Microsoft has lost a major player from their Xbox team today as the lead designer of the Xbox One and the founder of Xbox Live, Boyd Multerer has left the company to pursue independent opportunities.
This morning Multerer announced his departure from the technology giant, tweeting
Wow. Lots of kind words coming in today. I’m proud to have affected so many and hope to continue doing so!— Boyd Multerer (@BoydMulterer) December 29, 2014
Multerer was instrumental in much of Xbox's history in gaming. In the late 90s/early 00s he was developing the building blocks for what would become Xbox Live, the Microsoft online gaming service that he went on to found. After that he helped to created the XNA toolset which made Xbox Live Indie Games possible and remains the main platform for indie games on Microsoft platforms. Most headline friendly; he helped to design both the Xbox 360 and the recently released Xbox One consoles.
Multerer's most important contribution to gaming is a matter of debate but it is difficult to overstate the significance of Xbox Live on the console gaming market. The online service normalized network connectivity for future gaming consoles as well as set precedent for a subscription based online service; which Sony would subsequently conform to with the launch of the PlayStation 4.
Most recently Multerer was responsible for much of the software framework on Microsoft's Xbox One Console. Since the announcement this morning, he has remained silent about what his new project will be, his Twitter profile stating he is "Currently doing independent secret stuff."
Multerer's departure is the latest in an increasingly busy revolving door of Microsoft senior staff. Don Mattrick, former chief of Xbox left in 2013 to helm social game giant Zynga. Marc Whitten; one of the biggest proponents of the controversial TV features of the Xbox moved to Sonos in March. And of course there was the highly publicized departure of Steve Ballmer from the company in early 2014. While the Xbox One has been selling well this holiday season (thanks in part to absurdly cheap deals on Bundles) underperformance of recent ventures could have shaken faith in the Microsoft higher ups.
TechRaptor wishes Boyd Multerer the best in all his future endeavours and we will of course be there to cover it when we have more information!