Amazon CEO designate Andy Jassy seeks larger play in video games market

Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy
(Image credit: Amazon Web Services)

Barely a day after Jeff Bezos announced his plans to step down as CEO of Amazon, an email from his successor Andy Jassy has surfaced wherein he commits himself to growing the company's video games business. The message assumes importance as it comes in the wake of Google's decision to shut down its games development arm.

The email, sent by Jassy to Amazon staff notes that while some businesses take off in the first year, others may take many years. "Though we haven't consistently succeeded yet in AGS (Amazon Games studios), I believe we will if we hang in there," he says in the note, which is seen as an approval for AGS boss Mike Frazzini. 

The email was quoted by 9to5Google, which suggests that Amazon's decision to go full steam with video games, appears to indicate that it doesn't feels that markets for gaming was on the upswing. The company seems set to do the hard yards when it comes to game development, especially since it has AWS to host its offerings. 

Meanwhile, a report by Bloomberg quotes unnamed sources to suggest that Jassy's email was in response to another one sent by Frazzini to his team, where he sought to address questions around the work culture at AGS that matters related to women feeling alienated and leaving the company. 

Amazon had stepped into the lucrative video game business in 2012 on the back of support from Jeff Bezos. Since then, it has spent billions of dollars into development of games, though none rose to capture the gaming industry's imagination. Its latest offering Crucible - The New World was slated for a 2020 launch, but got delayed. 

The company currently owns game development studios at three locations, viz., San Diego, Seattle and Orange County and it would be worth watching whether Amazon decides to expand its development canvas to newer geographies such as India. 

In the email, Jassy says says being successful right away would be less stressful, but succeeding over a longer time is actually sweeter. He gave a thumbs-up to the team by saying that they would eventually get where they want to by staying focuses on what matters most.

Impact on the Indian operations

While on the topic of Amazon's India operations, Jassy would have his hands full as he chalks out a growth path that focuses on newer market segments such as food delivery, education and healthcare. 

However, he would require to tread cautiously on the eCommerce business where competition from home-grown giants such as Reliance's JioMart would add to the already existing pressure from the likes of the Walmart-owned Flipkart. Both these giants are flush with funds and are eyeing offline sales strategies. 

There is also the added pressure of a legal battle that Amazon is facing with Future Group over their Rs.24,713 crore asset sale to Reliance Industries, which owns and operates JioMart.  While a court ruled in favour of Amazon on the right to sale, the owners of Future Group has already sought a review of the order. 

However, Amazon Web Services, which was the brainchild of Andy Jassy from the early inception stage, is sitting pretty in India. The company is reportedly setting up its second data centre in the country over hopes that companies, irrespective of their size, would be seeking digital transformation in the near future. 

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Raj Narayan

A media veteran who turned a gadget lover fairly recently. An early adopter of Apple products, Raj has an insatiable curiosity for facts and figures which he puts to use in research. He engages in active sport and retreats to his farm during his spare time.