Last week, Adam Orth aroused an intense storm of controversy by taking to Twitter to insist that an “always online” Xbox 720 was no big deal and that gamers should just “#dealwithit.”
Unsurprisingly, gamers reacted with frustration and anger. Meanwhile, another prominent figure in the gaming industry, Bioware designer Manveer Heir, tweeted back to ask if Orth and Microsoft had learned nothing from SimCity and Diablo III, two games that failed spectacularly in using an “always online” requirement.
Then, when someone asked what would happen to people without any Internet access, Orth smugly replied, “Those people should definitely get with the times and get the internet…It’s awesome.”
Out of touch, much?
Once Orth’s comments hit the web tubes, Microsoft switched to damage control. “We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday,” the Redmond-based firm said.
“This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customers centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers.”
Now, it appears Orth is leaving Microsoft. A report from Game Informer — which originally broke this story — indicates that Orth has resigned, though it’s not clear if such a move was voluntary or forced.
All in all, this whole episode represents a double-whammy for Microsoft. Not only has it learned, in rather brutal fashion, that gamers don’t want an “always online” Xbox 720, but the firm now has to replace Orth. Like his comments or not, the guy’s talented, having worked on several major games, including God of War 3 and the Medal of Honor series.
Earlier today rumors emerged suggesting Xbox 720 launch games could include a new Forza Motorsport title and an entirely new franchise called Ryse. Will that be enough to convince gamers to buy a console that must always be connected to the web?