Amazon Games Studio Head Mike Frazzini Steps Down
Was called out by employees in 2021 for his management style.
New World is looking for a new chief, as Amazon Games studio head Mike Frazzini is leaving the company after 19 years. According to Bloomberg, Frazzini informed staff of his impending departure late last week.
"Mike was there at the beginning of Amazon Games, and his leadership and perseverance helped build the games business from the ground up," said Amazon spokesperson Ryan Jones. "Our recent successes with New World and Lost Ark are the result of the long-term, customer-focused vision for games he helped establish. We are very grateful for all his contributions, and wish Mike the very best." Frazzini said that he wished to spend more time with his family.
If Frazzini's name sounds familiar, that's because it cropped up in stories from January 2021, where he was called out by employees for his poor management of the games division. That included reportedly telling staff "that every Amazon game needed to be a 'billion-dollar franchise' and then understaffed the projects" and insisting that Amazon built its own engine to make games, rather than use industry-standard tools.
Under Frazzini's watch, Amazon has developed and cancelled two games, Breakaway and Crucible, and New World isn't exactly on track to be a "billion-dollar franchise." Another title in development, called Nova, was based on League of Legends, but was never formally announced. Lost Ark is still doing well, but that's developed by Smilegate, with Amazon only serving as a publisher. And then there was the Lord of the Rings game that was being worked on with Leyou and Tencent, which was relegated to the dustbin last April.
It's uncertain as to who will take Frazzini's place in the company, and it might not matter. It's possible that the way of doing things at Amazon, and not Frazzini's particular talents, have been the cause for many of the games division's troubles, and it's too late to save New World anyway. Still, gamers won't likely be too sad to see him go, and whoever does replace him isn't likely to make things worse.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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