Last week, as Microsoft's Xbox leader left the company, he joined the flailing social gaming company, Zynga. The company has been in trouble lately, with studio closures and having enormous trouble keeping employees and customers alike.
The hiring of COO David Ko represented a big turnaround for the company, even posting a profit. Unfortunately, Ko's leadership has not been enough, hence the switch in CEOs. Pairing Ko and Mattrick is quite possibly the best thing that could happen to the company. Ko has been known for cutting dead weight, whether a popular decision or not, and Mattrick was able to help make Microsoft the dominant force in the gaming industry with innovative features and must-have titles.
At the same time as this shake-up, Zynga is also in the process of getting into a new market: online gambling. While neither leader has any real experience in that industry, Mattrick does have a lot of experience with differing markets and, of course, creating a gaming economy.
Another major benefit Mattrick brings to the company is game depth. Zynga is not known for having particularly deep games, but Xbox certainly is. Microsoft's studios, under Don Mattrick's leadership, have produced games so engaging that their very existence has literally limited the capabilities of future gaming hardware. In a company dominated by casual, passing interest titles that only turn profit through long-term engagement, getting rid of the passing interest aspect would be helpful.
Hopefully, for Zynga and their stockholders' sakes, this change will work out. Something has to work for them eventually, right?