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Feb152017

John Smedley Joins Amazon Game Studios as San Diego Office Head

By Jeff Francis
John Smedley joins Amazon Game Studios

The last eighteen months have been quite eventful for John Smedley. The online rpg legend who helped create EverQuest was the victim of a notorious hacking group and then left Daybreak Games Company (formerly SOE), of which he was president and CEO. He then formed his own company, Pixelmage Games, which he shut down a month ago. Now he's back in a big way as news that John Smedley joins Amazon Game Studios has been released.

Amazon Game Studios logo

John Smedley has joined Amazon Game Studios as the head of their San Diego office. He is not working on the games already announced by the new game company (Breakaway, New World, and Crucible) as Amazon has declared, "John's pioneering work helped define the modern MMO, and his influence can be felt in thousands of games that followed. He helped create the blueprint for fusing massive game worlds with vibrant player communities, a vision that we share at Amazon Game Studios... His team is already 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.

From the high-fantasy role playing of EverQuest, to the intense FPS action of Planetside, and the brutal survival sandbox of H1Z1, John is no stranger to bucking trends and creating unforgettable games. It's early days, but we can't wait to see what John and his team create, and share it with you."

It sure sounds like John Smedley will be working on an ambitious mmo that heavily utilizes Twitch. In an interview with GamesIndustry, Smedley says, "Twitch has been a seismic shift in the gaming industry. It's changed every aspect from how we market the games (Twitch dominates this now) to how we think about interactions between people watching streams and people playing the games. That relationship is becoming a two-way street, which means fans are going to be able to give a lot more feedback to developers, but it also means we're able to try new things where we are connecting the audience of a game on Twitch right to the game itself."

This should be very interesting to see what emerges from John Smedley joining forces with Amazon Game Studios. They have a ton of resources that they can pour into the project, and there is already speculation that whatever project he is working on won't be free-to-play as John Smedley has always stated that he hates microtransactions.

What is your take on the John Smedley joins Amazon Game Studios news? Let us know in the comments below.

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