Don Mattrick announced on Monday, he was leaving his position as the head of interactive entertainment at Microsoft, to take control of Zynga. Mattrick’s position at Microsoft included the game console Xbox.
The move is a huge change from Mattrick, and has been compared to a New York Times editor leaving the company to start a blog.
Zynga sees the move as a huge coup, and rightly so and no one to date has been able to figure out the business of social gaming.
However, if Mattrick were able to do so, it would be a huge move, as he has been a big player in the creation of a number of trends over the past two decades in gaming.
As a British Columbia teen, he started making games to be used on personal computers, turning that into a business he sold in 1991, for $10 million to Electronic Arts. While with EA, he worked on the hugely popular FIFA and The Sims games.
He then joined the video game sector at Microsoft in 2007. At that time, the company had similarities to current day Zynga, of which, most notably it too was in big trouble.
At the time, Microsoft was in second to the PlayStation 2 of Sony and faced a huge surge by Nintendo, whose Wii turned out to become popular amongst everyone except serious gamers.
However, almost at once, Mattrick started working on a gaming device using motion sensing for Microsoft. That turned into Kinect, the device that has become the fastest selling consumer electronic device in history. It helped to cement Xbox as the most luxurious game console.