John Smedley to Lead Amazon's New Project
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John Smedley to Lead Amazon's New Project
16 February, 2017
Amazon Game Studios announced the launch of a new outfit in San Diego, which will be lead by none other than John Smedley, the former Sony Online Entertainment and Daybreak CEO. The man who helped define the modern MMO, will work on a brand-new project.  

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.


Amazon and Smedley are not yet ready to share the details on the project yet, but they have plans on doing big things in gaming with one of the big things being Amazon’s Twitch.  

[Twitch] opens up entirely new types of games where the Twitch viewers are actually participants in the game itself in a lot of different ways.

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.

John Smedley

Smedley contributed to the evolution of MMO, witnessing so many changes over the years. Players’ expectations, MMO content, gameplay mechanics – all these things evolved. We are excited to see the next step of evolution, which could be taken by Amazon and Smedley. 

I think we’re seeing the evolution of the MMO into a lot of different forms. I look at Destiny and I think it’s an amazing MMO, but it’s nothing like WoW. I think we’re also seeing the realization that content is incredibly time consuming to make, and keeping up with the players is a difficult thing to do.

For someone trying to make a WoW-MMO they have to deal with 12 years of content. That’s going to mean a focus on more player-owned systems and games that are more open ended (Day Z or H1Z1 are great examples of this) where other players are the content. We’ll still see great MMOs, we’re just going to see them evolve from what they are now.

John Smedley 

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