Amazon Game Studios Report Details ‘Bro Culture’ and Cancelled Projects

A new extensive report from Bloomberg has detailed some of the dysfunction and struggles at Amazon Game Studios, which included cancelled projects, a troublesome game engine, mismanagement, and a “bro culture” that allegedly does not give women the same opportunities as men.

The report begins by discussing how Mike Frazzini was brought in to start Amazon Game Studios eight years ago without ever making a game. Since then, Frazzini and Amazon Game Studios have released only two games, and have seen multiple cancelled projects that were attempting to recreate the financial magic of games like Fortnite and League of Legends.

The Grand Tour Game was the first Amazon Game Studios console release, and within a year it was removed from storefronts. Crucible was the next game released from the studio, and not only did it return to closed beta after its official launch, it was shut down in November 2020.

Two other projects, which were known as Intensity and Nova, never saw the light of day after the teams tried and failed to create games inspired by Fortnite and League of Legends, respectively.

[ignvideo url=””]

All of these cancelled and unsuccessful projects at Amazon Game Studios have done so despite Amazon spending nearly $500 million a year operating the game division. It’s also important to note that the amount doesn’t include Twitch or Amazon Luna – the latter of which is under different management.

Frazzini is an “Amazon lifer” who started his career in the books section of where he “endeared himself to Jeff Bezos as a manager there.” He began his role as head of the games division by bringing in some of the best game development talent in the world, including Portal’s Kim Swift, Far Cry 2’s Clint Hawking, Madden’s Richard Hilleman, and Everquest’s John Smedley. Today, only Smedley remains.

According to numerous current and former employees of Frazzini’s game studios, he continuously ignored much of the advice given by these experienced developers, and despite frequently telling the staff that every Amazon game should be a “billion-dollar franchise,” he would then understaff projects.

Furthermore, instead of using industry-leading game engines like Unreal Engine or Unity, the studio opted to license technology from Crytek to create a homemade engine known as Lumberyard.

[ignvideo url=””]

While Lumberyard was meant to integrate with Amazon Web Services and could have been a cheaper alternative than paying for the other engines, it ended up being known as a “boogeyman around the office.” Many cited that it was “painfully slow,” and developers would play Halo or watch Amazon Prime Video as they waited for Lumberyard to process art or compile code. One former employee even went so far as to say, “Lumberyard is killing this company.”

Another big issue with working at Amazon Game Studios is said to be linked to the “bro culture” that has been cultivated there, in which women were often not given the same opportunities as men. Beyond that, “four female game developers said that their worst experiences of sexism in the industry were at Amazon.”

There were stories of them being ignored and undermined by male executives, in some cases being driven out of the company. One source said that not only did a male on the senior leadership team impede her career growth after she disagreed with him, he would then go on to create new management positions above her and hired men to take those positions.

Amazon’s game problems also extend to how they incentivize their employees. While most studios pay bonuses based on the critical and commercial response of a game, Amazon’s stock plan only rewards employees for how long they have been at the company. This has led to some employees choosing to “prioritize job preservation over anything else, say three former employees.”

[widget path=”global/article/imagegallery” parameters=”albumSlug=new-world-screenshots-november-2020&captions=true”]

Amazon Game Studio’s next project is the MMO New World. Originally planned for a 2020 release, it was pushed back to Spring 2021 to improve the quality of the game. Bloomberg’s report explains that the project was originally going to be a survival game where players would take on the role of colonists in a fictional version of 1600s America.

The problem, however, was that the enemies players originally were going to face “looked a lot like indigenous people.” When developers pointed out to Frazzini’s deputy, Patrick Gilmore, that the setting and villains could be considered racist, he “expressed disbelief.”

Amazon did eventually hire a tribal consultant who did find that the portrayal was offensive, and the Native American imagery has since been removed.

Our latest preview of New World’s high-level PvE zone show a game that may not be for everybody, but one that shows promise and a big improvement, in both PvE content and general polish, from the previous build.

[ignvideo url=””]

[poilib element=”accentDivider”]

Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to

Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.

WWE Royal Rumble 2021: Live Coverage, Results, Match Card, And Rumble Entrants

It’s finally time for the greatest PPV of the year, the Royal Rumble. Sorry Wrestlemania, but the Rumble is the most fun WWE event of the year, and you can check out all the winners and losers for every match below as the show streams live.

Taking place in the WWE Thunderdome, Tropicana Field will host the first PPV of 2021, and while fans will only be able to virtually attend the event, they’ll be back in time for this year’s two-night Wrestlemania. The main attraction for tonight’s Royal Rumble are none other than the two battle royal matches, where both 30 men and 30 women will battle for a chance to face the WWE or Women’s Champion of their choice at Wrestlemania.

And if you want to now about some of our predictions, check out the episode of Wrestle Buddies above, where Chris and Mat make picks for the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble matches. Mat chose Alexa Bliss and Jey Uso while Chris picked Alexa Bliss and Daniel Bryan. If you want more details, check out the podcast.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

Daily Deals: Save On Sound Bars, 4K TVs and Snacks

If you missed it yesterday, don’t worry, the Doritos sale is continuing through to today. Along with some tasty snacks, you can save a ton of cash right now by purchasing a Samsung audio setup for your home, and even get a great new 4K TV in the process as well. The perfect setup is only a few clicks away in this edition of Daily Deals.

Daily Deals for January 31th 2021

[poilib element=”commerceDeal” parameters=”slug=daily-deals-january-31-2021″]

Just Released: New Alienware RTX 30 Series Laptops for Preorder

[poilib element=”commerceDeal” parameters=”slug=dell-rtx-30-series-laptops”]

MLB The Show 21 Cover Leak Seemingly Confirms Xbox Version

The cover has allegedly leaked for MLB The Show 21, but this time for both PlayStation 5 and Xbox One, seemingly confirming that the Sony-exclusive baseball game will make its way to other platforms in 2021.

Known leaker ANerdyDad on Instagram shared the covers, which both feature San Diego Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr., and the Xbox version even comes complete with the PlayStation Studios logo, as well.

Another potential leak has made its way to Reddit, showing that there may also be a Jackie Robinson special edition version of MLB The Show 21, which is said to be available on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One. Unfortunately, there is no mention of PC or Nintendo Switch.

The Jackie Robinson Edition leak also reveals that the game is planned to be released on April 20, 2021, with an Early Access Weekend beginning on April 16.

Following these leaks, it has been announced that the official MLB The Show 2021 cover reveal will take place tomorrow, February 1, on Hot Ones. So, it appears we won’t have to wait long to learn the truth.

In 2019, it was confirmed that MLB The Show would be making its way to other platforms as early as 2021, and it appears this just may be the year these great games will be playable by many more people.

[ignvideo url=””]

[poilib element=”accentDivider”]

Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to

Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.

A Glitch in the Matrix Review

A Glitch in the Matrix premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. It opens in select theaters and On Demand on February 5. Our reviewer watched the movie via a digital screener. Read more on IGN’s policy on movie reviews in light of COVID-19 here.

[poilib element=”accentDivider”]

Ever experience déjà vu or clock a peculiar coincidence and think, “What if The Matrix is real? What if all this is a computer simulation?” Well, if so, you’re not alone. Simulation Theory has a lot of believers, including controversial innovator Elon Musk. It might sound like heady stuff, but the curious new documentary A Glitch In The Matrix breaks it all down with energy and aplomb.

Documentarian Rodney Ascher is not new to conspiracy theories, having forged his reputation with Room 237 and The Nightmare. The former doc delivered a riveting deep-dive into fan theories about Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. This included the eyebrow-raising proposal that the frightening film was in fact Kubrick’s coded apology for faking the moon landing. The latter focused on sleep paralysis, exploring its connections to international folklore and even accounts of possession and alien abduction. With A Glitch In The Matrix, Ascher traces Simulation Theory back to Ancient Greek philosophy, through Christian theology, the prophetic science-fiction of Philip K. Dick, and to the Wachowski Sisters’ 1999 epic, The Matrix, which shot this theory into the mainstream.

[ignvideo width=610 height=374 url=]

In talking-head interviews, Ascher allows a batch of believers to recount their first experience watching The Matrix or otherwise questioning reality as we know it. A keystone to his work is an open mind that bestows to his subjects plenty of space and support to unfurl their theories, no matter how unusual. As such, Ascher bolsters these believers by presenting each in interviews as flashy avatars. Stripped away are their human faces and any physical identifiers, replaced by glossy CGI that transforms them into glittery wolves, roly-poly robots, and other outrageous creatures. From there, their recollections are re-enacted with video game-like graphics, illustrating the idea that this world might also be a collection of code and pixels.

Additional flash and cool cache are achieved through flooding the film with footage of a slew of TV shows, video games, and movies that remotely tie into this conversation. To illustrate how a simulation might prioritize processing power, Ascher cuts to the Rick and Morty episode “M. Night Shaym-Aliens!” When explaining that some people are purely NPCs (Non-Player Characters), World of Warcraft footage is wielded. Aside from The Matrix, everything from Star Wars, to Defending Your Life, Minecraft, Avatar, Batman Forever, Total Recall, and Horton Hears A Who are looped in. You could easily make a jolly game of calling out all the clips as they rollick by. However, whether this allusion-heavy approach helps or hurts the argument for Simulation Theory is up for debate. On one hand, such a diversity of representation of these ideas across multi-media might suggest there’s something to it. Or perhaps reality is so overwhelming that mankind is drawn to whatever answer allows us to escape, for better or worse.

Ascher explores the latter in a dark thread about Joshua Cooke and The Matrix Defense, which was deployed after a grisly crime. This horrid story leaves us to ask: What does it mean if nothing around us is real? If we don’t consider those we meet “real” people but simply NPC’s with no inner life or grand purpose? These are just a few of the many questions A Glitch In The Matrix poses, and Ascher has no apparent interest in answering them. Perhaps that’s why neither Lana nor Lilly Wachowski is interviewed in a doc that pulls intensely from their filmography. Maybe that’s why Ascher shields us from the unfiltered identities of his Simulation Theory believers. These interviewees offer details about their lives, including their jobs and religious background. Yet details that might be plucked from their appearance (like race, age, and gender) are left a mystery, leaving us unable to judge how to factor this into their experiences and worldview. So, we are left to wonder.

[widget path=”global/article/imagegallery” parameters=”albumSlug=best-virtual-reality-adventure-movies&captions=true”]