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Old July 1 2013, 07:18 PM   #76
TheGodBen
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Re: Microsoft planning complete reversal of DRM policy for Xbox One

It looks like Don Mattrick is leaving Microsoft. Steve Ballmar is planning to restructure the entire company and it seems like any hope Mattrick had for a promotion was killed by the disastrous XBO reveal, so he's jumping ship to Zynga. Either that or he was pushed.

http://allthingsd.com/20130701/exclu.../?mod=atdtweet
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Old July 1 2013, 07:31 PM   #77
137th Gebirg
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Re: Microsoft planning complete reversal of DRM policy for Xbox One

Why is it that executives of companies with widely-known failed/troubled products never seem to have problems landing new executive-level positions at other companies? Shouldn't they...I dunno...go back to CEO school or something? Or maybe start over, cleaning out the trash cans or working in the mail room? Does nobody bother to actually read the resume...or watch the news???
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Old July 1 2013, 08:26 PM   #78
Owain Taggart
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Re: Microsoft planning complete reversal of DRM policy for Xbox One

I thought Zynga was in financial trouble? Good luck there, I guess. At least he didn't jump ship to Sony.
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Old July 1 2013, 08:31 PM   #79
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Re: Microsoft planning complete reversal of DRM policy for Xbox One

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
Why is it that executives of companies with widely-known failed/troubled products never seem to have problems landing new executive-level positions at other companies? Shouldn't they...I dunno...go back to CEO school or something? Or maybe start over, cleaning out the trash cans or working in the mail room? Does nobody bother to actually read the resume...or watch the news???
He's rumored to be heading to Zynga. If that isn't a last gasp at grabbing a big paycheck from a company that likely won't be around in its present form a year or two from now, I don't know what is.
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Old July 1 2013, 10:25 PM   #80
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Re: Microsoft planning complete reversal of DRM policy for Xbox One

I'm no Xbot fan or nothing, but I hope no one at Microsoft is holding the yet to be launched Xbox One against Mattrick at this point. It's not like Microsoft has had any successful consumer electronics launches other than the Xbox and Xbox 360 in the past. Any one remember the Zune Media Player? Microsoft Kin smartphone? The Surface, anyone?

And honestly, does anyone expect the Xbox One to be a flop? It may under perform, but it will sell millions of units and have substantial market share.

What concerns me about Mattrick is how unprepared the Xbox team was for the launch event. 1 executive on one side of the country says one thing, another exec on the other side says something completely contradictory. For instance, the "cloud computing" capability offloads AI processes from the system to the cloud... But when asked about what happens when you loose your Internet connection to the cloud, no one gave a satisfactory response. What? Does your AI become artificially dumb? Is your game interrupted? And this whole 180? What does this mean for unconnected XB1's? How does this effect the cloud computing and AI processing if the XB1 is not on the internet?

Sony had their launch event in February and it took Microsoft 3 months to answer them. It seems to me that they could've used another month or 2 to get right on messaging.
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Old July 1 2013, 11:31 PM   #81
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Re: Microsoft planning complete reversal of DRM policy for Xbox One

AlphaMan wrote: View Post
I'm no Xbot fan or nothing, but I hope no one at Microsoft is holding the yet to be launched Xbox One against Mattrick at this point. It's not like Microsoft has had any successful consumer electronics launches other than the Xbox and Xbox 360 in the past. Any one remember the Zune Media Player? Microsoft Kin smartphone? The Surface, anyone?
Well, it absolutely should be held against Mattrick, at least in part, because he contributed to a quite simply disastrous product reveal and completely botched the PR aftermath, and he was directly responsible for a lot of the worst actions EA took during the '90s and '00s. (The other responsible party for the Xbone botch was Phil Harrison -- as has been pointed out, it's funny that Sony completely botched the PS3 reveal, Harrison jumped over to Microsoft last year, and all of a sudden Microsoft starts making boneheaded decisions.)

It's emblematic of a cultural shift at Microsoft. The company did everything right when launching the Xbox, including going to war with Bill Gates over launching a year after the PS2 in order to have a hardware advantage. Those rebels were serious gamers and they knew what the market wanted.

Then they were whittled away. Seamus Blackley got bored and wanted to go back to making games. Robbie Bach bailed. Ed Fries was forced out after he lost a power struggle with J Allard (who went on to botch the Xbox 360 and Zune launches). The mentality within the division lost a lot of creativity only to find it replaced by ruthless execution of numbers.
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Old July 2 2013, 12:57 AM   #82
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Re: Microsoft planning complete reversal of DRM policy for Xbox One

^ Absolutely. Just because the XBox 360 was very successful doesn't mean we should give them a pass for the mistakes they've made. Agreed, it's been their most successful electronic product, but they've fumbled badly here on their own account with the XBone, and it's been a PR nightmare for them. The only way for them to learn from their mistakes is for them to live through it the hard way and stop blaming the consumer for their problems. They messed up. They should deal with it.
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Old July 2 2013, 04:47 PM   #83
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Re: Microsoft planning complete reversal of DRM policy for Xbox One

AlphaMan wrote: View Post
I'm no Xbot fan or nothing, but I hope no one at Microsoft is holding the yet to be launched Xbox One against Mattrick at this point. It's not like Microsoft has had any successful consumer electronics launches other than the Xbox and Xbox 360 in the past. Any one remember the Zune Media Player? Microsoft Kin smartphone? The Surface, anyone?

And honestly, does anyone expect the Xbox One to be a flop? It may under perform, but it will sell millions of units and have substantial market share.
While Mattrick isn't solely responsible for the Xbox One's PR disaster, as the head of the Entertainment and Devices division at MS he was responsible for the overall strategy and they have made numerous strategic errors under his leadership.

1) The DRM debacle is the most obvious. The fact that Mattrick didn't anticipate the scale of the backlash and have a PR strategy in place to deal with it was utter incompetence. As you said, MS were completely unprepared at the reveal event, and the fact that execs couldn't keep their story straight on how the DRM would work gave the impression that MS were trying to obfuscate the issue. Mattrick also had his own personal PR blunders, particularly the golden "buy a 360" soundbite.

2) Sony beat them on price. After being burned on the $599 fiasco for PS3, it should have been obvious to MS that Sony were going to target a price in the $300-400 range and MS should have aimed for the same price-point. The really damning thing about that is it was a self-inflicted wound, if they hadn't insisted on bundling the Kinect with the console then they would have matched Sony on price. That looks to have been a big mistake.

3) There's evidence that MS are several months behind schedule and are rushing to meet the launch deadline. There's rumours that Sony will beat MS to begin mass production and that MS are having yield issues with their APU, rumours which appear to be substantiated by the fact that preorder allocations for the PS4 are 2 or 3 times higher than the Xbox One. It will simply be easier to find a PS4 for sale this Christmas, which means Sony should have a larger install base to build off of. That could put MS at a massive disadvantage long-term.

4) Under Mattrick's leadership, Xbox's standing among core gamers has declined. Exclusives have dried up, MS focused their attention on Kinect and casual gamers, while their E3 presentations in recent years have been cringe-inducing. The casual gamer strategy was successful for them in the short term, but core gamers, the ones that are going to be the early adopters for these new consoles, have grown weary of MS. With the PS3, Sony has shown a dedication to releasing quality and diverse exclusives over the life of a console, and PS+ appears to offer much better value than XBL Gold. Sony has the better reputation with core gamers over the last few years.

MS got outmanoeuvred by Sony this time, but it was mostly because of their own screw-ups and not because Sony had an amazing strategy. Mattrick has to take much of the blame for that even if he's not wholly responsible.
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Old July 2 2013, 07:42 PM   #84
Owain Taggart
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Re: Microsoft planning complete reversal of DRM policy for Xbox One

It should also be noted that Mattrick only joined MS long after the 360 launched, so he wasn't responsible for it and its success like he was with the XBone. With the XBone, he was in charge of the launch and reveal, which clearly showed he didn't know what he was doing and the company took a hit due to his mistakes.
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Old July 2 2013, 09:12 PM   #85
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Re: Microsoft planning complete reversal of DRM policy for Xbox One

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
Why is it that executives of companies with widely-known failed/troubled products never seem to have problems landing new executive-level positions at other companies? Shouldn't they...I dunno...go back to CEO school or something? Or maybe start over, cleaning out the trash cans or working in the mail room? Does nobody bother to actually read the resume...or watch the news???
It's because once you work at this level you are usually pretty well connected and the more bullshit/spin you can spew the more you can screw up and still remain part of that circle.

You also don't really apply for these jobs.. you just call up a few people you know and tell them you're looking to move on and find new challenges.. basic resumes or HR interviews don't apply.

So you have to screw up multiple times and spectacularly with no possibility to reassign blame to someone else before you get evicted from the elite group but usually at this point you will be a multimillionaire so the blow may not be as hard (even softer if your severance pay is generous).
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