Matt Booty, the former head of the Minecraft business at Microsoft, has been promoted to Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Studios. This will make him one of the top game executives reporting to Phil Spencer, who was previously promoted to Executive Vice President for games by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Speaking with GamesBeat, Spencer stated that he will still be in charge of the grand strategy for games. Booty’s role will be to execute that strategy in games publishing. The rest of the studio chiefs will now report to Booty, who now oversees developing and publishing Microsoft games for console, PC, and mobile platforms. He in turn reports to Spencer, according to GamesBeat.
“I wanted to make sure we had the right organization in place to deliver on our content goals. With that, I made the decision that I wanted to anoint a leader of our Microsoft Studios organization, which if you’ve tracked it, I’ve had the leaders of our individual franchises reporting to me for the last three and a half years,” Spencer said. “That’s been great in driving our all-up strategy and getting us to the point where Satya was willing and eager to make the investment in gaming that he’s made, but it’s also become very clear to me that we’re going to invest more in content, which we are doing, and that a unified studios leadership organization was going to be critical to our long-term success. I’ve asked Matt Booty to step up into the role of leading Microsoft Studios.”
Booty’s former role as head of the global teams responsible for developing Minecraft will now fall to Helen Chiang, who was Booty’s operations head. Mojang will retain CEO Jonas Mårtensson.
Part of Booty’s job will also be to expand Microsoft’s gaming operations which covers developing and publishing games at studios like 343 Industries, Turn 10, The Coalition, Rare, Mojang, and Microsoft Global Publishing.
“It goes without saying, but this is an incredible privilege and honor, to step into this role,” Booty told GamesBeat. “I really look at it first and foremost as an opportunity to serve and provide a leadership layer to the studio heads, so they can focus even more on making great games. I’ve worked as a peer with Bonnie and Shannon and Rod and Craig, and obviously very closely with Helen as the No. 2 person on the Minecraft franchise in Redmond. It’s a group I have a huge amount of respect for. It’s a world-class group of leaders and a world-class collection of studios. It’s a privilege to get in and help provide a layer of unification and collaboration across the studios, as we go forward helping drive the initiatives Phil talked about, getting behind the company’s vision for gaming.”
Spencer and other executives have already stated that the company plans to increase its investment in the games business, especially relating to first-party titles, even if it means purchasing more studios. This looks to be a step towards achieving that.