You may remember the big controversy with Microsoft last week, when rumors of the neXtbox needing to be “Always On[line]” led gamers to explode with anger. That in turn led Microsoft Studios’ creative director Adam Orth to respond to gamers with a very “just deal with it” attitude, one that he maintained for the majority of a series of tweets. While he later apologized and claimed to have just been trolling Twitter user Manveer Heir (as they supposedly do every day), Orth’s words caused enough attention that it reached Microsoft’s Chief of Staff for Interactive Entertainment Aaron Greenberg, who claimed to not know Adam Orth at all.
But I suppose now he does.
Because Adam Orth is no longer apart of Microsoft.
It isn’t clear whether he voluntarily quit, was fired, or was forced to resign (perhaps a fate worse than the pink slip), but he is certainly no longer apart of Microsoft.
While Microsoft declined to comment, their response to the Orth drama last week–which reminded gamers that he didn’t represent the company’s views or how they wish to communicate with “loyal customers”–seems to imply that Orth’s poor handling of the “always on” news led to his departure.
News today from The Verge confirmed through “multiple sources” that Microsoft will definitely have an Xbox that seeks to be the center of the living room, and will work with cable boxes to deliver TV content along with the Xbox interface. This news–along with the “always on” controversy–seems to indicate that the rumors are true, and that perhaps Microsoft was angry with the way Orth handled the response. If the rumors are true–and everything is pointing to it as the truth–then Microsoft wouldn’t want anyone pissing customers off if they can break the news to them in a gentle, more PR-friendly way, and when they’re ready to announce it.
What do you think? Was Orth let go? And was his punishment too severe?