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Xbox head of research and design Chris Novak has left after 20 years

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

Chris Novak posted a message on his LinkedIn page announcing that Tuesday was his last day at Microsoft.

“I have resigned from Xbox and from Microsoft, and my last day is today, the 19th,” he wrote. “I started at Xbox in November of 2002, so after nearly 20 years I know this news can either come as a surprise, or as expected. It’s a mix of both!”

Although Novak didn’t go into detail on the reason for his departure, he explained that he had been planning to leave for a few years due to factors outside of Xbox.

“My journey has a period of reflection and rest in its immediate future, one I promised myself a few years ago after a significant event outside of work,” he said.

“I’m going to spend some time doing a life and design tour everywhere I can. If you want to collaborate and chat design, games, or product please reach out (no matter the industry).

“I’ve found that the best things I’ve seen or done in games have sparked from other areas, and I want to lean into that in a big way.”

Novak joined the Xbox team in November 2002, where he was a design director for seven years, working on the likes of Project Gotham Racing 2, 3 and 4, Crackdown and the first Forza Motorsport.

In September 2009 he became a design architect for Microsoft Studios, where he was part of the initial design team for HoloLens. He was also a first-party design representative and worked on such games as Quantum Break, Sunset Overdrive and Ryse: Son of Rome.

Since October 2016, Novak has been the head of Xbox research and design, where he led work on improving and evolving the user experience across all of Microsoft’s gaming channels.

“I have loved my time with Xbox,” Novak said. “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.”

He added: “I will always root for Xbox, for user-centered process, and most importantly for the voices of countless gamers around the world looking for ways to connect to one another and the games they love. They are who we really work for.”
 

Shmunter

Gold Member
360 was so well tuned with all standards in place. I envisaged it going to the next level at some point with standardised clan support and all sorts of social features. And then just like that, all standards went out the window with next gen, a Wild West of dev choices and bespoke solutions. Forever puzzled and disappointed.
 
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Roxkis_ii

Gold Member
Much love just off Project Gotham racing alone. Those games where awesome. I hope he enjoys his next destination.
 

ManaByte

Gold Member
360 was so well tuned with all standards in place. I envisaged it going to the next level at some point with standardised clan support and all sorts of social features. And then just like that, all standards went out the window with next gen, a Wild West of dev choices and bespoke solutions. Forever puzzled and disappointed.

 
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