Amazon is laying off more than 100 employees in its video gaming division, according to a memo sent to the staffers by an executive overseeing the unit, as per a report in CNBC.
Employees from the Game Growth division, Amazon’s San Diego game studio and Prime Gaming, a service geared towards customers of the company’s loyalty programme, were among those let go, according to a memo from Christoph Hartmann, Vice President of Amazon Games. Additionally, some employees have been moved to new projects “that match our strategic objective,” according to Mr Hartmann.
As per the memo, Mr 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.”
The cuts come as Amazon CEO Andy Jassy controls costs at the business. On top of the previous round of layoffs totalling more than 18,000 people, Mr Jassy revealed last month that Amazon would be letting go of an additional 9,000 workers. The company also implemented a hiring freeze for its corporate staff.
Amazon also shut down some experimental projects, including a telehealth service and a robot that delivers packages to customers’ doorsteps, as per CNBC. A laid-off worker told the outlet that Amazon started calling employees for a meeting with Human Resources to inform them that they were being let go.
The memo further said, “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. Our studio in Montreal will continue to expand, and is making great progress on their unannounced project. And the San Diego studio will double down on the pre-production phase of their unannounced game, as that project is not yet ready for a full production size team.”
It is to be noted that despite having a number of published games and hiring top talent from companies like Sony Online Entertainment, Amazon Games has not been able to achieve a major hit since its debut in 2013. Additionally, some of the senior executives at Amazon’s Video Game division have changed. Mike Frazzini retired in March after helping to establish Amazon’s Game Studios. John Smedley, who headed up Amazon Games’ San Diego studio, also left the company in January this year.