Amazon Continues Talent Hiring Spree By Picking Up Need For Speed Creative Director

During the past year Amazon Game Studios has ramped up its efforts, and now has several games confirmed to be in development. We know of three of these games: Breakaway, New World, and Crucible, each with promising premises. However, there are several more games in development, and one might just be a racing title.

Within the past 24 hours Amazon Game Studios has hired world renowned talent Craig Sullivan. Previously, Sullivan worked as creative director on the Need for Speed series, and also worked at Criterion Games where he contributed to the development of Black and early installments of the Burnout franchise.

Given his expertise, this hiring suggests that Amazon Game Studios has a racing game in production. Though, during a Q&A with Develop he confirmed that he'll be "working with a variety of studios" that are based in Seattle, southern California, and other locations.

This hiring follows several notable pick-ups by Amazon Game Studios, including Sony Online Entertainment's John Smedley, Westwood's Louis Castle, John Madden Football producer Richard Hilleman, and several others. It has also picked up an assortment of programmers and artists with AAA game development experience, most notably a large portion of ArenaNet's (Guild Wars) senior team members.

Amazon shares rose 5 percent last Thursday following a successful fiscal year where it met demand and saw big gains from most of its endeavors, including Amazon Web Services, Kindle Store, and Amazon Studios. This boost in valuation followed some experts saying the stock was overvalued.

In time Amazon could become a key player in the gaming industry.