As a new wave of layoffs hit Silicon Valley, Amazon has cut around 180 jobs from its gaming division and closed its Game Growth and Crown Channel initiatives.
This is the latest in a long line of recent dismissals made by Amazon, with the ecommerce giant laying off staff in its podcast and music division last week, and making similar cutbacks to its games unit earlier this year.
This brings Amazon's total cull count up to 27,000 this year, despite the company's net income in this third quarter (Q3) far surpassing analyst estimates.
Amazon Cuts 180 Staff From its Gaming Division
Big tech's spate of layoffs may not be over just yet, with Amazon recently dismissing 180 employees from its gaming division – Amazon Games – amid a broader company-wide restructuring effort.
The ecommerce company notified impacted individuals on Monday morning, according to an email viewed by Reuters. These layoffs come just six months after Amazon Games initially restructured and let go of 100 workers.
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Despite shutting down it's Crown channel and Game Growth project, Amazon will continue to expand its Prime Gaming offering – a free gaming service included in Amazon's $139 annual Prime membership – as part of its structural reshuffle.
“After our initial restructuring in April, it became clear that we needed to focus our resources even more on the areas that are growing with the highest potential to drive our business forward,” – Christoph Hartmann, Vice President of Amazon Games
But Amazon Games, which houses Twitch channels and offers free streaming versions of video games like Roblox and Doom, isn't the only division that's been impacted this week. The company also cut jobs in its human resources unit, called People Experience and Technology (PXT), on Monday.
Amazon's Layoff Count Climbs Higher
Amazon's recent dismissals haven't happened in isolation. The online retailer has quietly let go of a total of 27,000 staff across multiple divisions throughout the last 12 months.
The company laid off 10,000 corporate and technology workers in its devices, retail, and human resources divisions last November, as Silicon Valley collectively reeled from overemployment efforts that took place during Covid-19.
More recently, Amazon axed jobs in its Studio and Video divisions last month and dismissed Amazon Music employees in Latin America, North America, and Europe just last week.
But layoffs aren't the only financial measure the company is taking. Amazon also raised the price of its Amazon Music subscription earlier this year from $9.99 to $10.99.
While 2023 has been a bleak year for most big tech firms, Amazon's recent decisions may come as a surprise to some, with the company reporting a threefold increase in its net income and a 26% uptick in advertising revenue in its last Q3 earning call.
Big Tech's Layoff Saga Isn't Over Yet
While layoffs across Silicon Valley slowed down slightly in the middle of the year, an increasing number of tech companies have been forced to let go of staff in recent months due to challenging macroeconomic headwinds felt by the sector.
For instance, Microsoft-owned employee networking platform LinkedIn dismissed 669 employees in October, and NFT marketplace OpenSea revealed it would be slashing 50% of its workforce earlier this month.
Whether this latest wave of layoffs will superceed previous ones remains yet to be determined. However, with data from Layoffs.fyi revealing that 2023 saw 50% more tech layoffs than 2022, it's very unlikely this trend will be bucked as we head into the next calander year.