Boss behind upcoming Amazon game, says he’s trying ‘something new’

The head of Amazon Games Studios in San Diego, John Smedley, is leaving the company after six years. Smedley worked on various projects during that time, but none were released.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Smedley announced his departure in a company-wide email. He said, “After thinking a lot, I decided it was time to try something new.” The letter also states that Andy Sites will be joining as head of the studio, while Smedley supports a smooth transition. Smedley is best known for his work on MMOs like Everquest and Star Wars Galaxies.

A statement from Amazon’s representative to Bloomberg said: “John is a legend in the games industry and we are grateful for his contributions to Amazon Games over the past six years… [his team] remain focused on bringing their unannounced project to life. John pledged to stay until the team was completely transformed before he moved on to pursue something new.” Smedley’s departure coincided with widespread layoffs at Amazon.

Last year, GameSpot describes the vice president of Amazon Games, Christoph Hartmann, in an article by Eddie Makuch. Smedley was among those interviewed and claimed that Hartmann helped turn Amazon Games into a game company that fits the publishing wing. He also shared a story about presenting three games to Hartmann, from which Hartman chose the weirdest and most difficult game of the bunch. Smedley said, “He chose the hardest one, but he also picked the one that would stand out from anything else out there because there’s nothing like that. Seeing someone pick the hardest? That’s like. , ‘Rub.’ This one has something really outstanding about it, and he figured that out right away.”

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