Amazon Lays Off 180 Gaming Employees, Shuts Down Crown Channel

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Amazon Games today joins the list of gaming companies hit by layoffs. According to a memo circulated within the company, 180 employees will be affected by Amazon’s new cutbacks, which will include the entire Gaming Growth department and the Crown channel on Twitch. The company apparently plans to refocus its Gaming attention on its Prime Gaming offering.

Christoph Hartman, Amazon’s VP of Games, sent out the memo (obtained by The Verge) to employees explaining the changes to the games division. “As I’ve shared previously, our goal for Amazon Games is to become one of the leading creators of high-quality gaming content that delights players for years to come. Part of this bold vision involves experimentation as we explore what gamers want most and we regularly review these experiments to ensure we’re creating the most impact … . 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.”

Amazon still has several games in development or in its publishing calendar, and at the time of this writing there’s no indication those games are in danger of being canceled. They include a new Tomb Raider game, a Lord of the Rings game and upcoming MMO Blue Protocol. This is in addition to Lost Ark and New World, live service games that Amazon Games supports.

The company is the latest in the games industry to lay off employees in the name of restructuring. Embracer Group has initiated layoffs across several of its recently acquired companies. Companies such as Bungie, Epic and Amazon-owned Twitch have also recently announced layoffs, as have several other companies over the last several months. According to, this brings the estimated total of games industry job cuts up to 6,500 jobs.

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