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Amazon Shifts Gaming Focus, Laying Off 180 Employees

Eduardo Munoz / reuters

Amazon’s gaming division has undergone significant downsizing, with approximately 180 job cuts reported. Sources from Reuters, Aftermath, and Bloomberg revealed that the entire Game Growth team and all staff associated with Crown, an Amazon-backed Twitch channel, were affected. The restructuring reportedly stems from a company decision to redirect resources towards high-potential growth areas, particularly focusing on offering free monthly games for Prime subscribers.

In an internal email viewed by Reuters, Amazon Games VP Christoph Hartmann explained, “After our initial restructuring in April, it became clear that we needed to focus our resources even more on the areas that are growing with the highest potential to drive our business forward.” The shift in focus towards delivering free monthly games aligns with customer preferences, according to Hartmann. Employees were reportedly informed of their job cuts on Monday morning.

The closure of Amazon’s Crown channel on Twitch, as reported by The Verge, included original shows and content with a traditional television feel, offering ad-supported programming like Screen Invaders. Despite having notable sponsors like Intel and Progressive, Bloomberg’s earlier report raised concerns about inflated metrics and a potential discrepancy between expected and actual popularity due to “junk views.”

The 180 job cuts are part of a broader restructuring, which, as reported last week, also affected its streaming and podcast divisions. Amazon’s gaming unit had previously experienced layoffs in April, impacting over 100 workers. The company’s overall workforce reduction, totaling 27,000 jobs since the previous fall, reflects a broader trend among Big Tech companies tightening their budgets and displacing workers in 2023.

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