No one was really surprised though the disappointment and the fear were still thick when Google made a bombshell announcement on Monday. Although it doesn’t affect the game streaming service directly, the shutdown of the first-party Stadia Games & Entertainment studio still puts Google’s commitment into question. In the midst of that uncertainty both for game streaming and for the e-commerce giant itself, newly-named Amazon CEO Andy Jassy reaffirmed his commitment to this market, despite repeated failures of the company’s own Amazon Game Studios.
Amazon’s sudden dive into the video game market has always been a source of curiosity and doubt, given how different it was even from the company’s music and video businesses. It eventually became clear that AWS would be an important element in that enterprise and the launch of Amazon’s own cloud-based game streaming service, Luna, was proof of that.
Despite its billions, Amazon has so far failed to make a lasting mark in that market, at least a positive mark. Its two big attempts to launch a game have largely been considered disastrous and canceled projects further stoked the rumors. It didn’t help that Amazon Game Studios and its head, Mike Frazzini, have been mired in controversy from day one.
Jassy’s email to Amazon staff was pretty much an expression of support for Frazzini. Jassy, who will be filling in the gigantic shoes left by Jeff Bezos, believes that the studio will eventually be successful if they persist. Amazon does have a record of sticking to its guns even if the initial reception has been mediocre or even negative, far longer than Google usually takes to scrap a project or product.
That said, Amazon is also known for a few catastrophic failures like the Fire Phone. It remains to be seen how much resources the new chief exec will be willing to put into AGS to prove his trust but it might be the least of Amazon’s worries as the company faces not only a transition of leadership but also ongoing legal scrutiny.