Another Xbox Executive Leaves Microsoft

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Since the official announcement of Xbox Infi– erm, I mean, Xbox One, the console has undergone a lot of changes. Not only did it seem to get monthly or bi-monthly updates to its UI, OS or SDK, but it seems like there’s an ongoing change within Microsoft and those involved with molding the Xbox brand. What was once a multimedia-centric device has refocused on gaming under current Xbox head Phil Spencer, with a fallout of executives surrounding the (arguably) smart decision to change courses. The Verge reports that another important Xbox executive, Boyd Multerer, has left the company.

His departure was made public, with a tweet from his Twitter account sent out confirming his departure:

More from Microsoft

Multerer was a key member of the Xbox team, as he founded Xbox Live, worked on the Xbox 360 and led the development of the Xbox One. More importantly of note, he marks just one of the many Xbox executives and key members who have left the company in the past year and a half. This list also includes chief product officer Marc Whitten, Xbox One TV program manager Ben Smith, Xbox Entertainment Studios executives Nancy Tellem and Jordan Levin plus the former Xbox head himself, Don Mattrick.

Remarkably, to me, it’s part of a trend that signifies strength, not weakness, for the future of Xbox. A year and a half ago, the “Xbone” was the laughing stock of the games industry, from gaming fans and critics alike. A mandatory Kinect device, 24 hour mandatory online check-ins and anti-used-games policies represented a big middle finger aimed at consumerist’s interests, gaming retailers and at privacy rights during a time when the NSA was at its most criticized (and when Microsoft was chief among companies helping them out).

When you look at Microsoft’s Xbox One now, it’s a completely different story. Now you have a games-centric console with a games-centric Xbox head, Kinect being able to be disconnected and no mandatory online check-ins. Better yet, Xbox Live Gold has been revamped to match PS+ by not hiding entertainment apps behind a paywall. Plus, between the Xbox One and its main sales competitor, the PS4, the Xbox One has enjoyed a fair bit better console exclusives so far.

If taking back ownership of what makes Xbox what they were is to let go of people who were a part of turning it into something consumers didn’t want, so be it. It seems most everyone who has left the company has landed on their feet somewhere else, in high places. The Xbox One still has its work cut out in trying to take back market share, but by winning the US market during the busy holiday month of November, Microsoft is far from burying the Xbone just yet.


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