Amazon axes 180 workers in games divisions

Amazon is laying off more than 180 people from two of its gaming divisions, the company confirmed to Polygon on Monday. Days ago, Amazon has laid off employees in its music streaming business. More than 27,000 people have been fired by Amazon in the past year, hundreds of whom were fired from Twitch in March. Employee gaming news site Aftermath first reported the news of Monday’s layoffs.

Crown Channel is an ad-supported Twitch channel that broadcasts original programming such as Potluck, a variety show hosted by a comedian and a Twitch streamer. Another show, Screen invadersincluding one Candy Crush Saga tournament. Although Amazon said its Crown Channel was one of Twitch’s top 10 entertainment offerings, a Bloomberg analysis suggested that Amazon had inflated its positions. Game Growth, the other program that was cut, was designed to “reimagine how game makers promote their products around the world.” according to the Amazon Games website.

Amazon Games Vice President Christoph Hartmann sent a memo to staff on Monday (which Amazon also shared with Polygon), saying the company is “refocusing our efforts on Prime Gaming.” He continued: “We’ve listened to our customers and we know that delivering free games every month is what they want most, so we’re refining our Prime benefit to increase our focus there. With these changes in our business approach come changes in our resources, resulting in the elimination of just over 180 positions.”

An Amazon Games representative confirmed to Polygon that Monday’s layoffs were “in service of focusing efforts on video game creation and publishing.” She added: “We will continue to support Prime Gaming as a benefit of Amazon Prime membership, but have refined that specific offering to focus on ‘Free Games with Prime.’”

Amazon’s announcement on Monday comes at a difficult time for video game workers; Every week it seems like more and more people are being laid off from the industry. Last week, Wayfinder publisher Digital Extremes has laid off staff, preceded by cuts at Bungie, Ubisoft, Epic Games and many more.