Amazon is laying off over 100 workers at its various gaming divisions in the United States. The company CEO Christoph Hartmann sent out a memo, which was obtained by CNBC, announcing the layoffs at Amazon Games’ Game Growth Group in San Diego as well as Prime Gaming.
In the memo, Hartmann says that some employees are being reassigned to other projects but others will be let go. The changes are being made to match the company’s strategic focus. While it is sad news for the over 100 workers at the studio, these cuts are just a small slice of a much larger workforce being let go at Amazon.
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Last month, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said the company plans to lay off over 9,000 employees on top of the original 18,000 job cuts announced in January. That is over 27,000 workers at Amazon losing their jobs. In a statement, Hartmann said:
“There is never a pleasant way to share this sort of news, but we are committed to treating our impacted employees with empathy and respect, and will support them by offering them severance pay, health insurance benefits, outplacement services, and paid time to conduct their job search,”
Even with the layoffs, Hartmann claims that the gaming division at Amazon will continue to expand. He says that the San Diego studio is working on an unannounced game and has doubled down on pre-production on the project. However, Hartmann says the game isn’t ready for a full production team yet. When it needs more hands, Amazon will hire developers.
“Going forward, our resources will be aligned to support our focus on content. We will continue to invest in our internal development efforts, and our teams will continue to grow as our projects progress: The New World team in Irvine will grow as we shift some resources to further support its continued development. We will also continue expanding our publishing efforts, and we remain very active in exploring and signing new projects where we see great potential, such as our recent publishing agreement with NCSOFT.”
Amazon Games has yet to develop any worthwhile project. However, the company recently obtained rights to publish the Tomb Raider video game series. The deal was announced in December in partnership with the IP’s new owner, Embracer Group.
Amazon hopes to turn the Tomb Raider series into a “Marvel-like” franchise spanning interconnected games, films and TV series.