There's a new number two in town over at Xbox as Matt Booty takes on the position of corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios. This promotion puts the Minecraft boss at the second highest executive spot just underneath Xboss Phil Spencer! Quite the promotion!
The move was made to create a more efficient flow with the release of games, which falls in line with Spencer's earlier comments about 2018 bringing positive change for the brand. Though Spencer himself will still be at the head of strategy for games, Booty will be an important part of that execution.
"I wanted to make sure we had the right organization in place to deliver on our content goals. With that, I made the decision that I wanted to anoint a leader of our Microsoft Studios organization, which if you've tracked it, I've had the leaders of our individual franchises reporting to me for the last three and a half years," Spencer told Venturebeat. "That's been great in driving our all-up strategy and getting us to the point where Satya was willing and eager to make the investment in gaming that he's made, but it's also become very clear to me that we're going to invest more in content, which we are doing, and that a unified studios leadership organization was going to be critical to our long-term success. I've asked Matt Booty to step up into the role of leading Microsoft Studios."
Gears of War and Halo fans especially will see much more of the Booty name as he will be overseeing all of the Xbox exclusives that the Microsoft brand boasts. As far as what Booty thinks about taking on the number two role:
"It goes without saying, but this is an incredible privilege and honor, to step into this role," Booty told me in an interview. "I really look at it first and foremost as an opportunity to serve and provide a leadership layer to the studio heads, so they can focus even more on making great games. I've worked as a peer with Bonnie and Shannon and Rod and Craig, and obviously very closely with Helen as the No. 2 person on the Minecraft franchise in Redmond. It's a group I have a huge amount of respect for. It's a world-class group of leaders and a world-class collection of studios. It's a privilege to get in and help provide a layer of unification and collaboration across the studios, as we go forward helping drive the initiatives Phil talked about, getting behind the company's vision for gaming."
Spencer had nothing but praise for his second in command, and Booty definitely has the chops to back up his new position since his humble beginnings as an engineer back in '91 at Midway Games in Chicago. 2018 could be a big year for Xbox, especially now that so many will be reporting to Booty.