Smed’s new Amazon studio is basically Pixelmage Games

    
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Amazon Game Studios announced yesterday that it had picked up MMORPG genre veteran John Smedley to helm one of its up-and-coming online game studios. Today, it published a blog post with a photograph of the team, which appears to show that Smed brought along with him several familiar faces from Pixelmage Games. Well, more than several — it looks like the bulk of the team, minus some of the artists and AI expert Dave Mark.

Shown in the photograph is Smed (hiding in the back!), along with Scott Maxwell, Steve Freitas, Andy Skirvin minus a beard (nice try, Skirvin, but we’re canny), Michael Hunley, Jay Beard, Bill Trost, Toby Brousil (pretty sure), Matt McDonald, Jim Buck, Steve George, Paul Carrico, and Michelle Butler. Which is almost all of ’em. No need to worry about whether those guys landed on their feet after their studio folded seven weeks ago– Smed’s new Amazon studio is basically Pixelmage Games, though to be fair, we don’t know what its name is or the particulars of the game it’s working on.

Amazon rather breathlessly told gamers that Smed and his new team are “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.”

Hero’s Song and Pixelmage Games closed down in late December following a canceled Kickstarter, a small Indieogo, and apparently poor early access sales on Steam. Players were refunded for their purchases and donations. Smed himself, of course, is well known for his nearly-20-year reign at SOE and then Daybreak, which he famously departed in 2015.

Source: AGS
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Raimo Kangasniemi

I get the feeling that Hero’s Song might have lived if this new project wouldn’t have been in horizon. Good luck for them, at least now they should have good resources.

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socontrariwise

So a team decides to make a game nobody wants to fund really – and then Amazon decides that is a great moment to hire them…?

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Neurotic

Love the man, love the team. Ahead, Warp Factor 10!

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Jeff

I honestly have more faith in Smed than I do Amazon studios.

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deekay_plus

smed wastes other people’s money the movie part 3: amazon has money to burn.

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Kevin McCaughey

Smed is nothing if not a “climber”. Let’s see how far up the greasy pole of Amazon he gets.

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J

So I have to ask. Did the latest game get killed off so he could go work for Amazon? Either way, I am always extremely cautious with his games. To much PTSD from the SOE era.

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Kevin McCaughey

It’s hard not to gravitate toward that conclusion given this latest revelation. Maybe they thought “This isn’t going well…”, Amazon offered to pay for the refunds if they came over and Smed said “Yeehaa Horsey!” I suspect this is the case, but we will never know.

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Alien Legion

#NeverSmed

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mcsleaz

They should hire Derek Smart too, lol :)

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ogged451

or Paul Barnett ?

Siphaed
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Siphaed

So Amazon is investing in a company that failed to spark consumer interest not once, but TWICE? I get that Amazon has strongholds in West Coast, but just because smoking weed over there is legal, doesn’t mean that they should be doing it all the time! Seriously, I know what they’re smoking because this bad decision making just writes it on the wall. Unbelievable!

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rafael12104