The boss behind Amazon’s next game leaves, says he’s trying ‘something new’

Amazon Games Studios San Diego office chief John Smedley is leaving the company after six years. Smedley worked on several projects during that time, but none of them have been released.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Smedley announced his departure in a company-wide email. He said that “after much thought, I’ve decided it’s time to try something new.” The letter also states that Andy Sites will step in as studio head, while Smedley will help smooth the transition. Smedley is best known for his work on MMOs like Everquest and Star Wars Galaxies.

A statement from an Amazon representative to Bloomberg said: “John is a legend of the games industry and we are grateful for his contributions to Amazon Games over the past six years… [his team] he remains focused on bringing his unannounced project to life. John is committed to staying until the team has fully transitioned before moving on to look for something new.” Smedley’s departure coincides with widespread layoffs at Amazon.

Last year, GameSpot profiled the vice president of Amazon Games, Christoph Hartmann, in an article by Eddie Makuch. Smedley is among the subjects interviewed, and he claimed that Hartmann helped turn Amazon Games into a proper game company with a publishing wing. He also shared a story about throwing three games at Hartmann, of which Hartman selected the strangest and most difficult of the bunch. Smedley said: “He picked the hardest one, but he also picked the one that will stand out from everyone else because there’s nothing like it. Seeing someone pick the hardest one? That was like, ‘Wow.’ There’s something about this one that really stands out And he noticed it right away.”

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may earn a share of the revenue if you purchase something featured on our site.

Add Comment