Amazon has announced plans to cut over 100 employees from its video games division.
In a memo to staff obtained by CNBC, Amazon Games vice president Christoph Hartmann said the layoffs would be spread across the company’s Game Growth group, its San Diego development studio, and Prime Gaming.
Some employees will also be reassigned to other projects “that match our strategic focus“, he said.
The cuts in Amazon’s games division are part of wider restructuring efforts at the company. Last month, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said it planned to lay off an additional 9,000 employees on top of 18,000 job cuts announced earlier this year.
“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,” Hartmann told staff in the games division this week.
“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.
“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.
“And finally, we are optimizing our retail and backend focused teams to ensure Amazon Games and Prime Gaming deliver strong value and rich experiences for our customers, and are adjusting the team sizes accordingly.”
The boss of Amazon Games, Mike Frazzini, stepped down last March. During his tenure, the development division he helped create struggled to produce big hits despite major investment.
And former Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley left his position as head of Amazon Games’ San Diego studio this February. He had been running one of Amazon’s three game development studios for six years and worked on several projects, none of which have been released.
Amazon Games announced in December that it will publish the next Tomb Raider. The multiplatform game from Embracer-owned studio Crystal Dynamics will be built alongside Amazon “from development all the way through publishing”, it said.
It was subsequently reported that Amazon aspires to turn Tomb Raider into a “Marvel-like franchise” spanning interconnected game, film and TV releases.