- Amazon is hiring for a creative director at its San Diego-based studio.
- A LinkedIn job posting mentions experience working on AAA live service/GAAS titles.
- A blog post from Amazon mentions that they are currently developing multiple different games and are seeking publishing contracts with various developers.
It seems that Amazon is hiring for a director-level role for a new game in the San Diego location. In a job posting on Linkedin for a creative director at Amazon Games, experience with live service games was listed as a requirement.
In a blog post, Amazon summarized its relationships with external studios. They wrote of all the publishing deals they have made with external studios, including a publishing deal with Crystal Dynamics to publish their upcoming Tomb Raider title. At the end of the post, they mention new internally developed titles are being made at its San Diego and Quebec studios.
The project is mentioned as a multiplatform AAA game, and the job listing also asks for candidates with knowledge of solo, multiplayer, and online games. It’s not specified if they are seeking industry knowledge or if these games will contain these elements.
A live service title could be seen as controversial by some. A free-to-play game like Amazon’s Crucible was could end up being another dead game from Amazon, as the genre has become too oversaturated.
We could assume that the unannounced title could be a looter shooter along the likes of Destiny, or Anthem, as Amazon Studio has experience developing games in that genre. It could also be an MMO like New World and Lost Ark.
Since the posting is hiring for a Creative Director, the job could be for a game that is in early development. The San Diego studio was previously helmed by former Sony president John Smedley, who stepped down from the studio. The San Diego studio failed to release a single title during Smedley’s 6 years at the company.
Amazon is seeking to become a major games publisher, on the level of giants such as Electronic Arts, Take-Two, and Ubisoft. Amazon made a splash in 2021 when it released its hyped fantasy MMO “New World.” The latter was a hit when it was released but its player base soon dwindled, losing 70% of its players only a month after launch.
The studio has even greater ambitions, with plans to develop multiple games including a live service title from its San Diego studio.
Amazon has big shoes to fill if it wants to be a major player in AAA gaming. So far, Amazon has released only two of its own AAA games since its founding 11 years ago, one of which was canceled months after release. Many more of Amazon’s other video game projects did not see the light of day.
Outside of game development, Amazon also offers its Amazon Luna streaming service, which similar to Google Stadia and Xbox Xcloud, allows you to stream games you own on any device.
Big tech companies like Google, Apple, Amazon, and Netflix want to enter the gaming industry, however, have so far offered awkward products that fail to resonate with consumers. Netflix’s game-streaming strategy makes little sense, and Google recently shut down Stadia as well as its internal game studios.
If Amazon wants to truly compete, the company should be aggressive with acquisitions and acquire multiple indie and mid-sized developers to increase their offerings and ownership of IP. Companies such as EA, Ubisoft, and Embracer Group own dozens of internal studios.
Amazon is a massive company, dwarfing even the biggest gaming companies, and could easily buy a major publisher like EA or Take-Two if they wanted. If Amazon were to buy a publisher, Embracer Group might be their best option as they own over a hundred game studios, and dozens of famous gaming IPs, and own the IP rights to The Lord of The Rings, which is an IP that Amazon also has a stake in.
Amazon should also avoid pulling a Ubisoft moment by creating a live service battle royale and a mobile adaptation of every IP they own just to shut down the projects due to oversaturation and lack of interest.
- (Did you know at one point Ubisoft had 12 battle royale games in development?)
Time will tell if Amazon will be able to stay on the right track in its gaming division, or if its aspirations will vanish as Google’s did.
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