile, Hartmann said, employees who survived this round of layoffs will "double down" on a project which hasn't been announced yet, and Amazon's Montreal studio will also expand as it works on another unannounced project, though Hartmann didn't say by how much. The corporation will also continue to pursue an expansion of its third-party publishing activities (which makes sense, given the success of Lost Ark).

Amazon has still yet to actually release an internally developed game besides New World, its underwhelming colonial MMO that saw an incredible number of players at launch, but proved unable to keep them. That performance didn't seem to influence Amazon's decision, though: Hartmann told staff that the Irvine-based team behind that game would continue to grow, too.

The corporation has been on a spree since the beginning of the year. In January, the company announced 18,000 layoffs, before going on to announce another 9,000 in March (400 of which were at Twitch).

The cuts come as Amazon attempts to scale back operations following a hiring binge during the pandemic. Meta, Google, Microsoft, and now even Apple have all been doing the same thing, meaning employees have to soak the blowback of hiring decisions made several years ago. Still, it keeps shareholders happy: Bloomberg notes that Amazon shares rose 0.9%, to $103.29, on the day of the layoffs' announcement.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.