Former Daybreak Game Company boss John Smedley has joined Amazon Game Studios to head up its new San Diego office. And while the team is still small, it has already begun work on its first game.
Smedley recently closed his old studio Pixelmage Games after it failed to get Kickstarter funding for an 8-bit title called Hero Song. He wasn't out of work long, as Amazon brought him aboard to lead its new team that is "hard at work on an ambitious new project that taps into the power of the AWS Cloud and Twitch to connect players around the globe in a thrilling new game world," Amazon said in a statement.
“Amazon is getting into games in a big way, and I really like their dedication to doing big things.” Smedley told VentureBeat. He added that several members of the Pixelmage team had joined him at the new studio, which currently has a staff of 14.
Smedley was at Sony Online Entertainment for 20 years, leading the division for 15 of those. He oversaw such projects as EverQuest 1 and 2, Planetside 1 and 2, H1Z1 and DC Universe Online. Sony sold the division to Columbus Nova in 2015, where it became Daybreak Game Company. Smedley abruptly left Daybreak in July of that year after a Twitter war with a member of the hacker group Lizard Squad. He formed Pixelmage in January of last year, before closing it less than a year later.