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.