Amazon Games San Diego studio head John Smedley is stepping down

John Smedley, the head of Amazon Games’ San Diego studio, is leaving the company.

The former Sony Online Entertainment president has been running one of Amazon’s three game development studios for six years and has worked on several projects, none of which have been released.

“After a lot of thought, I’ve decided it’s time for me to try my hand at something new,” he said in an email to staff, according to Bloomberg.

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Amazon Games principal publishing producer Andrew Sites, who also worked with Smedley at Sony, will step in as San Diego studio head.

“John is a game industry legend, and we’re grateful for his contributions to Amazon Games over the past six years,” an Amazon spokesperson said.

The San Diego team “remains focused on bringing their unannounced project to life” and “John is committed to staying on until the team is fully transitioned before he moves”, they added.

Smedley previously spent 13 years at Sony Online Entertainment (which later became Daybreak Game Company), working on the likes of EverQuest, Star Wars Galaxies, Planetside and H1Z1.

Smedley co-created the influential MMORPG EverQuest

The boss of Amazon Games, Mike Frazzini, stepped down last year. During his tenure the development division he helped create struggled to create big hits despite major investment.

Amazon Games recently announced that it will publish the next Tomb Raider. The multiplatform game from Embracer-owned studio Crystal Dynamics will be built alongside Amazon “from development all the way through publishing”, it said.