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Amazon’s Next CEO Plans To Continue Gaming Development

Amazon’s not letting the failures of Crucible and Breakaway discourage it from continuing to make video games. Incoming CEO Andy Jassy, who will replace founder Jeff Bezos later this year, sent a letter to his staff earlier this week expressing support for their ventures and a continuing commitment to gaming development.

In the letter, obtained by Bloomberg and copied in Yahoo!’s non-paywalled article, Jassy said, “Though we haven’t consistently succeeded yet in AGS, I believe we will if we hang in there.” He supported Amazon Game Studios head Mike Frazzini, who was the subject of a scathing exposé last week, based on comments from current and former employees.

Bloomberg also reported on a letter Frazzini sent to his team after last week’s article was published. Frazzini expressed “zero tolerance” for the kind of “bro culture” Bloomberg reported, saying that “We’ve learned and improved a lot along the way, myself included, and we will continue to do so. … Making great games is hard, and we’re not going to get everything right.”

As I said last year after Crucible shut down, Amazon’s one chance to get it right going forward — especially with New World — would be to listen to the rank-and-file developers instead of relying on well-paid higher-ups whose ideas get pushed more because of their rank than because of their ideas’ merits. Admittedly, I thought that AGS’s failures might stem more from a big-name developer calling the shots but if tales of Frazzini’s involvement are true, that would also fit the bill — and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change going forward.

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