Amazon Games will close its Crown channel on Twitch and cut 180 jobs

Amazon announced another cluster of layoffs this week along with plans to discontinue the Coronal canal, an adorable Twitch channel powered by Amazon that features television-like programming. Amazon will also shut down its Game Growth group, which helped creators market the world of games themselves.

In a letter to staff, Amazon Games VP Christoph Hartmann described the decision as a move to put more emphasis on offering free games to subscribers through Prime Gaming. “We’ve listened to our customers and we know that delivering free games every month is what they want, so we’ve refined our Prime benefit to increase our focus there,” Hartmann wrote.

The layoffs affect “just over” 180 roles in the groups. In April, Amazon eliminated nearly 100 jobs in its games division. “After our initial restructuring in April, it became clear that we needed to focus our resources more on the growth areas that have the highest potential to drive our business forward,” Hartmann wrote. .

In February, Bloomberg reported that Amazon’s Crown channel on Twitch is artificially inflating viewership numbers with “junk views.” The Crown channel attracts advertisers through expensive home page promotions that sometimes make the channel appear as popular as Twitch’s top tier streamers.

“Although Crown appears to attract thousands of viewers per livestream, relatively few people follow the channel or participate in its chats – suggesting they are not engaging with the content, ” Bloomberg reported at the time.

According to Amazon spokeswoman Brittney Hefner, the change will focus Amazon’s gaming efforts on its “core business” of making home games — such as New worldits 2021 massive multiplayer title and the upcoming Lord of the Rings game — and publishing games from outside developers.

The company provided the full memo to staff, which is attached below.

“Hello everyone,

I have important news to share with you all today about the future of our business.

As I’ve shared before, our goal for Amazon Games is to be one of the leading creators of high-quality game content that will delight gamers for years to come. Part of this bold vision involves experimentation as we explore what players want and we regularly review these experiments to ensure we are creating the most impact.

After our initial restructuring in April, it became clear that we needed to focus our resources more on the growth areas that had the highest potential to drive our business forward. As such, the leadership team and I have made the difficult decision to close two of our initiatives – Crown Channel and Game Growth. We are also focusing our efforts on Prime Gaming. We’ve listened to our customers and we know that delivering free games every month is what they want, so we’ve refined our Prime benefit to increase our focus there. With these changes to our business approach come changes to our resourcing, resulting in the elimination of over 180 roles.

I know this is hard news and that the impact will be felt by many. Saying goodbye to colleagues is never a good feeling. This was not a decision the leadership team made hastily; it is the result of extensive considerations and road mapping for our future. We’re proud of the work the teams are doing, pushing new areas with Crown Channel’s weekly content, and finding more ways to help publishers reach new audiences with Progress in the Game. But after further evaluating our businesses, it became clear that we needed to focus our resources and efforts to provide more games to players now and in the future.

Every employee whose role is affected should have a live meeting scheduled this morning so we can discuss these changes directly. We are also working to ensure that all affected employees are provided with the support they need on an individual level, including severance pay, outplacement services, health insurance benefits and more. Your managers, business leaders and HRBP are available for conversations and we have a licensed counselor available 24/7 through our Employee Assistance Program (US Phone: 1-833-721-2323, ext. in the US, please click here for contact information) .

I know this is the second time this year that you’ve heard about changes across the org team and seeing colleagues go, so let me be very clear when I say this: I’m staying confident in our future. We’re developing and publishing more games with high potential, our studio teams are growing, and our roadmap is bright. We are focused on our upcoming publishing launches for Throne and Liberty and Blue Protocol, as well as upcoming projects such as our Tomb Raider and The Lord of the Rings games, and our projects with Glowmade and Disruptive Games. Our internal studios are actively recruiting and hiring to fill critical roles as they develop new IP, while Prime Gaming continues to secure deals and deliver compelling content for of members every month. We are committed to our vision of becoming one of the leading developers and publishers of quality games, and focusing our resources accordingly will help us get there.

If you have any questions, please contact me or your team lead.

Thank you,

Christopher”

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