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Amazon Games lead Michael Frazzini resigns

Frazzini worked in Amazon's games division since its inception in 2009.

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A major and long-running lead at Amazon Games has stepped down as of this last weekend. Head of Amazon Games Michael Frazzini has been a part of Amazon’s gaming department since it was first conceived, but he recently announced he would be stepping down for a “mid-career break.” The exit was allegedly mutually agreed upon with no issues by either Frazzini or Amazon.

Frazzini’s exit was originally announced via internal communications at Amazon, as reported by Bloomberg, but he would also announce it himself on his LinkedIn page on March 26, 2022. Frazzini had been with Amazon even before the launching of Amazon Games, taking on the role of director of author services. In 2009, Frazzini was then placed in charge of the budding Amazon Game Studios. Despite the fact that Amazon Games seemed to put out little outside of a few mobile games, the group would eventually publish a number of titles in the last couple years, starting with the ill-fated Crucible, but eventually leading up to the smash-hit Western launch of Lost Ark. There was also the flash success of MMO New World in between.

Amazon Games has found breakaway success recently in publishing both New World and the Western launch of Smilegate's Lost Ark.
Amazon Games has found breakaway success recently in publishing both New World and the Western launch of Smilegate's Lost Ark.

While Amazon Games had its quiet years, there’s little doubt that the company came out loud as a publisher recently. The excitement around New World ebbed off a bit, but Lost Ark garnered over 20 million players globally and was the most viewed game on Twitch in February 2022. With Amazon Games seemingly having finally found its momentum, the group is chugging along with Smilegate RPG in bringing new content and updates to Lost Ark regularly.

Michael Frazzini’s exit from Amazon Games seems to be in light of his desire to take a break only following some level of success in the department. New World and Lost Ark seem to have given him the assurance he needed to step away cleanly.

“While there's never really a perfect time to step away from a great role, now is a good time," Frazzini wrote. “We've launched two top 10 games in the past six months, and have a growing portfolio of promising new games in the pipeline.”

It is unknown at this time who will be stepping in to fill Michael Frazzini’s shoes at Amazon Games, but with his exit, the announcement is likely coming soon. Stay tuned for further details and updates as we learn more.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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