Amazon Game Studios

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Amazon Game Studios
FoundedAugust 7, 2012; 8 years ago (2012-08-07)[1]
Key people
  • Christoph Hartman
  • (vice president)[2][3]
DivisionsRelentless Studios (formerly Amazon Game Studios Seattle)
Amazon Game Studios San Diego
Amazon Game Studios Orange County[4][5]

Amazon Game Studios (AGS) is an American video game developer and division of the online retailing company Amazon that focuses on the development of video games.


In 2011, Amazon opened the Amazon Appstore[6] and started to hire developers for mobile social games.[7] In 2012, Amazon Game Studios released Living Classics, a social game for Facebook.[8]

Amazon first announced that it would create computer games in 2014.[9] Amazon recruited Kim Swift (Portal, who has since left for EA), Clint Hocking (Far Cry 2), and developers who previously worked on System Shock 2. Amazon sought to make games in-between the industry standards of small and large teams making casual and AAA games, respectively. Amazon Game Studios wanted to make teams of five to thirty people who would work on games for between a year and 18 months with a focus on "creativity" and "craftsmanship", whether the genre is for kids or hardcore gamers. Studio vice-president Mike Frazzini wanted to make projects like Minecraft, The Walking Dead, and The Room. The studio also wanted developers to impact the direction of their hardware, between its cloud services and Amazon-brand devices. For example, developers can offload processing to Amazon's cloud services and the Amazon Fire TV has expanded memory as a result of developer feedback.[10] A lot of the company's developers left within a year of the company's founding. Amazon Game Studios went on to publish a number of mobile titles, including the horror game Lost Within.[11]

Two years after the studio's initial announcement, at the September 2016 TwitchCon, the studio revealed its first three PC games: Breakaway, Crucible, and New World.[9][12] Breakaway was a team-based brawler in which two teams of four fight to deliver a ball to their opponents' goal. It was designed for tight integration into Twitch, the streaming service Amazon acquired in 2014.[9] Amazon Game Studios announced the cancellation of Breakaway in March 2018.[13] Crucible is a 12-player, class-based game in which players form alliances to become the last man standing. An additional player will direct the game, letting viewers interact with the game's elements and triggering in-game events.[12] New World is a massively multiplayer sandbox game with a supernatural colonial America theme. Players can form settlements, fight each other, or fight monsters out in the world.[12] Crucible launched on May 20, 2020, while New World releases sometime in 2021 after a 2nd pushback date was announced on July 10, 2020.

In August 2018, Christoph Hartman, co-founder of video game publisher 2K Games – a wholly subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive – became the new Vice President of Amazon Game Studios replacing Mike Frazzini.

The company has three game development studios in San Diego,[14] Seattle,[15] and Orange County.[16][17][18]

In June 2019, during E3 week it was announced that layoffs hit the company. At this time it is unknown how many people were impacted. However, "multiple" unannounced projects had been cancelled.[19]

The company has been involved with a Lord of the Rings MMO since the middle of 2019.[20]


Year Title Developer(s) Platform(s)
2010 Airport Mania: First Flight Reflexive Entertainment
South Wind Games
Amazon Appstore
2011 Airport Mania 2: Wild Trips Reflexive Entertainment
South Wind Games
Amazon Appstore
2012 Air Patriots[21] Reflexive Entertainment Amazon Appstore
Simplz: Zoo Reflexive Entertainment Amazon Appstore
Lucky's Escape Reflexive Entertainment Amazon Appstore
Living Classics[8] Amazon Game Studios Facebook
2014 To-Fu Fury[22] Amazon Game Studios Amazon Appstore, iOS App Store
Tales From Deep Space[23] Amazon Game Studios Amazon Appstore
Sev Zero[24] Amazon Game Studios Amazon Appstore, Google Play, iOS App Store[24]
2015 Lost Within[25] Amazon Game Studios Amazon Appstore, iOS App Store[25]
Til Morning's Light[26] Amazon Game Studios
Amazon Appstore
2018 Dragon's Lair[27] Amazon Game Studios Seattle Twitch Extension
2019 The Grand Tour Game Amazon Game Studios Seattle[28] PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2021 New World Amazon Game Studios Orange County[29]
Cancelled Breakaway Amazon Game Studios Orange County[30]
Cancelled Crucible Relentless Studios[15]


  1. ^ Amazon Game Studios Launches "Living Classics" for Facebook: Is It Any Good?, Adweek, August 7, 2012
  2. ^ "Former 2K Games president joins Amazon Game Studios". Gamasutra. August 7, 2018. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  3. ^ "Former 2K president Christoph Hartmann joins Amazon Game Studios as vice president". VentureBeat. August 7, 2018. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 8, 2017. Retrieved October 14, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Gilliam, Ryan (February 15, 2017). "Amazon opens new game studio led by EverQuest creator John Smedley". Polygon. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  6. ^ Amazon Appstore is now live, Apple is suing for the name, GSMArena, 22 March 2011
  7. ^ Amazon Wants to Hire Game Designer to Create Facebook and Mobile Social Games, Inside Social Games, May 27, 2011
  8. ^ a b Amazon Takes On Zynga, Releases First Social Game Living Classics, TechCrunch, August 6, 2012
  9. ^ a b c Furniss, Zack (October 2, 2016). "Is Breakaway Appealing To More Than Streamers?". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on December 23, 2016. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  10. ^ Lien, Tracey (April 7, 2014). "How Amazon Game Studios convinced developers to join its team". Polygon. Archived from the original on November 29, 2016. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  11. ^ Makuch, Eddie. "Amazon's Gaming Division Loses Three Key Figures". GameSpot. Archived from the original on November 1, 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  12. ^ a b c O'Connor, Alice (September 30, 2016). "Amazon Game Studios Announce Three Games". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on October 18, 2016. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  13. ^ Gilliam, Ryan (April 2, 2018). "Amazon kills its fantasy sports game Breakaway". Polygon. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  14. ^ "Amazon hires John Smedley to lead new San Diego studio".
  15. ^ a b "Louis Castle joins Amazon to head Crucible team". Polygon. March 9, 2017.
  16. ^ "Amazon Game Studios unveils three PC games – Breakaway, Crucible, New World".
  17. ^ "Amazon opens new game studio led by EverQuest creator John Smedley". Polygon. February 15, 2017.
  18. ^ "The curious case of Amazon's deep plunge into the esports industry". March 12, 2017.
  19. ^ "Amazon Lays Off Dozens Of Game Developers During E3". Kotaku.
  20. ^ New details on the Lord of the Rings MMO
  21. ^ Amazon launches its first mobile game, 'Air Patriots,' for iOS and Android, The Verse, November 1, 2012
  22. ^ Amazon Game Studios' First Fire Phone Games, To-Fu Fury And Saber's Edge, Demonstrate Bad Cases Of Kinect Syndrome, Android Police, July 21, 2014
  23. ^ Amazon Game Studios' 'Tales From Deep Space' Blasts Off Towards A Fire Device Near You, Android Police, November 19, 2014
  24. ^ a b Amazon Games Studios Launches Its First Gaming App On iTunes, TechCrunch, September 4, 2014
  25. ^ a b Amazon Game Studios launches new survival-horror game Lost Within on Fire and iOS devices, VentureBeat, April 16, 2015
  26. ^ a b Amazon Game Studios Releases 'Til Morning's Light' An Adventure Game With Puzzles And Monsters Galore, Android Police, May 20, 2015
  27. ^ New Extension Experiences Launching at TwitchCon, Twitch, October 26, 2018
  28. ^ Amazon Game Studios Announces The Grand Tour Game, Yahoo, August 22, 2018
  29. ^ Hands-on with Amazon's MMO New World, where hundreds of players war over a supernatural continent, PC Gamer, August 30, 2018
  30. ^ Amazon reveals 'Breakaway,' a streamer-friendly MOBA built with Twitch integration, Yahoo, October 1, 2016

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