Mike Frazzini, vice president of Amazon Games, is stepping down from his position after almost 18 years with the company. This comes after his division finally experienced success with both New World and Lost Ark, after years of failing to find its breakout hit.
The news was revealed suddenly late last night, amid Lost Ark's continued success. However, it also coincides with New World's rough ongoing development, with players dropping off significantly since its launch, and remaining fans complaining that servers are now empty.
Frazzini joined Amazon in 2004, starting out as a product manager. When he was moved to the newly formed Amazon Games Studios in 2012, his only experience in the gaming industry was selling Amazon's gaming stock.
It's this lack of experience which some say contributed to the division's numerous failings in its first few years of existence. A former Amazon Games manager speaking to Bloomberg said that the unit "suffered" under his leadership. They claim that Amazon gave Frazzini the position because they assumed his success in other areas would transfer to its new gaming aspirations.
However, this would not be the case for some time. Of the three games that Amazon revealed back in 2016, only one remains – New World. Breakaway was scrapped during development, and Crucible was shut down after just five months.
It's not known if Frazzini's departure is related to the performance – positive or otherwise – of his division. A representative from Amazon confirmed the move to Bloomberg, saying that Frazzini is stepping down in order to spend more time with his family.
"Mike was there at the beginning of Amazon Games, and his leadership and perseverance helped build the games business from the ground up", the representative said in a statement. "Our recent successes with New World and Lost Ark are the result of the long-term, customer-focused vision for games he helped establish."
It is not yet known who will take over from Frazzini as the studio continues its ongoing development of New World and Lost Ark.
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