Dan Winters, head of business development for Amazon Digital Games and a former professional baseball player, has died from cancer.
Winters was mourned on social media by many in the game industry. He worked at Amazon for nearly four years, helping it build its fledgling games business. Among the things he did was promote Amazon services such as its Lumberyard game engine. [Update: You can make a donation on Winters’ behalf to a GoFundMe for the Institute of Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research (IMBCR)].
Before that, he was a vice president and general manager at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. And he was vice president of external development and talent acquisition at Activision for about eight years. And he served as executive producer of Medal of Honor at Electronic Arts in Los Angeles. Before that, he was vice president of production and product development at Disney Interactive.
And from 1984 to to 1988, Winters was a professional baseball player for the Oakland A’s, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, and the California Angels. He was 55. I liked Winters. He had a big personality, and I got to know him a little as he came to GamesBeat events.
In 2016, Gordon Bellamy and Winters spoke about baseball and video games at our GamesBeat event. As you can see in the video, he was a great speaker, quick and colorful, and very relaxed.
“It always goes back to baseball with me,” Winters said in that talk. “My claim to fame was I was traded for Dusty Baker in 1985.”
He played baseball at Indiana University and he was drafted in his junior year by the Oakland A’s. On Facebook, Bellamy, visiting scholar at the University of Southern California, wrote about Winters, “Professionally, Dan Winters was one of us, a generation of people devoted to business development in games and to each other. I am very thankful for Dan Winters and as we all enter this next chapter in a time, a games craft, and social media that has become so polarized, I know that I and so many of us are going to continue to ask, with a glint in our eye, how we can help. And that’s a bit of the Dan Winters in us.”
Rest in peace.