Amazon slashing 180 jobs in gaming division

Amazon.com Inc.’s gaming division is cutting 180 jobs and shutting down two of its business units, including a channel on the company’s own livestreaming site Twitch.

The online retail giant is shuttering the Crown Channel, where gaming celebrities provided variety-show entertainment, and Game Growth, which helped creators promote their titles.

Instead, the company will focus on developing games as well as distributing titles through its Prime subscription service, according to a memo to staff from Cristoph Hartmann, Amazon’s vice president of games.

“We’ve listened to our customers and we know delivering free games every month is what they want most, so we are refining our Prime benefit to increase our focus there,” Hartmann said.

Amazon has struggled for years to develop its own games.

After several expensive flops, the company released a successful title, New World, in 2021.

It also published a popular multiplayer role-playing game, Lost Ark, created by an outside studio, South Korea’s Smilegate.

Amazon paid popular video game streamers large sums of money to appear on the Crown Channel.

Although the company said it was among Twitch’s top 10, Bloomberg reported earlier this year that many viewers were “junk views,” people who aren’t actively watching the programming.

This is the second restructuring of the games business this year, after the company cut 100 positions in April.

Hartmann said Amazon still plans to release games, including the upcoming Throne and Liberty and Blue Protocol, as well as Tomb Raider and The Lord of the Rings titles.

“I remain confident in our future,” Hartmann said. “We are developing and publishing great games with high potential, our studio teams are growing, and our road map is bright.”

Reuters reported on the job cuts earlier on Monday.

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Amazon slashing 180 jobs in gaming division