Amazon Primed: ‘Spark’ Closure, ‘Amazon Restaurants’ Closure, Amazon Games Woes

PARIS, FRANCE - SEP 28, 2018: Directly above view of New Amazon Cardboard box against yellow background. Amazon Prime is the online paid subscription service offered by web-commerce site

PARIS, FRANCE – SEP 28, 2018: Directly above view of New Amazon Cardboard box against yellow background. Amazon Prime is the online paid subscription service offered by web-commerce site


‘Amazon Primed’ is a short recap of the larger stories that dominated the headlines this week surrounding everyone’s favourite cardboard abuser, Amazon. Subscribe to ‘What Did Amazon Do This Week’ if you want the full, deep look at what Amazon is doing every week, called ‘Obsessive…in the very best way.’ Head over to for more details.

As it became the world’s most valuable brand, Amazon had a week of shutdowns and layoffs, one curiously timed with the massive E3 conference in Los Angeles. Amazon decided to confirm that Amazon Game Studios would reorganise after reports that dozens of game developers were laid off and given 60 days to find new jobs at Amazon.

Amazon Game Studios is reorganizing some of our teams to allow us to prioritize development of New WorldCrucible, and new unannounced projects we’re excited to reveal in the future,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “These moves are the result of regular business planning cycles where we align resources to match evolving, long-range priorities. We’re working closely with all employees affected by these changes to assist them in finding new roles within Amazon. Amazon is deeply committed to games and continues to invest heavily in Amazon Game Studios, Twitch, Twitch Prime, AWS, our retail businesses, and other areas within Amazon.

Kotaku has the full story.

Amazon also announced the shutting of ‘Spark’, the Instagram rival that the company launched in 2017. The service never really took off, had lots of promise but never got the attention it deserved;

Amazon Spark had been a fairly bland service, if truth be told. Unlike on Instagram, where people follow their friend, interests, brands like they like, and people they find engaging or inspiring, Spark was focused on the shopping and the sale. While it tried to mock the Instagram aesthetic at times with fashion inspiration images or highly posed travel photos, it lacked Instagram’s broader appeal. Your friends weren’t there and there weren’t any Instagram Stories, for example. Everything felt too transactional.

Techcrunch has the scoop.

Third to hit the chopping block? Amazon Restaurants, the Uber Eats and Deliveroo competitor the company launched back in 2015 in Seattle will stop delivering on June 24th. Not entirely surprising considering Amazon pumped in $575 million (with others) to Uber Eats competitor Deliveroo only a few weeks ago.

Amazon has dabbled in food delivery ever since launching grocery delivery service AmazonFresh in Seattle more than a decade ago. The company launched a takeout service in 2014 that let customers use the now-defunct Amazon Local app to order food for pick-up. Amazon then began allowing customers to order food via Amazon Local directly from restaurants, who delivered the meals. It’s unclear what, if any, moves are left in Amazon’s restaurant delivery arsenal. The company still delivers groceries from Whole Foods via Prime Now in nearly 100 U.S. markets. The closure of Amazon Restaurants after investing serious time and money in the service is a rare retreat from the e-commerce behemoth.

GeekWire has the story.

Amazon is making smart cuts and learning from the experiments perhaps for future partnerships, acquisitions etc – whatever comes next, the cuts are fast and focused. Amazon already has made five acquisitions in 2019 and has filed more than 50 patents, one thing for sure is that the next bets the company place won’t be like the last. The world is wiser to Amazon and how the company moves and works (e.g. New York/HQ2). Where the juggernaut goes next isn’t always clear but moves to protect the money-makers (AWS/retail/ads) and other crown jewels make sense.