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Some believe he was actually fired for his Xbox One statements

Microsoft's Xbox Head, who has made some controversial statements regarding the new Xbox One, is reportedly leaving the Windows giant for a top spot at Zynga. 

Don Mattrick, the president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, will leave Microsoft to take on a position at social gaming company Zynga -- possibly as CEO. His new spot at the company is expected to be announced as soon as today. 

For Zynga, this could be a great move. The company has had troubles ever since its initial public offering (IPO) back in 2011. It filed its Form S-1 registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on July 1, 2011 and began trading December 16, 2011 at $10 per share. However, stock fell throughout 2012, hitting as low as $2.27 per share by October. 

One of Zynga's core problems is that it's having a hard time taking on the mobile space. Its Web business has been declining faster than expected, and its mobile efforts aren't enough to fill the gap. Also, its casual, social games don't seem to have long-term viability. It has had to axe 18 games in recent months -- including PetVille, FishVille, Mafia Wars 2 and Vampire Wars -- due to reduced popularity (and to make room for new games).

Just last month, Zynga was forced to lay off 18 percent of its workforce (about 520 employees) by August 2013. The latest layoffs will affect all parts of the social gaming company, and it will even have to close its offices in Dallas, Los Angeles and New York. However, it will save the company about $70 million to $80 million. 


With Mattrick at the helm, who will work closely with Zynga's current CEO Mark Pincus, the gaming company could turn things around. 

Mattrick has been at Microsoft since 2007, but lately, he has proven to be a bit of a controversial figure at the company. When gamers learned of the new Xbox console's -- Xbox One -- new "always-on" digital rights management (DRM) system, many expressed anger toward the idea. Not everyone has Internet access at all times, meaning that the new system would pose a problem for many gamers who are either in rural areas with slow connections, travelling or experience Internet issues with providers. 

When gamers lashed out about the new always-on issue, Mattrick advised that they don't buy an Xbox One.

"Some of the advantages that you get, of having, a box that is designed to use an online state, so, that, uh, to me is the future-proof choice, and I think people, could've arguably gone the other way if we didn't do it and fortunately we have a product for people who aren't able to get some form of connectivity, it's called Xbox 360," said Mattrick. 

Surely, Microsoft wasn't happy that its entertainment head was telling consumers not to buy its latest product. That's why many rumors currently circulating say that Mattrick was actually fired from Microsoft, much like what happened to former Xbox Creative Director Adam Orth. 

Orth was fired for arguing with gamers about their ability to play offline. 

Just a week after Mattrick made these comments about the Xbox One, Microsoft dropped its always-on requirement and the used games restrictions for the Xbox One. This meant that gamers no longer needed to have an Internet connection to play an offline Xbox One game (they will only need to go through a one-time setup over the Internet when the console first boots up), and gamers can trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like they do now. 

It's hard to say if Mattrick is leaving on his own accord or got the boot for his actions, but more details should arise later, and we'll update this piece as they do.

UPDATE: Monday, July 1, 2013 @ 5:00 P.M. - 

Zynga announced in an email to all employees that Mattrick is the company's new CEO, and Zynga's current CEO (Mark Pincus) will now be the Chief Product Officer and will remain Chairman of its Board of Directors. 

“This is a great opportunity for Don, and I wish him success," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "Don’s directs will report to me and will continue to drive the day-to-day business as a team, particularly focused on shipping Xbox One this holiday. Thank you, Don, for setting us on a path to completely redefine the entertainment industry.”

Zynga's stock price jumped 10.43 percent to $3.07 this morning after rumors of the new CEO started circulating. The stock then gained another 3.58 percent reaching $3.18 per share in after-hours trading once Mattrick's new position was actually announced.

Source: All Things D



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Great!
By BRB29 on 7/1/2013 2:51:48 PM , Rating: 5
After killing the hype and reputation of the xbox1, he will move to zynga to finish it off.




RE: Great!
By nikon133 on 7/1/2013 4:50:37 PM , Rating: 3
Do we have Léo Apotheker of gaming world here?

We just might.


RE: Great!
By borismkv on 7/1/2013 6:35:48 PM , Rating: 5
We can only hope he finished Zynga off...if there's a company that needs to die.


RE: Great!
By Mitch101 on 7/1/2013 8:04:39 PM , Rating: 3
I agree Zynga is probably the largest most annoying spam organization.


RE: Great!
By BRB29 on 7/2/2013 9:29:52 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
if there's a company that needs to die.

Fisker


RE: Great!
By kleinma on 7/2/2013 9:46:16 AM , Rating: 2
EA?


RE: Great!
By BRB29 on 7/2/2013 10:01:38 AM , Rating: 2
Don will migrate to EA after he puts Zynga 6 ft under.


RE: Great!
By bupkus on 7/2/2013 10:19:16 AM , Rating: 2
News: Don Mattrick leaves EA to take on a new role as the Angel of Death.


RE: Great!
By idiot77 on 7/2/2013 12:57:31 PM , Rating: 2
You meant Mercy.


Good for microsoft?
By talkjedi on 7/1/13, Rating: 0
RE: Good for microsoft?
By ianweck on 7/1/2013 7:17:56 PM , Rating: 5
So the only reason you supposedly wouldn't but an xbox one is because of his comments? Really? I bet you have a hell of a friend turnover rate come April Fool's day.


One time Internet Access
By wallijonn on 7/2/2013 5:01:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
(they will only need to go through a one-time setup over the Internet when the console first boots up)


I wonder how many XB1s will not work Christmas morning because the parents don't have Internet access? Hopefully the stores will ask and set up stations to register the units for the parents before they take them home.




RE: One time Internet Access
By Florinator on 7/3/2013 11:59:25 AM , Rating: 2
Do you honestly think there is a significant market segment of people who want tech gadgets like the XBOX One, but don't have an internet connection? I doubt it... Maybe someone who buys a used XBOX from eBay may not have internet, but I doubt that someone who can afford to gift their kids a $500 gadget doesn't have internet...


Two words...
By ie5x on 7/2/2013 12:58:48 AM , Rating: 2
Good riddance.




By TakinYourPoints on 7/2/2013 1:21:34 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/Press/2013/Jul...

"Don’s directs will report to me and will continue to drive the day-to-day business as a team, particularly focused on shipping Xbox One this holiday."

GAMERS GAMERS GAMERS




In a nutshell
By TakinYourPoints on 7/1/2013 5:13:25 PM , Rating: 1
By MrBlastman on 7/1/2013 2:49:34 PM , Rating: 1
Free to play sucks and is destroying everything that gaming has come to represent, especially in the PC end of it all. Why make content when you can make just a little content and dangle the premise of more... if you pay more?

What I think will happen over the next few years is many f2p companies fail and only a few survive. Then we'll be stuck with more crap like we have with EA only worse. We won't be able to buy a full game anymore with one purchase.

That is, unless indie gaming manages to usurp everything. Here's hoping it does--without f2p.


By stm1185 on 7/1/2013 2:52:49 PM , Rating: 1
We will see, Crytek is going completely free to play, with only Homefront 2 left before it. They will be an interesting case study in a few years. Will they make more money off Warface and future F2P Crysis titles then off the retail model they used with Crysis 1-3.

They seem to think they will.


By maugrimtr on 7/2/2013 11:04:39 AM , Rating: 2
Crysis games are each a 5-10 hour first person shooter which isn't that well regarded as a multiplayer game. They'll need to be truly inventive to get this to work as a F2P.

I've tried a few F2P games but most are geared up to encourage small spends which add up quickly to more than an average game price. The problem is that very few of them are actually worth the full price of a normal game to start with so the value proposition isn't there for the player - just the developer.


By BRB29 on 7/2/2013 11:11:09 AM , Rating: 2
That's because one of the main objectives of the Crysis series is to market their engine.


By BRB29 on 7/1/2013 2:56:39 PM , Rating: 1
they forgot how to make money by developing great games.

Instead, they make money by testing people's patience and limiting the games.


By Boze on 7/1/2013 3:54:33 PM , Rating: 2
Free-to-play sucks??

Have you actually played the F2P powerhouses out there?

League of Legends is one of the most fun games I've played in years. I haven't had as much fun playing it since I got into the World of Warcraft Friends & Family Alpha, and its competitiveness brings back memories of my Quake days.

Path of Exile is a great FREE Diablo clone, that I sadly find more fun.

Companies are focusing on fun first, and then adding extras that are worth purchasing.

I've played League of Legends for almost two years now and I've spent about $350 on it. That would be about the same was if it were $14.99 a month.

I have yet to purchase anything for Path of Exile and I still have a great time playing it.

I haven't even mentioned paid games that have gone free-to-play like EverQuest II. The bronze version sucks, but for $5 you can upgrade to Silver and you have a really amazing game experience all the way up to level 90.

The good F2P games are out there. You may not like their genres:

MOBA
Dungeon Crawler
MMORPG

But they're still great games. Those are just the ones I've played. I'm told Planetside 2 and Warframe are awesome F2P FPS games. I wouldn't know since I'm too old to play those games well, but my younger friends say they're great.


By flyingpants1 on 7/1/2013 4:58:49 PM , Rating: 2
lmfao


By MrBlastman on 7/1/2013 5:07:36 PM , Rating: 3
I have zero interest in League of Legends or DOTA type gameplay. It just... doesn't float my boat.

I have played f2p games, however, like Rise of Flight or Mechwarrior Online. Arguably, Team Fortress 2 counts as well (but I bought the Orange Box--so I paid outright for it). TF 2 I spent... 40 bucks--the original purchase and never another dime and have 1600 hours in the game over five years on the competitive scene.

Rise of Flight, on the other hand, I've spent a bit more, probably 70 - 90 bucks on the sim total but the developers continued to add great content and missing features, constantly listening to the community. It is we very well-done sim and you can tell the developers care about it.

Mechwarrior Online, however, has developers that piss on the community, ignore them and come up with asinine ideas instead of listening to the players who consantly come up with intelligent solutions to obvious problems. Maybe that will change one day. Who knows? I spent 60 bucks on it and that's all I plan on spending for a while.

So, long story short, I refuse to EVER pay monthly for any game. I believe in spending 40 - 60 bucks, one time, to get a finished product that has an enjoyable length of gameplay (20 - 100+ hours). I don't understand how people can spend 300 - 500 bucks on games. It just... well, is senseless to me; ludicrous almost to even try and comprehend it--in my mind at least. Yet, like yourself, they do.

Go figure. It just isn't my philosophy, I suppose.

Take for instance, the titles I've played over the last week... In the past week I have been playing through the original System Shock (on original Roland SC-55 hardware), Fallout 1, Quake 1 (modded with Darkplaces and stuff like parallax mapping) and Falcon 4.0 BMS. From that, you can tell I'm more of a "hardcore" or classical gamer rather than a modern "eat what I'm fed" kind of player.

quote:
Companies are focusing on fun first, and then adding extras that are worth purchasing.


The problem is here: Why not just produce a product and charge a one-time fee of 40 - 60 bucks for this content (and a complete game) than nickel and diming people to death over time for little itty bitty things? With free to play you run the risk of walking into pay-to-win.

Team Fortress 2 is probably the best done free-to-play yet, in my eyes. You can buy the game and get everything eventually (or trade for it) while playing the base game and having zero advantage over anyone else. The things you buy are purely cosmetic, having zero effect on the competitive portion of it. The difference, though, is the game was complete and finished at the time it was released.

So I suppose you're right on one point, I don't like the genres of most f2p games... i.e. I have zero interest in MOBAs or MMOs.


By TakinYourPoints on 7/1/2013 7:09:50 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Team Fortress 2 is probably the best done free-to-play yet, in my eyes. You can buy the game and get everything eventually (or trade for it) while playing the base game and having zero advantage over anyone else. The things you buy are purely cosmetic, having zero effect on the competitive portion of it. The difference, though, is the game was complete and finished at the time it was released.


DOTA 2 does this and it is a much much better game than TF2. TF2 actually devolved with the addition of different weapons. DOTA is a better designed game that only has cosmetics, no extra usable items to grind or purchase.

quote:
I have zero interest in MOBAs


If you are in any way interested in competitive, deep, challenging gameplay, you should give it a shot. FPS are childs play that really don't require much skill compared to something like DOTA or Starcraft. I just got too bored after things moved from the Quake model to CoD and anything after BF2.


By MrBlastman on 7/1/2013 7:56:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you are in any way interested in competitive, deep, challenging gameplay, you should give it a shot. FPS are childs play that really don't require much skill compared to something like DOTA or Starcraft. I just got too bored after things moved from the Quake model to CoD and anything after BF2.


Oh I love competitive play. I did it back in StarCraft 1 and won the Cases 2v2 ladder (hardcore players at the time played there--kali, and not Bnet) and also played Supreme Commander for the 3 - 6 months it remained good online. Age of Empires 2 as well. You name it. Been there, done that.

I wouldn't knock the oldschool FPS games, however. They require a lot of skill, just not as much thought as say StarCraft or Supcom but in a different way.

CoD and BF 2+ well, suck.

The MOBA model just doesn't float my boat. I suppose it is all those bad nightmares I got from playing Total Annihilation: Kingdoms back in the day (was a top player there, too).


By Reclaimer77 on 7/1/2013 5:37:04 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Free-to-play sucks??


It can and usually does.

Battlestar Galactica Online is one I've recently tried. The "cash shop" implementation is so horrible, I can't believe people actually play the game. It's straight up Pay 2 Win. The entire game is designed so that without paying real money regularly, you cannot enjoy the content.

Huxley, that awesome mech game? Same deal. You can grind for weeks and weeks, or you can pay money and be a god overnight. Which would you choose?

Subscription games generally have higher quality than free to play. Because people are investing money, and expect more from the game because of it.

quote:
Have you actually played the F2P powerhouses out there?


Yup. Just for every good one, there's 10 that suck.


By Boze on 7/1/2013 11:21:48 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah just like for every 100 retail games, 99 of the suck. Keep paying $60 if you want, I'll play my F2P games that I enjoy and pay only when I want to.


By TakinYourPoints on 7/2/2013 1:23:37 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. There is a huge amount of crap whether it is full retail or not, this doesn't mean that F2P is inherently bad. Proof is in the fact that some of the best games out right now are F2P.


By BRB29 on 7/2/2013 1:36:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yeah just like for every 100 retail games, 99 of the suck. Keep paying $60 if you want, I'll play my F2P games that I enjoy and pay only when I want to.

F2P games are usually online only. That means whenever they feel like shutting down, say goodbye to your game and whatever money you have spent. On top of that, they normally have ads which are annoying.

It's preference but I don't like F2P games mostly because it exploits kids.


By TakinYourPoints on 7/1/2013 5:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
Not all F2P is bad. One of the best games in years, DOTA 2, is free to play.


By stm1185 on 7/1/2013 6:40:51 PM , Rating: 2
All these F2P games people are listing as being good are competitive multiplayer titles. Even then MOBA genre titles with mid range production values. These are not AAA titles. If that is what you want gaming to look like well you are probably getting it.

I want Mass Effect, I want KoA:Reckoning, I want AAA single player games telling a good story, and that is dying in this business model. Banning used game sales, and adding the ability to share games digitally, could have helped. But MS couldnt get their message across over the idiots of the internet and the Sony fanboys.

So now it continues on just like on the current gen, except as the smaller players realize they can't take the risk on new AAA single player; all we end up with is endless sequels from the same few studios with enough bankroll and fanboys to guarantee a return.


By jnemesh on 7/1/2013 6:48:45 PM , Rating: 2
Once and for all: IT IS NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CUSTOMER TO PROP UP A FAILING BUSINESS MODEL!!! Ok, now that I have that off my chest...The problem here is that the game industry is trying to produce games like movies...multimillion dollar budgets with 1000s of people working on a single project. THIS is why we get derivative, lackluster games. THIS is why we have been getting Halo 4, Gears of War 3, Call of Duty 7 (or 8, I lost count), etc. Because with millions of dollars on the line, the LAST thing a company wants to do is take a risk...so we get the same thing in gaming that we do at the theaters...derivative rehashes of the SAME GAME...with prettier graphics.

The future of gaming is NOT in EA's hands, or in Blizzard-Activision's (Blactivision?) It's in the hands of the indie developer who decides to make something NEW and INNOVATIVE, risks be damned! This is where we get games like Fez, and Journey, and BattleBlock Theater!

I could CARE LESS if CliffyB goes broke because of used games! If he goes broke, he DESERVES it, as do the companies that put out "AAA" titles that are nothing more than DLC farms (EA, I am looking at YOU!). If they can't compete in the current marketplace, they DESERVE all of the failure we can heap upon them!


By TakinYourPoints on 7/1/2013 7:05:11 PM , Rating: 2
If most AAA gaming is unsustainable then so be it. Most of it is trash anyway. For ever The Last Of Us you get garbage like CoD or Bioshock or Halo.

That some of the best games are free-to-play games that follow the Magic The Gathering model (the best and most sustainable model for multiplayer gaming in existence) should say something. Writing off F2P completely makes no sense.


By TakinYourPoints on 7/1/2013 7:14:40 PM , Rating: 2
The only thing Blizzard is really screwing up with Starcraft 2 is not making the multiplayer a F2P component. Allow people to buy the single player if they want but have the multi be F2P. The active player base would skyrocket (TF2's more than quadrupled once it went F2P) and they would have sustainable income over the life of the product. Blizzard spends over a decade supporting their products, they should monetize that properly rather than having most sales at the initial release and then drop off over time.

All that said, they're already going F2P with Hearthstone, and I believe that they're going to do that if/when Blizzard All-Stars comes out. Maybe they'll eventually do this with SC2.


By stm1185 on 7/1/2013 10:52:44 PM , Rating: 1
Oh gawd Magic the Gathering and Shitty Indie games help up as the future. That is just depressing. Someone needs to think of the children. We can't let a generation grow up playing through horrible indie crap like Journey! It's not right!


By wallijonn on 7/2/2013 11:17:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Someone needs to think of the children. We can't let a generation grow up playing through horrible indie crap like Journey! It's not right!


Too late. That generation is willing to pay $1 for a 96kb song to play monaurally on their phones. They're willing to pay $1 for "Angry Birds". That's the action the game companies want. Only problem is that that is the only game that the vast majority of customers will buy in their phone's lifetime.


By half_duplex on 7/3/2013 9:54:39 AM , Rating: 2
More like F2L (lose) or F2T (try).

It's like an online dating site, you get to look at pics. You can fap for free, but if you expect to communicate with a human being... get out your CC.


By Flunk on 7/2/2013 7:56:07 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure that the point of free to play is to make more money from micro transactions than you would from a retail release. In that case they seem to be doing well.


By niaaa on 7/2/2013 5:50:08 AM , Rating: 1
Sony actually does F2P with their SOE platform.

I'm having a good time on Planetside 2.


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