Some may feel sorry for Don Mattrick. As the former president of the Xbox brand, he has recently jumped ship to work as the CEO of Zynga. Some may see this move as bittersweet; I see it as a boon for all things Microsoft. Here are five reasons why I think his departure is a good thing.
1. Less bad PR
There has been a lot of backlash with the Xbox brand as of late. DRM woes, broken promises, and a whole lot of backpedaling. Hopefully Mattrick’s replacement will perform some serious damage control and win back gamers’ hearts.
2. More of a focus on the games
The Xbox One reveal did not go over as smoothly as gamers had hoped for. Those looking for new games got a face full of TV, TV, TV, sports, and TV. While it is true that he was not the sole reason for this TV-infused focus, he was still the president of the Xbox brand. The company’s recent partnership with Time Warner Cable solidifies that. With Mattrick gone, maybe we can finally tune out the TV and focus on the games.
3. He has a bad track record
Those who are now becoming accustomed to Mattrick know him largely as “the Xbox guy,” but he has done plenty of other gaming-related jobs before his work with Microsoft.
Unfortunately, those jobs didn’t go over so well.
Before he joined Microsoft in 2007, Mattrick served as the President of Worldwide Studios for Electronic Arts, where he worked for a good 25 years. While EA hasn’t always been so maligned in the gaming community as it is today, keep in mind that their turn to the dark side happened just a few years ago. Hey, wait a minute…
4. Different hardware decisions
All Xbox One systems will launch with a 500GB hard drive and a Kinect camera. But what if you want a bigger hard drive or do not want a Kinect? Sadly, this is a cross all new adopters must bear.
Hopefully with Mattrick’s departure, we’ll see different packages for different types of consumers. We saw this with the Xbox 360 and its “Arcade” and “Elite” models (which popped up before Mattrick’s arrival); why not see this structure make a return?
5. Steve Ballmer will likely be the new president of Xbox
Just look at the guy:
You can tell he likes to have fun.