Former SOE President John Smedley opens Amazon Games Studio San Diego

John Smedley’s got a new gig! Most recently seen helming startup studio Pixelmage Games, Smed is best known for his long tenure as President of Sony Online Entertainment, creators of Everquest.

Until shutting down near the end of last year, Pixelmage Games were creating a new MMORPG/rogue-like named Hero’s Song. We wrote about the game’s struggles on Kickstarter and eventual alpha release┬ávia Indiegogo at the time.


Amazon Game Studios is a relatively new venture for the megacorporation, having launched in 2014. Just three games have been announced thus far, with all three only being revealed last September at TwitchCon.

Details are a little sketchy on what Smedley will be working on. The press release states his team is already hard at work on something that leverages the power of the AWS Cloud service and their recently acquired streaming service, Twitch. Of the three already announced titles – Breakaway, New World and Crucible – Smed’s expertise in MMOs and sandboxes would suggest New World is where he’ll end up.

It could also be Crucible, given he was responsible for launching H1Z1 at SOE.

Or it could be something as yet unannounced! Whatever the case may be, it’s worth keeping an eye out. John Smedley may be a somewhat divisive figure, but you can’t fault him for trying new ideas.

Along with this hiring announcement, AGS also wanted to let everyone know they’re hiring other people as well! They’re after everyone from code monkeys to artists, producers to livestream techies. If you’re looking for a career in the games industry this may be a good place to start. Check the job listings.

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