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Confirmed: Xbox boss Mattrick quits Microsoft for Zynga

Monday, 1st July 2013 17:56 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Following a stormy E3 and some serious policy backtracking, it’s been confirmed that Xbox frontman Don Mattrick has left Microsoft to head up Zynga.

Facebook game firm Zynga has confirmed that Xbox boss Don Mattrick is to be its new CEO.

AllThingsD broke the news as rumour before the announcement.

“In its short history, Zynga has redefined entertainment and brought social gaming to the mainstream,” said Mattrick in a statement.

“More than 1 billion people across web and mobile have installed Zynga games, and franchises like FarmVille and Words With Friends have become a part of people’s daily lives.

“I joined Zynga because I believe that Mark [Pincus'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.”

The move is being described as a coup for Zynga, a company which has experienced significant difficulties in recent years.

Mattrick is best known as the public face of the Xbox business. He was a regular in Microsoft press conferences and the announcer of Xbox One.

The exec has recently suffered considerable pressure at Microsoft over the handling Xbox One’s DRM policies, and oversaw the dropping of the console’s always-on functionality in the wake of a disastrous PR effort at E3.

That said, the ATD report claimed discussions have been ongoing between Mattrick and Zynga for “some time.”

The 49 year-old Mattrick joined Microsoft in 2007.

Breaking news

70 Comments

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  1. Max Payne

    That was same case after Win 8 was launched, guy who was in charge was also fired.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. macronia

    wait what ? ZYNGA , seriously :D !! good luck with that

    #2 1 year ago
  3. CyberMarco

    Not surprised at all.

    Also,

    “These sources added that the high-profile executive is also close to taking a top job at Zynga, the troubled online social gaming company, possibly as its CEO [...] If it happens, the hire would be a massive one for Zynga, which has been hit by a series of problems since its IPO.”

    So, the next ONE will be Zynga. Good luck, I guess…

    #3 1 year ago
  4. spartan1192

    His comment before about people without an internet connection having an alternative and that alternative being a Xbox 360, is probably the nail that sealed his coffin with MS. Sorry to say but the guy hasn’t exactly been great for the PR of MS.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Hunam

    Now all we need is Ballmer to fuck off and everythings set.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Johnny Cullen

    Megaton, assuming it’s true.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. heyvc

    Sad for Zynga. Maybe they Will bring TV voice control for phones or whatever.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. manamana

    @Hunam +1 megaton
    @Johnny +1 megaton

    Zynga, that’s were he belongs.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Lengendaryboss

    Quit? I think theres more to that story…

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Debabrata Nath

    With comments such as ‘we’ve a console for people who can’t be online, it’s called Xbox 360″ I wouldn’t be surprised a bit if this is true. That guy had no clue what he was dealing with when it came to selling the Xbox One.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. redwood

    saving all the puns for when/if this gets confirmed

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Lengendaryboss

    @Debabrata
    This.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. heyvc

    Xbox ONE down. Some more to go.

    http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/screencrush.com/files/2013/05/Xbox-One-Don-Mattrick.jpg

    #13 1 year ago
  14. DGOJG

    He looked like a broken man after all the Xbone backlash. Good luck to him.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. G1GAHURTZ

    No surprises…

    Solid product. Abysmal strategy.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. SlayerGT

    What does this mean for the XBOne?

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Robbins

    He’ll probably be at home on Facebook given how used they are to people leaving them for a more open service.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. Lengendaryboss

    @16
    Better publicity, better PR and less damage control. :D

    #18 1 year ago
  19. OwningXylophone

    The original story says that the negotiations have been going on for a while, which makes it sound like this predates most of the abysmal PR he has brought MS. That said, I doubt MS will try and stop him going.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. Dark

    http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/18sjdzpphbscmgif/original.gif

    #20 1 year ago
  21. Fin

    Wow!

    Though zynga’s not exactly a steady ship at the moment.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. The_Red

    Future of the Holy Shit revealed. Seriously, holy shit!

    #22 1 year ago
  23. Gheritt White

    Okay, all of a sudden I am *much* more inclined to buy an Xbox One now. MUCH more.

    Good move, Microsoft – well played.

    #23 1 year ago
  24. f1r3storm

    News in 6 months:

    Mattrick finishes off Zynga for good, reclaims gamers’ faith.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. Erthazus

    the guy created a box… that is basically a last gen PC box with kinect 2.0. On top of it he wanted “Always Online” on it for 499$ to play Halo? Call of duty? watch Netflix, pay for online and watch sports and TV.

    LOL. Only stupid console fanboys will buy it.

    Anyway, he did the right thing. Made a lot of money from kids and just ran of from a sinking ship to another ship to milk Zynga as much as possible.

    Playstation benefits from this every day.

    #25 1 year ago
  26. Kanok

    The next Xbox boss that posibly to be Phil Morrison.(my guess)
    But i want J Allard back to Microsoft again.

    #26 1 year ago
  27. Lengendaryboss

    This is pretty funny: https://twitter.com/KazHiraiCEO/status/351749968224206849

    #27 1 year ago
  28. redwood

    http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/screencrush.com/files/2013/05/Xbox-One-Don-Mattrick.jpg

    this looks like a rather sad memoir pic now :(

    #28 1 year ago
  29. redwood

    what if … Phil harrison is made the head of xbox O_O scary thought right?

    #29 1 year ago
  30. manamana

    @20 :-D

    #30 1 year ago
  31. MegaGeek1

    @27 – lmao. Whoever is running that Twitter account is hilarious.

    #31 1 year ago
  32. fearmonkey

    Mattrick was an EA goon during the years that I hated EA the most. He is responsible for taking the momentum of the Xbox as a gaming machine, and tuning it into a Wii wannabe who was courting casual gamers and all about the media abilities. If this is true, I am certainly not sorry to see the guy go buh bye.

    Now we need to get rid of the other guys that were responsible in any way for this travesty called the Xbox One, and bring back the guys who made the Xbox what it was, or find someone who understands what an Xbox fan wanted.

    #32 1 year ago
  33. Johnny Cullen

    @29 – It’ll be Phil Spencer. Just you wait. There was a reason why he spent a majority of time on stage at Microsoft’s E3 presser (plus announced Xbox One’s release month + price) – more than Mattrick, Harrison, Yusef Mehdi or Marc Whitten.

    #33 1 year ago
  34. Lengendaryboss

    @MegaGeek1
    He/She is very funny: gets a laugh or two out of me, very entertaining tweets to look at his/her spoof account.

    #34 1 year ago
  35. manamana

    Johnny is bang on, it must be Phil Spencer. He’s the biggest bragger around at Microsoft. Spencer it will be.

    #35 1 year ago
  36. redwood

    @33 true true.. he is my bet too really. The E3 was mostly just him running around talking about everything, while constantly changing tee-shirts :D

    #36 1 year ago
  37. DSB

    Called it!

    Don Mattrick is now officially Phil Harrison MK II

    #37 1 year ago
  38. dravenkaze

    Loser anyway

    #38 1 year ago
  39. abdooltk

    HE DOESN’T HAVE QUALITY IN SPEECH AT PRESS CONFERENCE WHEN DOING THE PRESENTATION,HE CAN’T GIVE THE RIGHT INFORMATION.

    #39 1 year ago
  40. Neuromancer

    Bye bye!!

    #40 1 year ago
  41. MCTJim

    all these high powered asshats go to where the money is..bigger paychecks and perks are all selling points for people to jump ship.

    Aside from a “few” there is no brand loyalty for these guys.

    #41 1 year ago
  42. ps3fanboy

    this guy was the father of draconian drm.. now he got the boot, HAHAHAHA!

    #42 1 year ago
  43. Lengendaryboss

    ^ I was wondering when you would show up.

    #43 1 year ago
  44. salarta

    I really doubt that Mattrick is being pressured out of Microsoft in any fashion. When you get high enough on the totem pole like he has, it’s virtually impossible to be ousted against your will, while lower level employees like Orth get canned for the slightest upset.

    However, I really can’t imagine Mattrick being good for Zynga based on what little I know of him from the XBox One stuff. He was all for the DRM activity to the point of insulting people for caring about the things he didn’t care about.

    #44 1 year ago
  45. DSB

    @44 You’re never too high on the totem pole to face the consequences of a massive fuck-up though.

    It’s only speculation as to what kind of perssure Mattrick would’ve faced, and guys in his position usually have a slew of standing job offers from headhunters, but going from Microsoft to Zynga is the difference between playing American basketball and European basketball.

    #45 1 year ago
  46. Fethennour

    Better leave the boat before it sinks, huh ? Not bad.

    #46 1 year ago
  47. Lengendaryboss

    ^ http://antinuclearinfo.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/nuke-ship-sinking.gif

    #47 1 year ago
  48. Patrick Garratt

    Confirmed.

    #48 1 year ago
  49. Eregol

    @Johnny Phil Spencer it may be, but he made his share of gaffes during all this as well.
    I think Yusuf was he only one who emerged with any integrity at all.

    #49 1 year ago
  50. No_PUDding

    What the fuck does this even mean? Excuse my French.

    #50 1 year ago
  51. manamana

    I believe in the third console curse.

    #51 1 year ago
  52. Dark

    @50 it mean this
    http://img825.imageshack.us/img825/4499/p365.jpg

    #52 1 year ago
  53. MCTJim

    Meh..like I said..no brand loyalty for these guys..its all about the perks and benefits they can get.

    #53 1 year ago
  54. TheBlackHole

    Well thank FUCK for that.

    Can’t stand this guy’s dead eyes and fake grin every time he presents.

    His absence makes MS stronger, until Balmer shows up again.

    #54 1 year ago
  55. Lengendaryboss

    @52
    HA :)

    #55 1 year ago
  56. Eregol

    @50 You lie!!!!! There was no French in that post!

    #56 1 year ago
  57. manamana

    @54 then wait till Spencers ugly mug will show his big grin. Stagehog alarm.

    #57 1 year ago
  58. Ireland Michael

    Zynga? Ahahahahaha.

    Good riddance. The man is toxic.

    #58 1 year ago
  59. Lewis247

    Hahahaha awww man, priceless. Of all places it had to be Zynga.

    Guy was not down to earth in the slightest, seemed like a real slimy corporate douche.

    #59 1 year ago
  60. absolutezero

    http://youtu.be/ytf1jYUO4qs

    #60 1 year ago
  61. Ireland Michael

    @59 So pretty much perfect for Znyga then.

    #61 1 year ago
  62. DSB

    @60 This is pretty good comedy as well

    http://youtu.be/DxkEe_l7S3g?t=24s

    Needs a bit of canned laughter around the punchlines though.

    #62 1 year ago
  63. manamana

    @62 no, thats tragic drama. From a PR standpoint, though. Tragicomic maybe.

    #63 1 year ago
  64. Rosseu

    If this guy saves Zynga, I’ll like him even if he’s a douche

    #64 1 year ago
  65. WENDiGO

    Get rid of Ballmer and Spencer and things will go a lot smoother…

    #65 1 year ago
  66. redwood

    balmer isn’t going anywhere guys.. Unless he decides to quit himself.
    anyway, for the sake of xbox fans, I just hope this does not translate into a zynga+xbox relationship. nobody wants to have zynga games on their console, no body serious about their games atleast.

    #66 1 year ago
  67. redwood

    also

    https://twitter.com/KazHiraiCEO/status/351803882017533954

    #67 1 year ago
  68. Digital Bamboo

    Why not just retire?

    He’s 49, got millions of dollars & he wants to keep going?

    I’ll never understand these corporate types. Life is short, once you’ve got the means to enjoy it without hindrance (& especially if you’ve got enough for the rest of your family & generations to come like Mattrick does) I say get the fuck out of the rat race, see the world, better yourself, spend more time with family & friends, become a philanthropist…anything but work until the day you die.
    (Unless you’re helping people, animals, the environment, or creating art & you love it, but expanding Zynga? Why?).

    #68 1 year ago
  69. TheBlackHole

    @66

    That kind of narrow mindedness would be the death of gaming.

    I don’t want to play Zynga-style games on my console – that’s not what I bought it for, but I am happy for people that want to, to be able to.

    I’m serious about my games, but I’m also serious about wanting this medium to remain strong, which unfortunately for some means embracing things they might not like.

    The great thing about choice though, is that everybody wins.

    #69 1 year ago
  70. redwood

    @69 everybody rarely ever wins

    #70 1 year ago