According to reports from Reuters, Aftermath, and Bloomberg, Amazon has eliminated approximately 180 positions from its gaming department. The entire Game Growth team and all personnel associated with Crown, a Twitch channel supported by Amazon, were affected by the cuts. A leaked email cited a company shift to prioritize resources on growth areas like providing free monthly games for Prime subscribers.
Amazon Games VP Christoph Hartmann wrote, “After our initial restructuring in April, it became clear that we needed to focus our resources even more on the areas that are growing with the highest potential to drive our business forward,” as reported by Reuters. “We’ve listened to our customers and we know delivering free games every month is what they want most, so we are refining our Prime benefit to increase our focus there.” The company reportedly informed employees of their job cuts on Monday morning. The Crown channel on Twitch, which The Verge reports is closing down after staff layoffs, featured original programming and aimed to provide a television-like experience, with ad-supported shows such as Screen Invaders.
However, a previous report from Bloomberg suggested that Amazon had inflated the Crown channel’s metrics with “junk views,” potentially leading to lower-than-expected popularity and metrics. The reported 180 job cuts are part of a broader restructuring that also allegedly impacted its streaming and podcast divisions last week. Amazon had previously laid off over 100 employees from its gaming division in April, and has reportedly cut 27,000 jobs since last fall, in line with a trend of major tech companies tightening their budgets and displacing workers in 2023.