It has been confirmed that Mike Ybarra, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s gaming division, is departing the company after 20 years of service. There will be some major steps forward for Microsoft's gaming division over the course of the next few years. The company is preparing to launch a successor to the Xbox One, codenamed Project Scarlett, for 2020's holiday season. Additionally, Microsoft is on the verge of rolling out its xCloud games streaming platform on mobile devices.
Meanwhile, subscription service initiatives like Xbox Games Pass have proven to be very lucrative for the company. Heck, Microsoft has even begun to allow its games on Nintendo Switch, which shows the level of collaboration that the company is willing to push in order to get its IP out there. The most recent examples have been Banjo-Kazooie crossing over into Smash Bros Ultimate and Ori and the Blind Forest releasing on Switch.
These are all major changes for Microsoft and the Xbox brand, but there's one more change that many will view as somewhat of a sad one. Mike Ybarra, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s gaming division, has announced that he has left the company via Twitter. This marks the end of a nearly 20-year career at Microsoft for Ybarra, and his absence is sure to be missed based on the Twitter reaction from his former colleagues.
Ybarra first made the jump to Microsoft from HP as a software developer in 2000 before eventually climbing the ranks. His departure is sure to be felt at the company, as even Xbox head Phil Spencer chimed in to wish him all the best by expressing his gratitude for Ybarra's years of service.
Thank you (@XboxQwik) for your many contributions to Microsoft and Xbox. You've been a strong advocate for our fans from day one, and have consistently driven to keep gamers at the center of everything we do. All of us at TeamXbox wish you the best.— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) October 9, 2019
It should prove to be an interesting few years for the Xbox brand, following several major acquisitions in the gaming world. Most recently, Xbox purchased Double Fine Studios which should make for a great partner studio for the console manufacturer. Acquisitions like this should also provide Microsoft with more software output capabilities as it prepares for the next generation of gaming with its Xbox Scarlett.
Admittedly, it's been a fascinating year for big-name depatures in the gaming industry. For example, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime retired this year, while Sony Worldwide Studios Head Shawn Layden left the company under mysterious circumstances. Ybarra marks the third major departure across all three of the big console manufacturers, but by all accounts it appears to be one of the two that were publically viewed as endearing by colleagues.
Here's hoping that Mike Ybarra has some cool news for everyone on his future in the near future.
Source: Mike Ybarra - Twitter