Michael Frazzini, head of Amazon Games, has resigned and is leaving the company after 18 years (via Bloomberg). Frazzini cited a long-standing desire to take a mid-career break as his impetus for making the decision in a post on LinkedIn.
“And while there’s never a perfect time to step away from a big role,” Frazzini wrote, “now is a good time. We’ve released two top 10 games in the last six months and have a growing portfolio of promising new games in the pipeline.”
Frazzini had previously been Amazon’s director of authoring services before being put in charge of the company’s nascent video games division in 2009. Production on this section was surprisingly low, with a selection of mobile games and a Twitch extension released in 2018.
Amazon Games has seen several high-profile cancellations in recent years, including the Closing of its planned MMO Lord of the Ringsas well as the disaster surrounding your multiplayer hero shooter, Cruciblewhich was quickly shut down after launch.
AGS’ success with New World last year was a welcome change, but even New World has struggled, getting into a little doldrums after its successful launch.
The company found more unequivocal success as the publisher of the blockbuster South Korean MMO Lost Ark in Europe and North and South America. Unlike the New World, Lost Ark showed no signs of slowing down.
It’s unclear what effect Frazzini’s departure will have on future Amazon Game Studios projects or the wider culture. A former senior developer at Crucible attributed the failure of that game to executive-level decision makingbut Amazon Game Studios’ relative success with New World may indicate that positive changes have already taken place.