The final day of E3 ended with bad news for a number of Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Game Studios employees. According to reports, “dozens” of employees were told they were being laid off from the company. Employees affected by the cuts have 60 days to find new positions at the studio, or they’ll be given severance packages and shown the door.
Amazon, which is currently working on Crucible and New World games, and possibly a game streaming service, also canceled the development of multiple unannounced projects. A third game, a MOBA-style fantasy sports game called Breakaway, was cancelled last year. Amazon has also been having trouble getting developers to adopt its Lumberyard engine, rolled out in early 2016.
Amazon released a statement that read: “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 has been in the game development business since 2014. Game Studios announced three PC games in 2016, but has yet to release any of them. The studio hired big names like Portal designer Kim Swift and Far Cry 2 Designer Clint Hocking in 2014, but both left before they’d released any games.