Why Amazon didn’t give up on games: Andy Jassy on ‘spectacular failures’ and long-term vision

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Amazon CEO Andy Jesse at the 2021 GeekWire Summit on Tuesday in Seattle. (Geekwire Photo/Dan DeLong)

Amazon has long viewed failure as a natural part of innovation, and the company’s early success. New World The online PC roleplaying game is a testament to Mantra, given the fate of its first-person shooter crucible.

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But why is the company so determined to succeed in sports? Amazon’s new CEO Andy Jesse shed some light on that question at this week’s GeekWire summit.

“In the case of sports, we are confident that it can become the largest category in entertainment in the long run,” he said, referring to the share of the sports sector in the overall entertainment industry. “Just look at what’s happening in the games and how social they’ve become.”

Before: Amazon CEO: Ties With Seattle City Council Have Been ‘Tough’, But Hope Remains

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Jassi said, “We have been working on this for many years, and it was quite different from what we did before as a company. So we needed to build the right talent, the right team and the right studio, and the customer experience with gamers. It took time to create some resonance with the way I thought about it.”

That said, it’s important to understand that hits-driven entertainment businesses like movies and games will produce both great successes and big failures, he said.

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“If you’re not prepared to face failures, including spectacular failures, you shouldn’t be in that business,” he said. “We want to invest. And we’re thinking of sports as a very long-term investment for us.”

he admitted that crucible Failed “in a very public way” resulted in some hard lessons, leading the company to pull the plug within weeks of its release. he mentioned a bloomberg story said about Crucible in January that the company can make “just about anything – except a good video game”.

“That team got a lot of criticism,” he said. “And to his credit, he continued. He had multiple games running at the same time. You could argue that we don’t have enough games in production, because if it’s a hit-run business, you have to It takes some time to find one hit or many. But he didn’t lose his resolve.”

“We’ve always had a lot of optimism for this game, New World,” he said. “The customers really liked it; It tested really well. we learned from crucible Experiment. …we had to think about where the bar was for fit-and-finish, a little different than we thought. And so we took the extra time to try and make sure we got the game right. “

Launched last week, New World There are about 2 million active players per dayhandjob Reaching over 913,000 concurrent users on Steam, by that measure, put it among the most successful games in the platform’s history.

It’s also racking up huge numbers on Amazon’s Twitch streaming platform, where it Ranked as the most streamed game since launch.

As such, it’s a bright spot for Amazon in an otherwise rough week on the Twitch front. The security breach came to light after a GeekWire Summit interview this week.

Big picture, said Jassi New World An important business lesson.

“If you’re going to invest in something over the long term that you consider important and can turn the company around, you have to be strategically patient and tactfully impatient. You have to be prepared for setbacks along the way. ,” he said. “I am really excited for that team. He’s worked really hard and really stuck there, and it’s exciting that he’s got a hit. “

Full video of the session with Andy Jassi and other GeekWire Summit speakers is available on-demand for paying attendees. You can still register as a virtual participant here.

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