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Microsoft: Don Mattrick turned the Xbox business round

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Aaron Greenburg hails departing Interactive Entertainment Business president

Amid the more poisonous rhetoric being expressed this morning on Don Mattrick's departure from Microsoft, I thought it might be interesting to share the perspective of his chief of staff Aaron Greenburg, who credits Mattrick with taking Xbox 360 from its red-ring-of-death doldrums to its current position atop the US market.... read more

Microsoft: Don Mattrick turned the Xbox business round

Postby scottishwildcat » 02 Jul 2013, 14:56

I guess he must have had a lot more business nous than charisma. He made me cringe every time he came on stage at Xbox events.
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Re: Microsoft: Don Mattrick turned the Xbox business round

Postby vadersmyfather » 02 Jul 2013, 15:00

"brought in innovations like Kinect which really dramatically, I think, changed the way people thought about gaming, how people thought about our device, and also helped really broaden our product to a new set of customers."

Well, Kinect certainly produced games for the party/kiddy market, and if that is what it sought to achieve then it should be congratulated. But I was led to believe it was designed to accomplish far more innovation than party games. It was intended to redesign how we play games and in that it failed.
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Re: Microsoft: Don Mattrick turned the Xbox business round

Postby SilentDark » 02 Jul 2013, 15:06

Over that time period, we moved from number three in the market to number one, we moved from being unprofitable to being profitable across our entire business. Last couple of years, we've been delivering about a billion dollars in profit, more or less. And brought in innovations like Kinect which really dramatically, I think, changed the way people thought about gaming, how people thought about our device, and also helped really broaden our product to a new set of customers.


And in one move it was almost completely destroyed by an inability to read the public mood regarding online DRM restrictions. Yup, What a guy. :lol:
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Re: Microsoft: Don Mattrick turned the Xbox business round

Postby lazercut123 » 02 Jul 2013, 19:01

Xbox is number 1 in the market? Err.... No, I'm preeeeeety sure that title goes the Nintendo wii, unless in the past few months the wii has suddenly stopped selling a single console and the Xbox has sold 20 million.

Or is he just talking about England, because then he may be right.. Just.
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Re: Microsoft: Don Mattrick turned the Xbox business round

Postby Roland of Gilead » 03 Jul 2013, 09:05

The problem this guy had, was that as soon as he stepped out on the stage at the reveal, people automatically put his face and name as 'the xbox one guy'. Everyone had incredibly high hopes, and for many of them, those hopes were dashed against the rocks by some really poor decision making by Microsoft. Unfortunately for Mattrick, most of these dissappointed customers took that poor decision making as a betrayal, and now had a figure head to spout their disgust at. And in many ways, in a really aggressive and personal manner.

I wonder who feels more betrayed, this faceless group millions of adolescents flaming a bloke they know next to nothing about other than what they found on google/wikipedia, and ended up getting more or less what they wanted. Or this one bloke who has dedicated the last 6+ years of his life to working with his team to make the xbox as good as it can be, only to be shot up in flames by the very people he was trying to help.

Don't shoot the messenger?! I don't blame him for leaving.
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Re: Microsoft: Don Mattrick turned the Xbox business round

Postby vadersmyfather » 03 Jul 2013, 09:21

Roland of Gilead wrote:Don't shoot the messenger?! I don't blame him for leaving.


Clearly far more goes on behind the scenes than we are aware of and I'm sure there are two sides to this. But we can't get away from the fact that there was a huge negative reaction to the news of the Xbox One and this was down to Don and his teams failure to communicate well enough that their policies were right.

It's undoubtedly a shame and I think some of his policies could have ultimately proven successful, but the fact remains he was unable to convince the buying public of that. There's no doubt in my mind that he has unwittingly undermined the brand, which clearly is one the reasons for him moving on. His position had become untenable.
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Re: Microsoft: Don Mattrick turned the Xbox business round

Postby Chameleon » 03 Jul 2013, 11:09

lazercut123 wrote:Xbox is number 1 in the market? Err.... No, I'm preeeeeety sure that title goes the Nintendo wii, unless in the past few months the wii has suddenly stopped selling a single console and the Xbox has sold 20 million.

Or is he just talking about England, because then he may be right.. Just.

If you bothered to actually read the article, he's talking about the US market. He's also not talking about total units shipped, but about the position of the current market - certainly in the US, at the time of the interview, the 360 was the current best-selling console by a long way - a quick Google returns http://bgr.com/2013/05/17/xbox-360-sales-april-2013/
THAT is what he's getting praise for.

Edit: The problem with the internet is that a lot of people don't think before putting words down on forums such as this, and get those little things called facts wrong. Thus Mattrick gets a whole lot of stick for being the guy who had to stick his head above the parapet - some of it deserved (he had to have a whole lot of input into the marketing of the One) but much of it not.
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Re: Microsoft: Don Mattrick turned the Xbox business round

Postby vadersmyfather » 03 Jul 2013, 11:41

Chameleon wrote:Thus Mattrick gets a whole lot of stick for being the guy who had to stick his head above the parapet - some of it deserved (he had to have a whole lot of input into the marketing of the One) but much of it not.


Mattrick was one of a number of Executives involved with the direction of Xbox brand, but it's hard to to lay much of the blame for the debacle at his door.
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Re: Microsoft: Don Mattrick turned the Xbox business round

Postby Chameleon » 03 Jul 2013, 11:53

vadersmyfather wrote:Mattrick was one of a number of Executives involved with the direction of Xbox brand, but it's hard to to lay much of the blame for the debacle at his door.

Agreed but, as one of a select number of people who probably knew the direction the One was taking, he could easily have laid a few rumours to bed in the interviews/speeches he gave. If the plan was for GoD to be running Steam-esque sales, he would have known, and should have said. Same for the Family sharing. He DOES deserve some blame, but not much more-so than the people who prepared press releases, et al.
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Re: Microsoft: Don Mattrick turned the Xbox business round

Postby vadersmyfather » 03 Jul 2013, 12:03

Chameleon wrote:as one of a select number of people who probably knew the direction the One was taking, he could easily have laid a few rumours to bed in the interviews/speeches he gave. If the plan was for GoD to be running Steam-esque sales, he would have known, and should have said. Same for the Family sharing.


I agree completely. His vision for the brand could well have been a game changer but it simply wasn't explained as it should have been. We heard all about restrictions and nothing about benefits. There was no balance.

Take the issue of sharing games which was not explained in anything other than vague terms to the point where, even now, we still don't know how that would have worked, or indeed whether it really would have been as beneficial as it sounded.

And as for suggesting that for everyone without an internet connection there is the 360, that was such a naive and inflammatory comment that I could barely believe a professional would have said it, quite frankly.

It was all pretty poor and he spent so much time fighting fires his team created that it was clear he had to go - along with others in time I expect.
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Re: Microsoft: Don Mattrick turned the Xbox business round

Postby SilentDark » 03 Jul 2013, 13:04

Roland of Gilead wrote:The problem this guy had, was that as soon as he stepped out on the stage at the reveal, people automatically put his face and name as 'the xbox one guy'. Everyone had incredibly high hopes, and for many of them, those hopes were dashed against the rocks by some really poor decision making by Microsoft. Unfortunately for Mattrick, most of these dissappointed customers took that poor decision making as a betrayal, and now had a figure head to spout their disgust at. And in many ways, in a really aggressive and personal manner.

I wonder who feels more betrayed, this faceless group millions of adolescents flaming a bloke they know next to nothing about other than what they found on google/wikipedia, and ended up getting more or less what they wanted. Or this one bloke who has dedicated the last 6+ years of his life to working with his team to make the xbox as good as it can be, only to be shot up in flames by the very people he was trying to help.

Don't shoot the messenger?! I don't blame him for leaving.



Except he was more than just a messenger, and as for him "leaving" I think it was more of a case of he is just the first of many to walk the plank over this situation.

When you make yourself the public face of any product, which is what he did, you become the one held responsible if the public don't take a liking to it. Team Ninja when attached to Metroid Other M, more than a few people blamed them for the games biggest flaws, the plot and the characterisation of Samus, things which they had no real input in. Don on the other hand was involved all the way in the marketing of the One and should have been able to answer the questions people were obviously going to ask, sure he didn't design the thing himself but it was his job to sell what MS were offering, to make it sound appealing, he is probably the first of many to go over this debacle, and do you know what, good. He should go, his job was selling the xbox one, to get people excited for it, in that he completely and utterly failed, sure the 180 has won back some people, and I don't think the situation will be as bad as the PS3, where Sony's arrogance and seeming contempt for their fans saw them get off to a rather slow start (Tip for MS PR department, don't just learn from your mistakes, learn from the mistakes of others) but this has negatively affected MS standing, they'll be ok, I don't see brand xbox going the way of the dodo but they have given themselves an obsticle they shouldn't have had to overcome, all because nobody at that company seems to pay attention. In fact the PR department did such a lousy job with this situation I think the lot of them should be sacked and replaced.
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Re: Microsoft: Don Mattrick turned the Xbox business round

Postby Roland of Gilead » 03 Jul 2013, 14:02

I was just playing the devils advocate, don't get me wrong, Microsoft have done wrong BIG time. I was ready to jump ship until I heard about the 180. But it seems like people think that there are just a couple of guys and a white board brainstorming the release of the xbox one in an office. In reality there were probably hundreds of people involved.

Yes Mattrick was a big player in the whole debacle, but what I'm hearing is similar to blaming Windows 8s downfalls on Bill Gates. Being the face of the release, I imagine he understood any critisism would go through him first, much the same as a politician. But this guy was telling the world of this great new exciting console/media centre he'd taken part in creating, and he's being called 'creepy looking' , an a**hole, etc like he was the one that had curled out a steamer on all our hopes and dreams.

On the same token, his choice of words regarding the 360 for those of us that dont want to play online were poor, but half the world had collectively spat in his babies face. Metaphorically of course.
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