(Bloomberg) -- Mike Frazzini, a longtime Amazon.com Inc. employee who helped start Amazon Game Studios, is stepping down. The executive told staff Friday he was leaving to focus on his family, said Amazon spokesman Ryan Jones.

Amazon Game Studios was an expensive endeavor for the e-commerce giant, costing hundreds of millions of dollars a year, but for years failed to produce hit games. Frazzini, who previously worked in the books section of Amazon, was a relative game novice when he became head of the division. Some employees had criticized him for veering too far from game-making’s traditional playbook, Bloomberg reported last year.

The company did have a breakout hit this fall, with its release of online PC game New World. At a conference soon after the game's release, Amazon Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy said that gaming could become the company’s largest entertainment category. Following New World's warm reception, former Amazon boss Jeff Bezos tweeted: “After many failures and setbacks in gaming we have a success. … Don’t give up no matter how hard it gets.”

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