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Amazon Games studio head Mike Frazzini is leaving the company

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Mike Frazzini. (GeekWire FIle Photo)

Mike Frazzini, the head of Amazon Games, is stepping down from his position.

Bloomberg reported Frazzini has told staff at Amazon that he’s leaving in order to focus on his family.

Frazzini has been a leader in Amazon’s games business since 2009. He departs from the overall company after almost 18 years, having worked his way up from a product manager, through a position as category manager for Amazon’s books department, to the vice president of Amazon Games.

The overall story of Frazzini’s time at Amazon Games is one of extremely belated success. The company has scored two significant successes in the last six months with the action-MMORPG New World (although the bloom has rapidly fallen off that rose) and the Korean import hack-and-slasher Lost Ark.

Before that point, however, Frazzini presided over years of peculiar failures, including the bizarre cancellation of the highly-hyped 2020 hero shooter Crucible, which was first yanked off the market, then put through what amounted to a second beta before finally being canceled.

Many of Amazon’s game-development issues were laid squarely at Frazzini’s feet, most notoriously in a 2021 Bloomberg piece, “Amazon Can Make Just About Anything—Except a Good Video Game.” It portrayed Frazzini as a games-industry newcomer who was bent on making games in a particular Amazon sort of way, despite his recruitment of a who’s-who of talent in the field. Even so, sheer persistence seemed to have turned at least some of Amazon Games’ fortunes around.

Update, 3/26: Amazon PR has clarified that Frazzini has not yet left the company, and will remain in place for “several weeks of transition time.”

“Mike was there at the beginning of Amazon Games, and his leadership and perseverance helped build the games business from the ground up,” said Ryan Jones, head of Amazon Games PR, in a statement to GeekWire. “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.”

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