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Xbox Exec Moves to EA

Mike Musgrove

Surprising bit of executive-shuffling news from the video game world yesterday: Peter Moore of Microsoft is leaving that company to be the head of the sports division of game-publishing-giant Electronic Arts.

For years Moore, as vice president of interactive entertainment at Microsoft, has been the face of Xbox to the gamer community. Well, one of the main ones, anyway. Just last week, at the E3 trade show in Santa Monica, Moore was the guy who headed the show at Microsoft's press event to build up excitement for the console and its holiday game lineup. And a couple of weeks ago, when the company announced it would expand the Xbox 360 warranty a couple of weeks ago, Moore was the one who penned the company's mea culpa.

I first met Moore years ago, when he was a top executive at Sega, which was struggling along with its Dreamcast console. Many game fans loved that console, along with its then-revolutionary feature of connecting to the Internet. The next year or so, he was at Microsoft -- and told me something to the effect that Sega's troubles were because it was a pioneer, and pioneers tend to get arrows in their backs.

Moore is scheduled to start at the beginning of September, according to EA; Microsoft did not respond to calls or an email for comment.

Fun fact: EA's sports division generated $1.6 billion in revenues in 2006.

By Mike Musgrove  |  July 18, 2007; 6:44 AM ET  | Category:  Mike Musgrove
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Comments

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Something smells bad. Moore is leaving as Xbox 360 consoles fill repair depots and threaten to lop off up to $1 billion from MS' revenues. It's understandable to want to leave in the wake of bad news like that.

But Halo 3, the Xbox 360's killer application, is scheduled for release in less than three months. Why leave when your flagship game is about to save the Xbox division's bacon?

The likely reason: the true extent of the Xbox 360's reliability problems are far worse than the darkest predictions of game bloggers or the media. Halo 3, while still impressive in its own right, is no match for the Wii revolution. People want Wii, not unreliable 360's to play a third-sequel game.

Therefore, no amount of Halo 3 sales is likely to save the day. Thus, Ballmer wanted someone's head to roll.

Posted by: Ken L | July 19, 2007 12:01 AM

I agree with Ken L completely. The timing of the recent events looks very fishy indeed, meaning.
1.With a large number of Xbox 360 console failures, Microsoft had no other choice then to do something about it. (It should be noted that the warranty extension was announced BEFORE the E3 show. It had to be done at that time, or face very serious offensive attacks at the E3 show. (Please note that this new warranty only covers the 'Red Ring of Death' and is not a general hardware warranty, that you will have to pay for).
2.Right after the E3 show Mr.Moore bails out (Or is ask to seek other employment). The question might be why not before, for he clearly knew he was leaving? Was he ask to do so, meaning ordered (Requested) to. This looks and smells like management replacement time due to all the Xbox 306 problems that occurred under his command.
3.Is the Xbox 360 a sinking ship? Will all units in the near future fail sooner, if not later? Will we see a totally new replacement console design fairly soon, with millions of current x360's out there moving directly to the garbage can.
4.It clearly looks like the X360 made all the wrong moves, and in desperation is now trying to patch things up quickly. The fact is the X360 is a true lemon. And legally it should be treated like one.
For myself the entire thing smells to high heaven.
What they will do next is a very good question.
Right now they think they have covered their butt(s) with a very weak warranty, and Mr.Moore gone. However the real problems are coming, and I suspect very soon, with millions of angry owners, huge bottomless pit financial losses. This kind of thing would have killed another smaller game console manufacture.
To my thinking they had better bury this entirely, and bring out a brand new console, and that very soon. (However how many will trust them in the future? (So far we have had placed on the market two poorly designed Xbox consoles).
Not a very good position to be in. Crummy consoles, flimsy warranties, heads rolling. If they get out of this situation without huge financial losses it will surprise me.

Posted by: Don E | July 19, 2007 5:50 AM

For your amusement, the Red Ring of Death video.
http://news.filefront.com/xbox-360-red-ring-of-death-youtube-video-ring-of-fire-parody/

Posted by: Don E | July 19, 2007 5:57 AM

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