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Zynga Inc Hires Microsoft Corporation Exec Who Supported Xbox One's Most Controversial Policies


Don Mattrick, the man who told gamers without an Internet connection to play the about-to-be-outdated Xbox 360 instead of the new Xbox One, has been hired as CEO of the online gaming company.

Editor's Note: This content was originally published on by Louis Bedigian.

Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) has officially hired Don Mattrick to take over as CEO.

Unlike some of Zynga's other hires over the past few years, Mattrick is well known by the gaming community. Up until Monday, he served as the president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Mattrick's notoriety has been controversial. In June, he infuriated consumers after telling them to stick with Xbox 360 if they could not sign online every day.

"Fortunately we have a product for people who aren't able to get some form of connectivity; it's called Xbox 360," said Mattrick, as quoted by IGN.

Mattrick's comments were not taken lightly by gamers, who felt that his statement was snide and offensive.

The former Microsoft executive was forced to change his tune after the company decided that its daily connection and anti-used game policies were not worth the trouble.

Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) had already gained an edge with the $399 price point, which is $100 lower than Xbox One's MSRP. The Japanese tech giant continued to receive positive press -- and praise from consumers -- after it announced that PlayStation 4 would not restrict used games or force players to maintain a daily online connection.

Nine days after Sony made that announcement, Mattrick released the following statement:

"An Internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games," Mattrick wrote. "After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.

"Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc-based games just like you do today. There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360."

Mattrick's departure was likely in the works long before the Xbox One controversy hit the Internet, but will his move to Zynga lead to another firestorm?

While he is less of a controversial figure than Zynga's founder and former CEO, Mark Pincus, Mattrick could bring another level of controversy to the firm.

If Mattrick is a fan of the Xbox One policies he previously supported, he might be a great fit for Zynga. The company does not sell software on physical discs, so used games are not an issue. And since most of its games are online, an Internet connection is always required.

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