As Microsoft hopes to play a dominant role in the living room this fall with the launch of the Xbox One, the executive who recently introduced the new game console, Don Mattrick, has reportedly left the company for a position at Zynga. Mattrick is currently expected to take on a major role at the social game maker, Zynga, with the possibility of even becoming the chief executive according to Kara Swisher of AllThingsD. The report suggests that Mattrick’s departure wasn’t related to the recent consumer complaints of Microsoft’s plans to include aggressive digital rights management restrictions on the Xbox One.
The plans originally would have restricted the sharing and buying of used games, along with requiring consoles to be connected to the Internet at all times. In a rare public reversal last month, Mattrick penned an open letter to consumers explaining that Microsoft had changed its stance on Xbox One DRM. Upon shipping this fall, consoles will no longer require a persistent online connection and the company won’t be restricting the sharing or trading of disc-based games.
Microsoft doesn’t have a replacement lined up for Mattrick’s departure. This leads us to believe that his departure is not part of the “major restructuring” that Microsoft had planned. If Mattrick does end up working at Zynga as rumored, he’ll be joining the company following a rough patch that the company has been facing since its initial public offering in 2011. Just a little over a month ago, Zynga announced that it had laid off 18% of its workforce, which was roughly 520 employees.
The Xbox One represents Microsoft’s biggest push to become to go-to provider of living room entertainment. While Microsoft pushes ahead with its third-generation Xbox console, the Cupertino California company also seems to be considering its own push to the living room with a set-top cable box which would be go beyond the company’s current Apple TV. Apple’s vision is to do away with the clunky interface seen on current cable boxes making using the television easier to use for everyone. There have been many reports about Apple working on a full-fledged television set that could put together several services all in to one device. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, even hinted in an interview last year that he sees the living room as an industry ripe for change. He said the following regarding the matter:
When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years. It's an area of intense interest. I can't say more than that.