As reported by Jason Schreier and Priya Anand of Bloomberg, Mike Frazzini has announced he is stepping down from the position of head of Amazon Games (formerly Amazon Game Studios). This announcement follows the launch of Amazon Games’ most recent hit, Lost Ark, which became a massive success almost immediately, surpassing well over one million concurrent players on the first day of its Western release.
Amazon spokesman Ryan Jones told Bloomberg that Frazzini’s departure from the company stems from wanting to “focus on his family,” following years working for the company and serving as a pillar in the foundation of Amazon Games. Jones noted that Frazzini will be remembered for all of his contributions in his time at Amazon Games, including the launches of the studio’s biggest games, New World and Lost Ark.
While Lost Ark continues to hold the attention of players and viewers on Twitch, which is owned and operated by Amazon, New World released at a time when MMOs like Final Fantasy XIV Online and World of Warcraft were flourishing and ultimately failed to make a lasting impact in the saturated market despite its meteoric launch. Yet with Lost Ark, Amazon Games found a way to reenter the MMO space, maintaining an average of above 500,000 concurrent players and peaking at well over a million players since its release, according to Steam Charts.
An anonymous source at Amazon Games told Bloomberg that “Frazzini’s leadership of the unit suffered because he had not had prior experience in gaming.” It is currently unclear who will be taking over as the head of Amazon Games. Upcoming releases from the studio are also unclear, and many titles planned to be released in the near future were scrapped at some point in development.