Before Phil Spencer took over Xbox and rejuvenated the brand, the gaming branch of Microsoft was helmed by Don Mattrick, who had previously worked at EA in various leadership positions after he sold his company Distinctive Software to it at the age of 17.
Mattrick's time running Xbox is largely seen as a failure, thanks predominately to the roll-out of the Xbox One, which caught major backlash for a variety of reasons that are neither here nor there for the purpose of this article.
What's perhaps more interesting than the beaten to death reasons why Xbox failed under Mattrick, is the new revelation that apparently he didn't believe in the original Xbox that started it all back in 2001. Yes, ironically, the eventual head of Xbox didn't have any faith in the original Xbox console.
According to Seamus Blackley, one of the creators of the original Xbox, when he went to EA Canada to pitch the idea of a Microsoft console, Mattrick, who was with EA at the time, apparently tried to block Blackley's presentation because he didn't believe in the console.
I’ve never talked about this before, but the irony of Don Mattrick as Xbox Chief was huge for me: when I first came to EA Canada to present the idea of a Microsoft console, he nearly blocked me from addressing the company because he didn’t believe it was possible. It was tense. pic.twitter.com/3pqRq4rGBL— Seamus Blackley (@SeamusBlackley) March 4, 2019
It's pretty crazy to think that after rejecting the original system, Mattrick eventually found himself held of the company birthed by said system, then almost drove it into the ground.
As for what Mattrick is doing now, it's unclear. After Microsoft, he became CEO of Zynga, but that didn't last long. In 2015, he resigned, and then proceeded seemingly drop off the grid.
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