Microsoft gaming director moves to Amazon

The online retailer could be planning a move into gaming

Amazon may be preparing a move into gaming after hiring away Microsoft's director of games platform strategy.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Andre Vrignaud wrote that he had mixed emotions about leaving Microsoft for Amazon. "I make this announcement with mixed emotions as I'm excited about where Microsoft is going in the next few years as they look to reinvent digital entertainment ... but I'm also obviously very intrigued about what Amazon is looking to do," he wrote.

Vrignaud did not reveal any details of what he'll be doing at Amazon but said that it would become evident soon and implied that he would continue his work in gaming.

Vrignaud has spent 20 years in the gaming industry, including eight at Microsoft, where he helped build Xbox Live. "Not many people remember now, but there was a time when even the idea of Xbox Live was extremely controversial," he wrote. Xbox Live, a subscription service that lets gamers play each other remotely, turned out to be very successful, with currently more than 25 million members.

Despite that success, there's been some turmoil in Microsoft's game group recently. Robbie Bach, who was the head of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division, left the company earlier this year, as did J. Allard, who was in charge of design and development in the same group. Those changes came just as Microsoft is about to launch Kinect, a new platform for controllerless gaming.

In addition, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 devices will soon go on sale, for the first time allowing people to play Xbox games against friends using their phones.

Amazon offers downloads of games developed by other companies on its site and also offers a couple of games for its Kindle e-reader. The Kindle has some limits to the kinds of games it can run because the display uses E Ink, which requires a brief delay to refresh the screen.

Still, Amazon is offering a limited beta of a software development kit for developers interested in building games or other applications for the Kindle, indicating it believes there may be a market in Kindle apps and games.

Microsoft said it had no comment on Vrignaud's departure and Amazon did not reply to a request for comment.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesamazonpersonnelamazon.comMicrosoftgames

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?