Sources close to All Things Digital have reported that head of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment division Don Mattrick will be departing his role at the corporation for a key leadership position at Zynga. The news is now official thanks a Steve Ballmer memo (opens in new tab).
Mattrick’s move to Zynga is huge. Currently, the company has been struggling to make the transition away from Facebook games into the mobile space. Just last month, Zynga shut down a number of its offices. OMGPOP, the developers behind the short-lived mobile game Draw Something, was among them. Mattrick may be a key part of helping give Zynga the momentum it needs to make the push it needs to get into the mobile space.
On Microsoft’s end, Mattrick’s departure could be interpreted as a result of the highly negative feedback the company’s received about the Xbox One and its online DRM policy. Although Microsoft has since reversed its position on such policies, there’s still the issue that the console is launching at a price point that’s $100 higher than its chief competitor, and the price difference is largely attributed to the Kinect that comes bundled with every Xbox One.