Guild Wars 2 lead designer jumps from ArenaNet airship, lands at Amazon Game Studios

Guild Wars 2

Something amazing is going to emerge from under the bright orange auspices of Amazon Game Studios, I’m sure of it. But so far we’ve only really heard from those who’ve left the engine room and never returned: Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory and Far Cry 2 lead Clint Hocking, Crystal Dynamics vet Jonathan Hamel, and Microsoft narrative designer / Halo novelist Eric Nylund.

This news is more positive: After years spent watching the mad scientists of the Asura, Guild Wars 2 lead Eric Flannum has left ArenaNet to engineer his own wild project at Amazon. He’s working there as a creative director - quite possibly on Amazon’s rumoured third-person, competitive, melee-oriented PC game that aims to incorporate Twitch in some fashion.

Amazon’s first PC game will pull together Twitch, the Amazon Web Services cloud and technical innovation in such a way as to “radically evolve gameplay”, they say.

“We believe that games have just scratched the surface in their power to unite players and will produce some of the future’s most influential voices in media and art,” they wrote in a recent job listing.

The dev team includes veterans of WoW, BioShock and Portal - the latter most likely Kim Swift. Flannum worked at ArenaNet for over a decade. What would you like to see him achieve at Amazon?

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AnAuldWolf avatar
AnAuldWolf Avatar
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1 Year ago

I'm entirely aware of what you mean, here. They keep grabbing 'names.' Not merely names, but names that I might actually care about, those who've had involvement in the creation of unusual games, or the aspects of okay games that were unusual.

They're not putting together a mainstream army to drop the lowest common denominator bomb on us in order to make the greatest profits. The entities they're scooping up aren't a good fit for that at all, so they're up to something else...

And I really, really would like to know what! They've been quite tight-lipped, though. And the passable giblets they've pumped out of their entertainment tubes thus far have been all right, though nothing spectacular, I just feel that those aren't what these people are working on.

It's a giant bloody secret that I want in on. Or it's building up to be a gigantic disappointment to us all! Maybe even a little of columns A and B, and it's exciting to find out which of these it'll actually be. Even if it's nothing but hot air, it's fun to speculate.

The only thorn in all of this is all that's been said of how toxic a place to work Amazon is, which adds the burden of worry as I wouldn't want Kim Swift going grey early and losing her passion for video games.

Swift gave us Portal, so I'll always be indebted to her and hers. Only right that I worry.

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