What a fair move by Amazon if the report is true: on the final day of E3, it’s not entirely fair to announce the layoffs to the employees.
Amazon Game Studios is currently working on Crucible and New World, not to mention a potential new game streaming service, which seems to be important for many major companies (Microsoft – Project xCloud, Sony – PlayStation Now, Alphabet/Google – Google Stadia, Electronic Arts – Project Atlas, etc…). Kotaku reports that despite the projects, a few people got laid off…
The site says the company announced people getting fired on the last day of E3, cancelling multiple unannounced projects as well. „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,” an Amazon representative told Kotaku.
The affected people either have two months to find a new job within Amazon, or they have to leave with a severance package. Until now, Amazon’s gaming investments haven’t paid off: their Lumberyard engine from early 2016 (which itself was derived from CryEngine) wasn’t used by many devs, and Breakaway, their MOBA-sports game got cancelled last year. What were the point of hiring Eric Flannum (Guild Wars 2 lead designer) and Tom Leonard (Left 4 Dead 2 project lead) then?
We don’t seem to see the answer to the question.