Xbox’s online media executive quits suddenly

2 min read

I'd pay to see this

Have you ever heard of Blair Westlake? No it’s not a gated community or the follow up to the Blair Witch Project it’s actually one of those awesome American names of an executive who has just resigned from Microsoft.

There are two interesting parts to this story, well three if we count his name. The first being how suddenly his resignation has come and how the announcement wasn’t one of those normal ones where he wants to spend time with his family or experience new things.

In fact Blair is very straight forward about why he’s quit

“It has become clear to me that the organization is moving in a direction that does not fit either my expertise or my skill sets”

Ouch… but what does this mean to gaming?

Well Blair was a leading name in Microsoft’s drive to take over the living room and to use the Xbox as more of an entertainment centre than a gaming console.

As Variety reports

But Westlake had long been one of the biggest champions of online entertainment for Microsoft, and a well-respected executive that the company relied on to help turn the Xbox more into a hub for all forms of entertainment, not just video games.

So on the one hand this could signal a change in direction for Microsoft to start focusing more on gaming and less on the Xbox One being an overall media device.

Or for the more pessimistic among us we could see this as Microsoft’s first move to distance the entertainment side of their business from their hardware and software side in preparation for a split. Mind you I’m the eternal optimist and I think a split could help the Xbox brand in the long run, as long as it is picked up by someone with enough gaming knowledge to make a success of it.

How about Peter Moore getting himself some funding and taking over the department and making a run for it?

Last Updated: January 17, 2014

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