Matt Booty, the head of Minecraft games business has been rewarded for his success with the block building game turned evolving platform. Microsoft has announced Booty is now corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios.
This promotion places Booty high on the Microsoft gaming hierarchy. He will report directly to Phil Spencer, executive vice president for games. Indeed, Matt Booty will fill a hole left by Spencer since he was drafted by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella promoted him to become overseer of all gaming.
Booty will now specifically take charge of game development and publishing. Speaking to GamesBeat, Spencer said Booty will now spearhead Microsoft’s in-development titles and oversee publishing.
“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 says. “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.”
Heading Microsoft’s Gaming Output
Matt Booty has been with Microsoft Studios since 2010 and held roles in Windows Phone gaming and Xbox Live Arcade. Most recently, he has been head of the Minecraft division, leading the game’s developer Mojang. Microsoft acquired the Swedish company for $2.5 billion in 2014.
Since buying Mojang, Microsoft has pushed Minecraft to continued success. The company also sees the game as more of a wider platform, evidenced by such solutions as Minecraft Education. With Booty’s departure, Minecraft will now be headed by Helen Chiang, who was previously operations chief.
Booty will now head up console, PC and mobile development and publishing. He will be the guy in charge of Microsoft’s leading gaming franchises, such as Halo, Forza, Gears of War, and more. He will allocate budgets, push developers to deadlines, and be the front line in Xbox game development.