Smedley Sets Up Shop in San Diego
By Kira Nance On 22 Feb, 2017 At 11:05 PM | Categorized As Conventions, PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

The creative genius of John Smedley has found a new place to call home. Amazon Game Studio (AGS) announced the addition of a San Diego studio headed by none other than EverQuest co-creator John Smedley. AGS enthusiastically stated

“John’s pioneering work helped define the modern MMO, and his influence can be felt in thousands of games that followed. He helped create the blueprint for fusing massive game worlds with vibrant player communities, a vision that we share at Amazon Game Studios. That’s why we’re excited John has joined Amazon Games Studios to lead this new team.”

Smedley certainly does bring a wealth of experience to the growing company, as well as an incredible passion for game development. In 1988, after only two years attending San Diego State University, Smedley dropped out of college. “I was having too much fun making games” Smedley writes on his LinkedIn page. John Smedley spent well over a decade as the president of Sony Online Entertainment (EverQuest, PlanetSide, DC Universe Online), before overseeing the shift of SOE into Daybreak Game Company in 2015. Battling an extreme case of online harassment Smedley would leave Daybreak later that year. A mere three months after this departure Smedley announced the launch of Pixelmage Games, an indie studio that would close shorty after its first birthday.

AGS has quickly capitalized on this failed opportunity, gaining not only Smedley but a few familiar faces from the Pixelmage team as well. There has been no information regarding what project we will see from Smedley and his team first but AGS assures us they’ve got their noses to the grindstone,

“His team is already hard at work on an ambitious new project that taps into the power of the AWS Cloud and Twitch to connect players around the globe in a thrilling new game world.

From the high-fantasy role playing of EverQuest, to the intense FPS action of Planetside, and the brutal survival sandbox of H1Z1, John is no stranger to bucking trends and creating unforgettable games. It’s early days, but we can’t wait to see what John and his team create, and share it with you.” 

In an email interview with Smedley voiced his eagerness “to do really big and ambitious games that just wouldn’t be possible without the amazing backend of AWS that’s easy to access thanks to Amazon Lumberyard.” Smedley also praised the utilization of Twitch, stressing the importance of connecting players and developers to truly better the industry.

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