This week, Amazon revealed a fresh wave of job cuts and the impending closure of the Crown channel, a high-profile Twitch channel operated by Amazon that showcased TV-style shows. Additionally, Amazon is planning to wind down its Game Growth group, dedicated to assisting gaming creators with marketing efforts.
Strategic move from Amazon Games
In an internal memo, Amazon Games VP Christoph Hartmann explained the move as a strategic shift towards enhancing the free games available to Prime Gaming subscribers. "Our customer feedback is clear: they prioritize receiving free monthly games. Consequently, we're honing our Prime benefits to better align with this preference," Hartmann stated.
These changes will impact slightly over 180 positions across the affected departments. Earlier in April, Amazon had already reduced about 100 jobs in its gaming unit. "Following our April reorganization, it became evident that we need to further concentrate our efforts on the most promising, high-growth areas of our business," Hartmann noted.
“Amazon Games” was boosting the views
A Bloomberg report in February disclosed that Amazon's Crown channel was buying Twitch views from the trusted brands. The Crown channel, which often featured prominently on the homepage, seemed to rival the popularity of Twitch’s leading streamers, primarily due to its aggressive advertising approach.
Bloomberg's investigation highlighted that, despite attracting thousands of viewers per live stream, the Crown channel had a relatively low follower count and minimal chat participation, indicating limited viewer engagement.
Amazon representative Brittney Hefner pointed out that the company's gaming strategy will now be more focused on its core activities of developing in-house games, such as the 2021 hit "New World" and an upcoming Lord of the Rings title, as well as publishing games from third-party developers.