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What just happened? Amazon Games boss Mike Frazzini is stepping away from the division he helped create at the e-commerce giant. Frazzini told Amazon last Friday that he was leaving to focus on his family. In a statement to Bloomberg, Amazon spokesperson Ryan Jones said Frazzini's leadership and perseverance helped build their games business from the ground up and highlighted recent successes with games like New World and Lost Ark.
"We are very grateful for all his contributions, and wish Mike the very best," Jones added.
Amazon Games launched its first mobile game, Air Patriots, in 2012. Several more games would follow across a variety of platforms, but none of them really gained much traction. In fact, the business up until recently was more known for its shortcomings and cancellations than its hits.
New World has already seen player counts dip significantly since launching last September. Only 25,370 people are playing the game right now according to SteamDB. Lost Ark peaked at more than 1.3 million concurrent players following its February 2022 North American debut but is down to just 367,832 players as of this writing.
Frazzini's leadership was called into question over the years. In short, some employees felt he went too far off script. Another told Bloomberg that Frazzini's lack of experience in gaming was a challenge, and that others believed he underestimated the complexities of the industry.
Image credit Jin Lee, Bloomberg