Long-running Amazon Games boss Mike Frazzini is stepping down – GamesIndustry.biz

You are not signed in.James BatchelorEditor-in-ChiefMonday 28th March 2022Share this articleMike Frazzini, head of Amazon Games, is leaving both the division and Amazon itself.Bloomberg reports Frazzini informed staff of his departure on Friday, with a …

You are not signed in.
James Batchelor
Editor-in-Chief
Monday 28th March 2022
Share this article
Mike Frazzini, head of Amazon Games, is leaving both the division and Amazon itself.
Bloomberg reports Frazzini informed staff of his departure on Friday, with a spokesperson telling the site that he was leaving to focus on family.
Frazzini has been overseeing Amazon’s video game endeavours since 2009, prior to which he spent five years working in the online giant’s books department.
Amazon’s road into the video games industry has been far from smooth. The division originally focused on mobile and Facebook games, before Amazon Game Studios announced in 2014 it would create larger titles for consoles and PC.
The first, Breakaway, was never given a release date and cancelled in 2018 after a few alpha playtests. The second, Crucible, was almost immediately taken back into beta after it launched in May 2020 and was ultimately scrapped a few months later.
The Grand Tour, a racing game based on the Amazon Prime Video series, made it to consoles in 2019, but the firm’s first major hit was last year’s MMO New World.
Launched in September, the game had over 900,000 concurrent players after the first couple of weeks. However, Bloomberg reports that this has since dropped to around 26,500, according to Steamcharts’ data.
More recently, the company published Lost Ark, which seems to be faring well.
Amazon is also building up its new Montreal studio, which employs ex-Rainbow Six: Siege developers and is led by the former managing director of Ubisoft Toronto. The studio is working on a new IP and competitive multiplayer game.
Frazzini has overseen all of this, as well as several other cancelled projects, such as a Lord of the Rings MMO.
Bloomberg reports employees have previously criticised him for straying from traditional games development and publishing strategies, noting that he was a newcomer to video games when he first took over the division.
One former employee told the site that this lack of experience caused Frazzini’s leadership, and by extension Amazon Games, to suffer. It’s claimed both Frazzini and Amazon underestimated the complexities of the games industry.
The Amazon spokesperson said: “Mike was there at the beginning of Amazon Games, and his leadership and perseverance helped build the games business from the ground up.
“Our recent successes with New World and Lost Ark are the result of the long-term, customer-focused vision for games he helped establish. We are very grateful for all his contributions and wish Mike the very best.”
Last year, new Amazon CEO Andy Jassy claimed video games could become the company’s biggest entertainment category. Prior to this, it was reported that Amazon has been pouring over $500 million per year into its games division.
Amazon Games vice president and industry veteran Christoph Hartmann shared Jassy’s optimism, telling GamesIndustry.biz last year that: “Eventually we’ll be judged by our successes.”
Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox.
More stories
Harbottle & Lewis’ Kostya Lobov weighs up the factors developers should consider when trying to get their game included in a subscription service
By Kostyantyn Lobov
Samsung and Microsoft tell us how games streaming reached the needed inflection point as they partner on the Samsung Gaming Hub
By James Batchelor
Related Jobs
Producer
Climax Studios
Portsmouth
IT Systems Administrator
Climax Studios
Portsmouth
Recruiter OR Talent Acquisition Specialist – Hybrid – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Games Developer
OPM
Amsterdam
Latest comments
Sign in to contribute
Need an account? Register now.
Latest articles from our team
James Batchelor
Editor-in-Chief
Xbox: Cloud gaming is a “great alternative” to console, not a replacement
Brendan Sinclair
Managing Editor
The Diablo is in the details | This Week in Business
Rob Fahey
Contributing Editor
Will the EU’s new law change the digital landscape? | Opinion
Christopher Dring
Head of Games B2B
PS5, Switch and Xbox Series X and S sales improve in June | UK Monthly Charts
Marie Dealessandri
Features Editor
Getting your game covered, as told by journalists
Danielle Partis
News Editor
Lumi Interactive CEO on making the world (and games) a kinder place
Jeffrey Rousseau
Staff Writer
When supporting a non-profit, how do you vet them?
Upcoming Events
Gamescom 2022
24th Aug 2022 – 28th Aug 2022
Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany
Tokyo Game Show 2022
15th Sep 2022 – 18th Sep 2022
Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan
EGX London
22nd Sep 2022 – 25th Sep 2022
ExCeL, London, United Kingdom
Latest Comments
Nicola Congia posted a comment in
GameStop lays off staff across company
Ron Dippold posted a comment in
Intellivision “still working on” Amico despite dead trademark confusion
Andrew Mehta posted a comment in
PAX organiser ReedPop to run E3 2023

source