Mike Frazzini is an American executive that works at Amazon .com Inc, starting as a manager serving under then-CEO Jeff Bezos before being promoted to the Head of the newly formed Amazon Game Studios.
On January 29, 2021; a Bloomberg investigative article co-written by Jason Schreier and Priya Anand revealed that most of the flops that were published under Amazon Game Studios was due to Frazzini's leadership.
Why He Sucks
- His leadership skills are more business-wise rather than gaming-wise, which has led to a majority of the problems within the studio. This is shown even more so when it was revealed that Frazzini has never had any gaming experience prior to becoming head of Amazon Game Studios.
- Rather than allowing the Studio to license and use 3rd party tools and engines (such as Unreal or Unity), Frazzini wanted to avoid paying out licensing fees and mandated that the Studio use their proprietary Lumberyard engine. The problem with the Lumberyard engine is that it was hastily put together; this made the engine a nightmare to work with, with developers playing video games or watching Amazon Prime Video while the engine compiled the code! (Thankfully, this mandate was loosened when Christoph Hartmann [a former Take Two executive] was hired and brought on the scene).
- Frazzini was extremely arrogant when it came to criticism and had this 'my way or the highway' kind of attitude, most of the time ignoring and brushing off recommendations from those who knew a lot more than him.
- The biggest moment of his arrogance was displayed fully when game developers told him that their upcoming game New World had racist depictions of Native Americans, Frazzini brushed them off and told them that it wasn't racist. Only when a Tribal consultant was brought in and deemed it to be racist did he relent and delay the game to make the necessary changes.
- Time and again, Frazzini has shown that he does not understand gaming technology; the biggest example of this would be when he couldn't tell the difference between actual gameplay and a heavily polished conceptual sequence.
- At one point, Frazzini actually wanted to open up a Twitch storefront in order to both draw gamers away from larger storefronts like Steam and avoid paying said storefronts revenue fees for their games. (Thankfully, heavy resistance from Studio game developers [who compared the storefront idea to not selling a book through Amazon] and outright refusal of cooperation from Twitch shut this idea down.)
- Frazzini has a tendency of chasing trends, with staff reporting that most of the time he reads an article about a trending game/genre, then orders the developers to make something that is similar to that game/genre. The biggest example showing this is Crucible, where the game is a mix of a hero shooter and a battle royale rolled into one.
- Under Frazzini's leadership, Amazon Game Studios is gaining a horrible reputation with the gaming industry and community: with multiple game cancellations and two critical and commercial failures (with both of them being withdrawn from digital storefronts and one of them getting called back into beta before being cancelled outright), it makes it seem less and less likely to the gaming community that Amazon will make a successful game.
The Only Redeeming Quality
- Frazzini (and Amazon Game Studios in general) is the perfect example that having near limitless money and resources alone isn't enough to sustain a gaming endeavor.