Mattrick: "Zynga has yet to realize its full potential"

New CEO's first letter to employees describes long-standing admiration for Zynga's mainstream ambitions

In his first letter to Zynga's employees, former Xbox boss Don Mattrick has described his goal to help Zynga reach its full potential.

Mattrick claims to have "admired" Zynga for many years for the way it, "redefined entertainment and brought gaming into the mainstream."

"I joined Zynga because I believe that Mark's pioneering vision and mission to connect the world through games is just getting started," he said in the letter, which was sourced by AllThingsD.

"As Mark was recruiting me to come here, I was impressed by his creativity, drive and the clarity in which he sees the future of games and entertainment as a core consumer experience.

"I've seen firsthand how powerful franchises and networks can work together to deliver breakthrough value for consumers and drive sustainable growth. We too, have all the makings of a successful service and business and we have the opportunity to create lifelong relationships with our customers through our high quality products.

"Zynga is a great business that has yet to realize its full potential."

Rumours of Mattrick's departure from Microsoft began to circulate yesterday, and it was later confirmed that the former head of the Interactive Entertainment Business division had joined Zynga as its new CEO.

While Mattrick's decision to leave has been spun as a matter of simply seeking out new opportunities, industry analysts suspect that he may have been deemed at fault for policy reversal on the Xbox One. Speaking to GamesIndustry International, IDC Research's Lewis Ward pointed to the timing of the announcement - five months prior to the launch of the console - as evidence.

"One can only assume MS performed an internal review of how the Xbox One chose its misguided DRM and connected console strategy (before the post-E3 'Xbox 180') and found the buck stopped with Mattrick," he said.

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Latest comments (4)

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 8 years ago
In Britain (& presumably in other countries) there is an obsession to criticise soccer club managers. This criticism comes from people who haven't the faintest idea what the job involves and who definitely couldn't do it themselves.
This obsession has seemingly now extended to game industry management.
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Andrzej Wroblewski Localization Generalist, Albion Localisations8 years ago
I'm a big supporter of F2P model since League of Legends went beta, and I've never believed in prophecies of imminent Zynga's downfall. If anything -- I predict that Zynga will shift more towards open architecture and allow modding of some of their games, which will of course result in their share prices skyrocketing again and second phase of euphoria about Zynga. Well deserved, of course.
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Adam Coate CEO & Founder, Coate Games8 years ago
Ha, Bruce that is rich. Maybe you'd like to defend the Imagine management as well? Zynga is a terrible company who has only succeeded by ripping off others' games, and subsequently ripping off its customers. Having one of the Microsoft airheads come over to them is very fitting.
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David Serrano Freelancer 8 years ago
"One can only assume MS performed an internal review of how the Xbox One chose its misguided DRM and connected console strategy (before the post-E3 'Xbox 180') and found the buck stopped with Mattrick," he said."

One would assume corporate executives receive unprecedented levels of compensation based on guru level knowledge of audiences, markets and industries. One would assume the brain trust of gurus which is Microsoft's executive board would have had the wherewithal to proactively order Mattrick to perform extensive focus group testing to gauge the most likely response to the planned policy before approving it. So one would assume an objective internal review must have concluded the blame for approving a policy which common sense should have dictated would result in a market and PR shit storm fell squarely on the shoulders of Steve Ballmer and Microsoft's board.
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