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Xbox head of research Chris Novak leaves company after 20 years

Novak joined the firm in 2002, has led user experience across consoles and online platforms

Chris Novak, head of research and design at Xbox, has announced his departure from the company after almost 20 years.

Novak joined Xbox in 2002 as design director, just after the launch of the original Xbox console. He spent almost seven years in the role before taking on design architect in 2007, where he led the development of the Hololens and Xbox One technology.

Since 2016, Novak has served as Xbox's head of research and design, guiding the user experience across gaming at Microsoft including its consoles, Game Pass, Xbox Live and xCloud.

"I have loved my time with Xbox," Novak said in a LinkedInPost. "Building end-to-end experiences for gamers is a privilege. There are very few things one gets to work on in life which evoke such passion in people around the world. I adore listening to gamers and envisioning that next moment of unexpected delight. Gaming is amazing. Xbox will always be with me."

Novak doesn't have a new role in mind currently, instead opting to take some time off to learn new things, as per an interview with Polygon about his time with Xbox.

"I'm just about to be 20 years with Xbox," Novak told the outlet. "For me, some of the things that are coming up for Xbox, which are tremendously exciting, would be committing to years worth of work there."

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Danielle Partis avatar
Danielle Partis: Danielle is a multi award-winning journalist and editor that joined in 2021. She previously served as editor at, and is also a co-founder of games outlet Overlode.
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