Microsoft Building New Xbox Team in Santa Monica to “Hire and Grow” Talent to “Build teams and Culture”

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May 8, 2018
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It appears that Microsoft is fitting together a new Xbox Team in Southern California to hire and grow talent for its first party studios to build new IP.

The Redmond-based tech company is currently hiring a full-time Principal Program Manager to “hire and grow internal studio talent to build teams and culture”.

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“Games inspire us with their stories, and they teach us about creativity, teamwork, competition, and consequences”, Microsoft’s introduction to the company reads. “Today, one in seven people play video games around the world, driving an industry that brings in more than $125 billion in revenue annually. Gaming is bigger today than it has ever been, and the ecosystem is evolving and growing quickly.  We’re mobilizing Microsoft to pursue the extensive gaming market opportunity, which means we’re broadening our approach to how we think about gaming end to end, starting with games and how they’re created and distributed, and how they’re played and viewed.”

According to the job listing, the Santa Monica location will be used “to build an ecosystem of contract and external employees for production scalability.”

The program manager will work with “with studio management, developers and key stakeholders in the creation of the product vision to help build and a new franchise.”

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Qualifications and experience for the position include 10+ years of experience in the gaming industry with 4+ years of experience at Lead/ Executive Producer level or above. In addition, the ideal candidate has experience in shipping “high quality titles at AAA standards” with “knowledge and understanding of the process of building new IP.”

Microsoft’s Game Production wing recently hired former Tomb Raider studio head Darrell Gallagher, who teased “good things to come”. Microsoft’s Matt Booty said that more will be shared at this year’s E3 event. Interestingly, prior to being hired by Microsoft, Gallagher served as Head of Development at Activision in Santa Monica.

Xbox head Phil Spencer has promised increased investments in new IP and first-party studios on several occasions, but also stated that building high-quality new IP takes time.

We’ll update as we learn more about Microsoft’s new Xbox Team in Santa Monica.

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