In what first began as a strong rumour initially reported by the Wall Street Journal, reports started to circulate that Microsoft’s head of the Interactive Entertainment Business Don Mattrick was resigning in favour of a position at the social gaming giant Zynga. Within only a few hours it became official news as Zynga chairman spilled the beans.
From July 8 Don Mattrick will no longer be a part of Microsoft as he leaves for Zynga. Zynga chairman Mark Pincus said in an official statement:
“Don is unique in the game business. He turned Xbox into the world’s largest console-gaming network, growing its installed base from 10 to 80 million and transformed that business from deep losses to substantial profits. And he has grown the Xbox Live player network from 6 to 50 million active members in 41 countries. Going forward, I’ll continue in my role as Chairman and Chief Product Officer. I’m excited to partner with Don and the rest of our team to return Zynga to its leadership role in inventing and growing Play as a core human experience.”
Mattrick has been the face of the Xbox One since it’s official reveal in May, he’s also the guy behind the huge 180 that Microsoft took on the Xbox One and it’s DRM and always online policies. He’s always tried to justify the system compared to it’s competitors but has ultimately failed as consumers and gamers alike revolted against many of the decisions Microsoft has made with the Xbox One.
Mattrick had this to say about the move:
“I joined Zynga because I believe that Mark’s pioneering vision and mission to connect the world through games is just getting started. Zynga is a great business that has yet to realize its full potential. I’m proud to partner with Mark to deliver high-quality, fun, social games wherever people want to play.”
It’s yet to be revealed on what terms Mattrick has left Microsoft or whether he actually “resigned” as the various reports state. According to CVG an internal email sent by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had this to say:
“This is a great opportunity for Don, and I wish him success,” said Ballmer in the email. “I am incredibly proud of the work and vision culminating in Xbox One. I’m particularly excited about how Xbox pushes forward our devices and services transformation by bringing together the best of Microsoft,” he added.