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New Report Details Mismanagement And More Behind The Scenes At Amazon Games Studios | MMORPG.com

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  • MendelMendel Member EpicPosts: 4,606
    Scot said:
    "The leader of Amazon's games division, Mike Frazzini, seems to be central to all of this, including reports that the division head frustrates game developers working under him for simply not having a basic understanding of differences between gameplay and concept footage."

    That's where gaming is today in many AAA companies, CD Project is not alone, a disconnect between those making the game and those running the company. Gaming is an entertainment business, when you look at the heads of Hollywood studios you see people who have been in that area for years.

    Gaming on the other hand gets people like Mr Frazzini, who was never previously involved in the development of a game and headed Amazon's book store. I mentioned recently that EA only has one director with any gaming experience, is anyone surprised gaming consequently stumbles now and then?

    I notice you're the only one to comment so far on the 'understanding the differences between game play and concept footage' quote.  In addition to your comments about experience in the gaming field, I'll toss out that failing to distinguish game play and concept footage seems to have been rampant for some time now.  I wonder if Frazzini simply called BS on some concept movies and asked where is the game play footage.  That might fly in the face of some development professionals,  enough maybe to foster a slew of employees who may have been used to that in other situations.

    If that's the case, then it might be a breath of fresh air -- deliverables over potential.



    Scot

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 15,884
    Horusra said:
     As soon as a show does not cut a profit they end it.  Expanse is an example.  
    I'm not sure the expanse cut is based on viewership numbers in part or at all. If you've read the books you know that after Babylon's Ashes, which is the book Season 6 is based on, there is a natural break in the narrative.

    The book after that, Persepolis Rising takes place about 30 years after the end of the previous book and the subject matter changes dramatically away from being about the Sol system.

    Books 7, 8 and the yet to be released 9 are almost like a separate trilogy set in the same universe but separate from the first 6 books.  The whole Earth v. Mars v. Belter thing is over and done with beginning with book 7.

    And then there's the internal production drama that led them to cut ties with the actor playing Alex who will either be replaced or killed off for season 6.

    Streaming services don't release viewer numbers so no one has any idea if the numbers have gone down or if the cut is happening for either or both of the reasons I mentioned or some other reason altogether.
    tzervoNyctelios
    "I don't wait for games. Games wait for me."
    -- CHUCK NORRIS

    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

  • HorusraHorusra Member EpicPosts: 4,403
    Horusra said:
    Horusra said:
    Iselin said:
    Make a guy with zero experience making games the head of the games division... what could possibly go wrong?
    Probably less than having guys with experience making games but no experience running a company the head of it.   See Crowdfunded MMORPG record for evidence.

    But that's setting the bar low... I agree.

    With Amazon's resources I'm not sure how they didn't just nab the cream of the crop...
    Amazon in their TV and movie production is known for being very stingy with cash and quick to cancel if no profit.  They pay some of the lowest for production teams.
    Stingy with cash?  They bought the Lord of the Rings TV rights for $250M and have a 5 season commitment of at least $1B...

    We have different definitions of stingy I guess.

    You pick one thing that Bezo's says better be the next Game of Thrones and bring in subs or it is gone.  Also to even get the IP you got to pay big.  That is suppose to be the headline show for Amazon Prime.  Also the 5 season commitment has a lot of conditions on it, including viewership and production within 2 years.  As soon as a show does not cut a profit they end it.  Expanse is an example.  
    So you are saying that spending over $10M an Episode for TV shows like Goliath, Man in the High Castle, The Boys, etc... is "stingy"?

    As for The Expanse... they picked it up and gave it a Season 4, 5 and eventually 6...

    We seriously have very different definitions of stingy

    Paying for rights, props, effects is a lot different than paying for production staff.  They like to get directors, show runners, and writers on the cheap.
    Gdemami
  • HorusraHorusra Member EpicPosts: 4,403
    Iselin said:
    Horusra said:
     As soon as a show does not cut a profit they end it.  Expanse is an example.  
    I'm not sure the expanse cut is based on viewership numbers in part or at all. If you've read the books you know that after Babylon's Ashes, which is the book Season 6 is based on, there is a natural break in the narrative.

    The book after that, Persepolis Rising takes place about 30 years after the end of the previous book and the subject matter changes dramatically away from being about the Sol system.

    Books 7, 8 and the yet to be released 9 are almost like a separate trilogy set in the same universe but separate from the first 6 books.  The whole Earth v. Mars v. Belter thing is over and done with beginning with book 7.

    And then there's the internal production drama that led them to cut ties with the actor playing Alex who will either be replaced or killed off for season 6.

    Streaming services don't release viewer numbers so no one has any idea if the numbers have gone down or if the cut is happening for either or both of the reasons I mentioned or some other reason altogether.
    If it was doing well in the internal numbers it would not be shortened to just one more season.  There is a lot there to work with that could have kept the series going longer instead of jamming stuff together.  I
    Gdemami
  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 15,630
    edited February 1
    Mendel said:
    Scot said:
    "The leader of Amazon's games division, Mike Frazzini, seems to be central to all of this, including reports that the division head frustrates game developers working under him for simply not having a basic understanding of differences between gameplay and concept footage."

    That's where gaming is today in many AAA companies, CD Project is not alone, a disconnect between those making the game and those running the company. Gaming is an entertainment business, when you look at the heads of Hollywood studios you see people who have been in that area for years.

    Gaming on the other hand gets people like Mr Frazzini, who was never previously involved in the development of a game and headed Amazon's book store. I mentioned recently that EA only has one director with any gaming experience, is anyone surprised gaming consequently stumbles now and then?

    I notice you're the only one to comment so far on the 'understanding the differences between game play and concept footage' quote.  In addition to your comments about experience in the gaming field, I'll toss out that failing to distinguish game play and concept footage seems to have been rampant for some time now.  I wonder if Frazzini simply called BS on some concept movies and asked where is the game play footage.  That might fly in the face of some development professionals,  enough maybe to foster a slew of employees who may have been used to that in other situations.

    If that's the case, then it might be a breath of fresh air -- deliverables over potential.
    I can see that's a possibility but we have seen this so often before, people who have business credentials but no background in the gaming industry put in charge of huge projects or even being drafted in as the CEO of the company.

    In eight years they have produced some apple store games (no idea how well they did) and two console/Windows games. Those two games got a combined Metacritic score of 54 out of 100. So I don't see what he is doing so far that has shown delivered potential.

    As to New World we saw how that game changed its horse mid-stream, still I recon its the best hope we have had for a decent MMO coming out in the last few years.
    MendelGdemami
  • tzervotzervo Member EpicPosts: 1,632
    Iselin said:  

    And then there's the internal production drama that led them to cut ties with the actor playing Alex who will either be replaced or killed off for season 6.
    Noooooooo.... :(
    Iselin
  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 15,630
    Iselin said:
    Horusra said:
     As soon as a show does not cut a profit they end it.  Expanse is an example.  
    I'm not sure the expanse cut is based on viewership numbers in part or at all. If you've read the books you know that after Babylon's Ashes, which is the book Season 6 is based on, there is a natural break in the narrative.

    The book after that, Persepolis Rising takes place about 30 years after the end of the previous book and the subject matter changes dramatically away from being about the Sol system.

    Books 7, 8 and the yet to be released 9 are almost like a separate trilogy set in the same universe but separate from the first 6 books.  The whole Earth v. Mars v. Belter thing is over and done with beginning with book 7.

    And then there's the internal production drama that led them to cut ties with the actor playing Alex who will either be replaced or killed off for season 6.

    Streaming services don't release viewer numbers so no one has any idea if the numbers have gone down or if the cut is happening for either or both of the reasons I mentioned or some other reason altogether.
    Looks like they have not even decided to use another actor instead, which does surprise me this being a SF series where a change of face it easy to techno babble away.
    Gdemami
  • mgilbrtsnmgilbrtsn Member EpicPosts: 3,431
    Lol, story after story have almost no posts.  A negative story comes out and they need to hire additional moderators to keep up with the feedback.  A sad commentary on the gaming community.  Our worst enemy is us.

    It's a sad story if accurate, and I hope they get their house in order because I am looking forward to new world.

    I self identify as a monkey.

  • UngoodUngood Member LegendaryPosts: 6,016
    BruceYee said:
     They would've been better off hiring people on this site, give them some funds and let them roll with their ideas. I'm sure whatever game delete would come up with that would be kinda/sorta like vanilla WoW would've been better than anything these fraudsters could even imagine at 1/40th of the cost.
    LOL yah. I have to agree with this.

    I mean losing 2 billion trying to make their own game was just pitiful.

    Makes me wonder why they didn't just back games like Pantheon, or Camelot Unchained, or some of the other games that were looking for publishers/backers.

    I mean for a 2 billion loss, with nothing to really show for it, is just pitiful.

    They would have been better off buying some small Studio like Standing Stone Games, and dump several million into remaking their old games likes, Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online, which would give Amazon two of the best known fantasy IP's ever to exist.

    Amazon could then run with those IP's for years going forward as opposed to trying to set their own brand of MMO.

    I am sure many of us, if Amazon offered us, say 50 Million to make our dream game, we would find a way to make it happen, or at the very least.. find a way to make something happen.
    Gdemami
    Egotism is the anesthetic that dullens the pain of stupidity, this is why when I try to beat my head against the stupidity of other people, I only hurt myself.
  • MendelMendel Member EpicPosts: 4,606
    Ungood said:
    BruceYee said:
     They would've been better off hiring people on this site, give them some funds and let them roll with their ideas. I'm sure whatever game delete would come up with that would be kinda/sorta like vanilla WoW would've been better than anything these fraudsters could even imagine at 1/40th of the cost.
    LOL yah. I have to agree with this.

    I mean losing 2 billion trying to make their own game was just pitiful.

    Makes me wonder why they didn't just back games like Pantheon, or Camelot Unchained, or some of the other games that were looking for publishers/backers.

    I mean for a 2 billion loss, with nothing to really show for it, is just pitiful.

    They would have been better off buying some small Studio like Standing Stone Games, and dump several million into remaking their old games likes, Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online, which would give Amazon two of the best known fantasy IP's ever to exist.

    Amazon could then run with those IP's for years going forward as opposed to trying to set their own brand of MMO.

    I am sure many of us, if Amazon offered us, say 50 Million to make our dream game, we would find a way to make it happen, or at the very least.. find a way to make something happen.

    I was going to say, 'I could lose 2 billion for you for only $372,000'.  I can definitely promise to deliver, too.  It may be in the way of epic staff lunches, but I can deliver.



    Ungood

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 13,815
    Mendel said:
    Ungood said:
    BruceYee said:
     They would've been better off hiring people on this site, give them some funds and let them roll with their ideas. I'm sure whatever game delete would come up with that would be kinda/sorta like vanilla WoW would've been better than anything these fraudsters could even imagine at 1/40th of the cost.
    LOL yah. I have to agree with this.

    I mean losing 2 billion trying to make their own game was just pitiful.

    Makes me wonder why they didn't just back games like Pantheon, or Camelot Unchained, or some of the other games that were looking for publishers/backers.

    I mean for a 2 billion loss, with nothing to really show for it, is just pitiful.

    They would have been better off buying some small Studio like Standing Stone Games, and dump several million into remaking their old games likes, Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online, which would give Amazon two of the best known fantasy IP's ever to exist.

    Amazon could then run with those IP's for years going forward as opposed to trying to set their own brand of MMO.

    I am sure many of us, if Amazon offered us, say 50 Million to make our dream game, we would find a way to make it happen, or at the very least.. find a way to make something happen.

    I was going to say, 'I could lose 2 billion for you for only $372,000'.  I can definitely promise to deliver, too.  It may be in the way of epic staff lunches, but I can deliver.



    Fuck that. Give me $2B so I can buy Gamestop!
    :)

    Mendel

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

    "Oddly Slap is the main reason I stay in these forums." - Mystichaze April 9th 2018

  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Member LegendaryPosts: 9,451
    Shows that just because you have money and experienced devs, if you dont have management with a vision and direction. Its unlikely you will get a game worth playing. Shocking New World has made it as far as it has.
    UngoodGdemami
  • UngoodUngood Member LegendaryPosts: 6,016
    Nanfoodle said:
    Shows that just because you have money and experienced devs, if you dont have management with a vision and direction. Its unlikely you will get a game worth playing. Shocking New World has made it as far as it has.
    Personally I am more shocked that Amazon, a trillion dollar company does not have access to solid good management. 

    I mean, of all things that I would look at, and go WTF went wrong here, a Company like Amazon, not having good Management or being able to find people that can set plans and push a product out, is really high up on the list things I never expected.

    I mean, legit, their total incompetency in development was truly shining, when the Devs talked about how the game was going to be open world pvp, faction vs faction, total war hard core kind of game, and then after like a short time later they responded like Gomer Pile going "Gosh golly shazam, people are ganking and body camping, who would have thunk it !?!" I knew the game was going to be a train wreck after that.

    But to be fair, that was not a management problem, that was a compnay hiring a bunch of "professionals" to build a product, and they had no idea what they were doing. I think that might be why they have moved on to Monkeys in MMO's, maybe they have given up on asking to humans to build a virtual world that makes sense.
    NanfoodleGdemami
    Egotism is the anesthetic that dullens the pain of stupidity, this is why when I try to beat my head against the stupidity of other people, I only hurt myself.
  • IselinIselin Member LegendaryPosts: 15,884
    tzervo said:
    Iselin said:  

    And then there's the internal production drama that led them to cut ties with the actor playing Alex who will either be replaced or killed off for season 6.
    Noooooooo.... :(
    Yeah I liked him too. But apparently he has issues with.... personal boundaries.
    Ungoodtzervo
    "I don't wait for games. Games wait for me."
    -- CHUCK NORRIS

    “Microtransactions? In a single player role-playing game? Are you nuts?” 
    ― CD PROJEKT RED

  • NycteliosNyctelios Member EpicPosts: 4,180
    Iselin said:
    tzervo said:
    Iselin said:  

    And then there's the internal production drama that led them to cut ties with the actor playing Alex who will either be replaced or killed off for season 6.
    Noooooooo.... :(
    Yeah I liked him too. But apparently he has issues with.... personal boundaries.
    Meh... As long Amos is on the show I'm watching
    tzervo
    Discord ID: Night # 6102
    Current playing: 
    Guilty Gear - Strive | Pillars of Eternity

    "There is a fine line between consideration and hesitation. The former is wisdom, the latter is fear." Izaro Phrecius, Holy Emperor of the Eternal Empire, Last of Royal Phrecius Family.
  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Member LegendaryPosts: 9,451
    Ungood said:
    Nanfoodle said:
    Shows that just because you have money and experienced devs, if you dont have management with a vision and direction. Its unlikely you will get a game worth playing. Shocking New World has made it as far as it has.
    Personally I am more shocked that Amazon, a trillion dollar company does not have access to solid good management. 

    I mean, of all things that I would look at, and go WTF went wrong here, a Company like Amazon, not having good Management or being able to find people that can set plans and push a product out, is really high up on the list things I never expected.

    I mean, legit, their total incompetency in development was truly shining, when the Devs talked about how the game was going to be open world pvp, faction vs faction, total war hard core kind of game, and then after like a short time later they responded like Gomer Pile going "Gosh golly shazam, people are ganking and body camping, who would have thunk it !?!" I knew the game was going to be a train wreck after that.

    But to be fair, that was not a management problem, that was a compnay hiring a bunch of "professionals" to build a product, and they had no idea what they were doing. I think that might be why they have moved on to Monkeys in MMO's, maybe they have given up on asking to humans to build a virtual world that makes sense.
    How so they find a good management team with a vision? Best way would to buy a dev team that has one. Chucking a bunch of big names together and hope they come up with a new vision. All Amazon needs to hope something comes together.

    Amazon is in such a rush to make a hit they forgot creative teams need time to gell. This is art, not building milk crates. 
    UngoodTwistedSister77tzervoGdemami
  • cheyanecheyane Member LegendaryPosts: 8,028
    edited February 1
    Nyctelios said:
    Iselin said:
    tzervo said:
    Iselin said:  

    And then there's the internal production drama that led them to cut ties with the actor playing Alex who will either be replaced or killed off for season 6.
    Noooooooo.... :(
    Yeah I liked him too. But apparently he has issues with.... personal boundaries.
    Meh... As long Amos is on the show I'm watching
    They cannot kill him off. He is pretty important in the books. If they intend to do all 9 of them. Well the last one should be out this year. I've read till Tiamat's Wrath and they will replace him. What they did though in previous books is amalgamate a character like Bull into Drummer. Michio Pa too.

    Also Amazon rescued "The Expanse" SyFy cut it after season 3 , we have season 4 and 5 thanks to Amazon. They must do Babylon's Ashes damn my favourite books were Nemesis Games and Babylon's Ashes.
    Ungoodtzervo
    Chamber of Chains
  • UngoodUngood Member LegendaryPosts: 6,016
    Nanfoodle said:
    Ungood said:
    Nanfoodle said:
    Shows that just because you have money and experienced devs, if you dont have management with a vision and direction. Its unlikely you will get a game worth playing. Shocking New World has made it as far as it has.
    Personally I am more shocked that Amazon, a trillion dollar company does not have access to solid good management. 

    I mean, of all things that I would look at, and go WTF went wrong here, a Company like Amazon, not having good Management or being able to find people that can set plans and push a product out, is really high up on the list things I never expected.

    I mean, legit, their total incompetency in development was truly shining, when the Devs talked about how the game was going to be open world pvp, faction vs faction, total war hard core kind of game, and then after like a short time later they responded like Gomer Pile going "Gosh golly shazam, people are ganking and body camping, who would have thunk it !?!" I knew the game was going to be a train wreck after that.

    But to be fair, that was not a management problem, that was a compnay hiring a bunch of "professionals" to build a product, and they had no idea what they were doing. I think that might be why they have moved on to Monkeys in MMO's, maybe they have given up on asking to humans to build a virtual world that makes sense.
    How so they find a good management team with a vision? Best way would to buy a dev team that has one. Chucking a bunch of big names together and hope they come up with a new vision. All Amazon needs to hope something comes together.

    Amazon is in such a rush to make a hit they forgot creative teams need time to gell. This is art, not building milk crates. 
    Yah.

    I mean for 2 billion, they could have just bought and funded any indie company out there currently trying to make an MMO, set down some hard set demands on release, had their MMO done years ago, depending on the studio, they could have had a big name to slap on the label to boot, and been a major player.

    Instead they made a joke of themselves. 
    TwistedSister77Gdemami
    Egotism is the anesthetic that dullens the pain of stupidity, this is why when I try to beat my head against the stupidity of other people, I only hurt myself.
  • TwistedSister77TwistedSister77 Member RarePosts: 839
    edited February 2
    I posted several times that Amazon Studios is in deep disarray.  I wish I knew how to link my old post as text.  I've worked with Bezos leadership team, and Bezos on top projects.  You simply don't understand the culture.  I cannot go more into it.  Of course I was flamed a bit.

    They really should have acquired a major studio, and I thought they were about to... but Microsoft grabbed Besheda... which would have been a perfect fit (for Middle Earth MMO and other games).

    The Washington Redskins for years hired hall of fame/ Probowlers veteran free agents past their prime for big contracts... and never made a run at the superbowl.  


    UngoodGdemami
  • AsheramAsheram Member EpicPosts: 4,923
    Horusra said:
    Iselin said:
    Make a guy with zero experience making games the head of the games division... what could possibly go wrong?
    Probably less than having guys with experience making games but no experience running a company the head of it.   See Crowdfunded MMORPG record for evidence.

    But that's setting the bar low... I agree.

    With Amazon's resources I'm not sure how they didn't just nab the cream of the crop...
    Amazon in their TV and movie production is known for being very stingy with cash and quick to cancel if no profit.  They pay some of the lowest for production teams.
    I really enjoyed Blade of the Immortal anime redo they did, but I heard they shoved everything into 1 season because they weren't sure if it would be popular enough for a 2nd one, why it really felt rushed.
    Ungood
  • tzervotzervo Member EpicPosts: 1,632
    Nyctelios said:
    Meh... As long Amos is on the show I'm watching
    Heh yeah. Was the same in Game of Thrones, I used to say: "If they kill off Tyrion, I'm stopping."
  • kjempffkjempff Member RarePosts: 1,690

    remsleep said:



    Totally had a feeling that lumber yard was a problem after trying star citizen.



    I know a dev who's been working on the lumberyard team for about 5 years now - even he says it's a dumpster fire.



    Worse than Unity3D?
    Gdemami
  • NycteliosNyctelios Member EpicPosts: 4,180
    cheyane said:
    Nyctelios said:
    Iselin said:
    tzervo said:
    Iselin said:  

    And then there's the internal production drama that led them to cut ties with the actor playing Alex who will either be replaced or killed off for season 6.
    Noooooooo.... :(
    Yeah I liked him too. But apparently he has issues with.... personal boundaries.
    Meh... As long Amos is on the show I'm watching
    They cannot kill him off. He is pretty important in the books. If they intend to do all 9 of them. Well the last one should be out this year. I've read till Tiamat's Wrath and they will replace him. What they did though in previous books is amalgamate a character like Bull into Drummer. Michio Pa too.

    Also Amazon rescued "The Expanse" SyFy cut it after season 3 , we have season 4 and 5 thanks to Amazon. They must do Babylon's Ashes damn my favourite books were Nemesis Games and Babylon's Ashes.
    Nope. The series will end on 6th season. It's already announced
    Ungoodtzervo
    Discord ID: Night # 6102
    Current playing: 
    Guilty Gear - Strive | Pillars of Eternity

    "There is a fine line between consideration and hesitation. The former is wisdom, the latter is fear." Izaro Phrecius, Holy Emperor of the Eternal Empire, Last of Royal Phrecius Family.
  • UngoodUngood Member LegendaryPosts: 6,016
    They really should have acquired a major studio, and I thought they were about to... but Microsoft grabbed Besheda... which would have been a perfect fit (for Middle Earth MMO and other games).

    Totally agree with you here, they could not have possibly have done any worse than they already have buying an Indie studio and just funded their game, and I mean, legit, they could not have done worse even if they bought a massive train wreck like, Soulbound.
    Gdemami
    Egotism is the anesthetic that dullens the pain of stupidity, this is why when I try to beat my head against the stupidity of other people, I only hurt myself.
  • UngoodUngood Member LegendaryPosts: 6,016
    tzervo said:
    Nyctelios said:
    Meh... As long Amos is on the show I'm watching
    Heh yeah. Was the same in Game of Thrones, I used to say: "If they kill off Tyrion, I'm stopping."
    If Daryl dies, we riot! 
    Egotism is the anesthetic that dullens the pain of stupidity, this is why when I try to beat my head against the stupidity of other people, I only hurt myself.
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