Amazon’s internal game development studio is letting go of dozens of game developers, according to a report from Kotaku on Friday. The news comes just a day after the conclusion of major videogame conference E3 in Los Angeles.
Amazon Game Studios currently only markets one game title, “The Grand Tour Game,” which is based on the Amazon Prime show of the same name and features the former stars of long-running British car series “Top Gear.” The studio has also been developing online games “Crucible” and “New World,” which were first announced in 2016.
When reached by GeekWire, Amazon provided the following statement:
“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.”
The employees were reportedly told on Thursday that they would have two months to find new jobs at Amazon. If they’re unable to find a position, they will receive severance packages, Kotaku said. The studio also canceled other games that had not been made public.
Amazon Game Studios is just one of the ways that the internet retail giant has attempted to grow its gaming presence. The company unveiled gaming perks service Twitch Prime in 2016, two years after it acquired Twitch for nearly $1 billion. Amazon Prime members and Prime Video subscribers can become Twitch Prime members by linking their accounts on Twitch.
Amazon also operates a game development engine called Lumberyard that is built off of CryEngine, which the company licensed from Crytek in 2015.
Some of the big-name hires that were brought on board to grow the games division, such as game directors Clint Hocking and Kim Swift, have since left the company, Kotaku said.