John Smedley, formerly of Sony Online Entertainment and Daybreak, is perhaps best known for his work on EverQuest and Planetside, so with a background in MMOs, you'd expect something massive from Smedley's team. Honestly just with his name attached, we were going to start keeping an eye out for a massive online game to come out of the San Diego office of Amazon Games in the future. And then we read Amazon's statement on the pick, which absolutely confirms that hunch. I do love it when they do that for us, don't you?
The statement from Amazon announcing the nomination explains their decision by pointing out that Smedley "helped create the blueprint for fusing massive game worlds with vibrant player comunities, a vision we share." The release goes on to say that "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 thilling new game world."
Amazon has yet to announce any specifics about the studio – we don't even know its name. They've also not told us much about the game other than the fact that it will be an MMO and will use Twitch to help connect players.
In an interview about the position with GamesIndustry.biz Smedley raved about Twitch saying, "Twitch has been a seismic shift in the gaming industry. It's changed every aspect from how we market the games (Twitch dominates this now) to how we think about interactions between people watching streams and people playing the games." Which is somewhat undeniable fact and only goes to show that Amazon's probably got the right man in charge for this.