Skip to main content

Microsoft’s Orth forced to resign after taunting fans over Next Xbox internet requirements

xbox controller logo
Image used with permission by copyright holder

For a console that doesn’t officially exist yet, the Next Xbox has gotten a lot of press in the past two months. Whether it’s rumors about the machine’s role as a nucleus for Microsoft burgeoning television business or its potentially aggressive, subscription-based pricing, the heir to the Xbox 360 throne is commanding the gaming industry’s attention in absentia. It’s even costing people their jobs. Adam Orth, the Microsoft Studios creative director that seemingly (and belligerently) confirmed that the Next Xbox would need a persistent Internet connection to work, has left Microsoft.

Game Informer’s Mike Futter reported on Wednesday that according to sources within Microsoft, Orth is no longer an employee with the company. Checks with the company’s phone directory seem to confirm his departure.

Word is that Orth resigned from his post in the wake of last week’s dust up on Twitter when the developer glibly suggested that potential customers not pleased with the Next Xbox’s connectivity requirements “deal with it.” And thus a new Internet meme was born. In the resulting dust up, Microsoft issued an apology via Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb’s official Xbox blog.

“We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday,” reads the statement, “This is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers.”

Microsoft, of course, concluded by saying that it had no comment regarding its “product roadmap.”

It should be noted that for however glib and dismissive Orth’s statements were, at no point did he claim to be speaking on behalf of Microsoft itself.

While it is a shame that a few personal tweets from a 13-year veteran of the gaming industry cost him his job, it’s perhaps an indicator of a bigger problem that Microsoft may be facing. The news of Orth’s tweets circulated so quickly primarily because they were seemingly confirming the always-on status of the console – the rudeness was just secondary. If that sentiment continues, Orth losing his job may be the least of Microsoft’s problems.  

Editors' Recommendations

Anthony John Agnello
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Anthony John Agnello is a writer living in New York. He works as the Community Manager of and his writing has…
Microsoft pledges to bring Xbox PC games to Nvidia GeForce Now

Microsoft has announced a 10-year partnership with Nvidia aimed at bringing Xbox PC games to its cloud gaming service competitor Nvidia GeForce Now as part of its ongoing efforts to win over companies skeptical of its potebtial Activision Blizzard acquisition.
This means that players can use Nvidia GeForce Now to play the Steam, Epic Games Store, or Windows versions of titles like Halo Infinite, Redfall, and eventually, Call of Duty through the cloud on GeForce Now. Third-party publishers with games on the Windows Store can also now grant streaming rights to Nvidia. This announcement came during a European Commission hearing where Microsoft tried to convince regulators that its impending acquisition should bne allowed.
Microsoft has been under a lot of regulatory scrutiny even since it announced its intent to acquire Activision Blizzard in January 2022. It's trying to win over industry peers with deals like this one with Nvidia. This week, the Communications Workers of America voiced its approval of the deal, and Microsoft has signed a binding agreement to bring Call of Duty to Nintendo platforms as well. Previously, Nvidia had raised concerns about Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition, but the press release announcing this agreement states that the deal "resolves Nvidia's concerns," and that Nvidia now gives "full support for regulatory approval of the acquisition." 
Regulatory bodies in the U.S., U.K., and Europe are worried that Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard will hurt the game industry and sabotage Microsoft's competitors in both console and cloud gaming. Nvidia GeForce Now is seen as one of the biggest competitors to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate's cloud service offerings, which makes it surprising that it reached an agreement with Nvidia. However, this deal also demonstrates how Microsoft is willing to make concessions so that its acquisition of Activision Blizzard is approved.

Read more
The best Xbox exclusives of 2022: 6 Game Pass greats that saved Microsoft’s quiet year
Characters from Grounded stand in front of text that says 2022 Best Xbox Exclusives.

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S's second year on the market was rough. While the consoles continue to sell well and Xbox Game Pass is still a great deal, the delay of Redfall and Starfield into 2023 decimated the Xbox consoles' first-party 2022 lineup. While the lack of heavy-hitting AAA titles might initially make a list like this seem frivolous, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S still had quite a few compelling exclusives.

Many of these games are highly experimental, pushing the boundaries of narratives in video games. All of the titles launched on Xbox Game Pass on day one, highlighting the strength of that subscription service. If you have an Xbox Game Pass subscription or are just wondering what 2022 Xbox exclusives are worth playing, these seven console exclusives stand out.

Read more
Microsoft’s price hike on Xbox games will apply to PC, Steam
Redfall Cover

Microsoft confirmed to Digital Trends that the impending price increase on its first-party games will apply to its PC releases as well. The change will happen in 2023 and affect upcoming titles like Starfield, Redfall, and Forza Motorsport.

This morning, IGN reported that Microsoft will be raising the prices of Xbox Series X|S games from $60 to $70. Digital Trends asked Microsoft if this would also apply to the PC versions of its games. A Microsoft spokesperson said, "Yes, starting in 2023, our new, full-priced games will be $69.99 across console and PC storefronts. This price reflects the content, scale, and complexity of these titles, regardless of platform. These games will also be available on day one with Game Pass.”

Read more