Microsoft Creative Director Resigns After Bashing New XBox On Twitter

Adam Orth's sarcastic comments on the Internet were posted... on the Internet.

Adam Orth, a creative director for Microsoft, has parted company with the firm, a week after posting comments on Twitter that were seen as critical to the software-and-gaming giant's strategy. The new Xbox is due out May 21.

Rumors emerged last week of the forthcoming version of Microsoft's Xbox console, and that it would need a constant Internet connection—or "always on"—in keeping with Microsoft's current strategy, turning its gaming console into more of an entertainment hub. So far, so cable.

Orth, who tweets as @Orthy, (but who has since gone private, following the controversy), wrote, somewhat sarcastically—you can see screenshots of the conversation here—about how, in this crazy modern world, most devices were connected to the Internet 24/7. Which, of course, is fine if you live in a shiny new city, but not so good if you're a rural gamer who resides miles away from the nearest subway. Or, indeed, Subway.

Sarcasm, it seems, is not a viable commodity when you're working for a technology giant like Microsoft, one of whose remaining stable footholds in the 21st century seems to be the gaming market. Nor is the revelation that, yes, the new Xbox was going to have a permalink to the Intertubes.

So Microsoft released a terse statement yesterday talking apologies, an employee's private views having nothing in common with Microsoft's customer-centric attitude, more apologies, and something about our "product roadmap."

Put that on your Buzzword Bingo list.

[Image: From Adam Orth's Twitter page]

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  • Rich Hutnik

    Orthy bashed the next XBox or did he bash the critics of always on? Maybe I am missing the sarcasm.

  • Addy Dugdale

    Well, Rich, he didn't really criticise anyone or anything, he just made a slightly sarky observation about how he used the Internet--ie, left it on the whole time. And then, the Internet being the Internet, some people chose to get offended by his comments (which were not offensive), saying, durr, not all of us live in a place where we have access to hot and cold running Internet. Orthy shrugged, as you would--the whole issue was a bit of not much really, he probably thought.

    And then, the Internet still being the Internet, everything got magnified to the power of a capital I. And then, Microsoft, fearing that its new iteration of the Xbox might offend some people, and worried that too much info about a Secret New Product was leaking, did some PR work. So, damage-limitation statements were made, a little bit of a talking-to was probably handed out, a person resigned and Buzzword Bingo cards were filled out. 

    Let us give praise for the Internet!

  • Savvy Consumer

    You need to proof-read a little more. The new Xbox is not due to be released May 21, it's due to be announced on May 21.

    It is spelled "snarky", not "sarky".

    And Orth's comments were not innocently sarcastic observations. His attitude betrays a high level of distain for paying customers with valid criticisms of the new product.

    This "always-on" issue is very unpopular with customers because it greatly effects how a person can use a product he/she paid to own. You basically need to sign up and login to get permission from Microsoft to play the game you paid for. Games will also be registered to a single Xbox. Meaning you can not sell games you do not like, and you can not buy used ones. With the "always-on" failure of highly anticipated games like Diablo III and Simcity 2013, customers are very weary of getting burned. Then this guy gets on Twitter and passive-agressivly tells customers with concerns that they are all idiots.

    Next time make sure you understand what you are writing about before you write about it.