February 16, 2017

Former Sony Online Boss Joins Amazon To Lead New Studio


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Amazon announced today that it has hired former Sony Online Entertainment/Daybreak CEO John Smedley to lead a new internal studio in San Diego.

"His team is already hard at work on an ambitious new project that taps into the power of the [Amazon Web Services] Cloud and Twitch to connect players around the globe in a thrilling new game world," the company said in a statement. Amazon owns Twitch.


The company added that it's "early days" for the project, so don't expect to hear about it soon. Amazon also operates internal game studios in Seattle, Washington; Orange County, California; and Austin, Texas.

GI.biz spoke with Smedley about the new studio, telling the site that he is excited to see Amazon's effort to "do big things in gaming." 
Amazon Games Studios' first title is Breakaway, a 4v4 brawler for PC.

After leaving Daybreak Games in the summer of 2015, Smedley announced a new studio, Pixelmage, and a RPG, Hero's Song. However, at the end of 2016, the game was canceled and the studio closed.

Smedley worked at Sony Online/Daybreak for close to two decades prior to his departure, working on everything from EverQuest to Planetside to H1Z1.


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