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Amazon has laid off 180 employees in its games division. This is the second round of layoffs this year by the online retailer which announced a restructuring drive back in April. Citing insider sources, Nathan Grayson of Aftermath claimed the entire Crown Channel, a Twitch channel backed by Amazon, and the Game Growth team were affected.

Amazon Cut 180 Jobs From Games Division As Part Of Restructuring Plan

“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 benefits to increase our focus there,” wrote Christoph Hartmann, VP of Amazon Games in an email to employees. “With these changes in our business approach come changes to our resourcing, resulting in the elimination of just over 180 roles.”

Amazon started notifying employees about the development on Monday morning. Last week, Amazon also started terminating jobs in its streaming music and podcast division, according to people familiar with the matter.

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“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,” Hartmann’s November 13 email read.

Amazon also made a small number of roles redundant in its human resources unit called People Experience and Technology, or PXT, according to Reuters’ sources. Back in April, Amazon terminated 100 roles in its game division spread across its Prime Gaming, San Diego development studio, and Game Growth group.

Amazon promises to assist laid-off employees

Amazon Cut 180 Jobs From Games Division As Part Of Restructuring Plan

Amazon’s game division makes downloadable versions of many video games available to players. These games are rotated monthly. Despite the restructuring, Amazon’s focus on developing and publishing games like “Blue Protocol” and other free games it offers within Prime Gaming is unwavering.

Amazon Prime membership costs $139 annually. Prime Gaming is one of the perks that comes with the service in addition to free shipping and free video streaming. For those who were impacted by the layoff, Hartmann asked that they meet to discuss the way forward.

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“I know this is difficult news and that the impact will be felt widely,” Hartmann wrote. “It never feels good to say goodbye to colleagues. Each employee whose role has been impacted should now have a live meeting scheduled this morning so we can discuss these changes directly. We are working to ensure all impacted employees are given the support they need on an individual level, including severance pay, outplacement services, health insurance benefits, and more.”

Amazon’s third-quarter net income exceeded the estimates made by analysts. Also, the company’s revenue for the year’s final quarter is about in line with expectations by analysts. Over the past year, Amazon has laid off over 27,000 employees.

Amazon Cut 180 Jobs From Games Division As Part Of Restructuring Plan

It is believed that the recent wave of layoffs in the tech industry was due to over-hiring during the pandemic period. Now that the pandemic is over and spending has begun to scale back, these companies are now adapting to the new reality.

“I recognize that this is the second time this year that you are hearing about org-wide team changes and seeing colleagues go, so let me be very clear when I say this: I remain confident in our future. We are developing and publishing great games with high potential, our studio teams are growing, and our roadmap is bright.”

Christoph Hartmann, VP of Amazon Games

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Notwithstanding the layoff, Hartmann mentioned that Amazon’s “internal studios are actively recruiting and hiring to fill critical roles as they develop new IP”. Amazon’s roadmap includes future projects like The Lord of the Rings and Tomb Raider.

An industry-wide layoff has seen over 6,100 game workers made redundant as of early October this year. Virtually all prominent companies including Epic Games, CD Projekt Red, BioWare, Striking Distance, Team17, Digital Extremes, Embracer Group, and Telltale Games have all announced layoffs.

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