Normally, the week after the Electronic Entertainment Expo is relatively quiet. This year, though, saw a bombshell rock the game industry four days after the E3 Media & Business Summit closed shop.
GameSpot has confirmed that Peter Moore, corporate vice president of the entertainment and devices division of Microsoft's interactive entertainment business, is quitting. The announcement comes less than one week after Moore hosted Microsoft's E3 press briefing. It also comes just under two weeks after he announced the extension of the Xbox 360's manufacturer's warranty to three years. Prompted by rising reports of hardware defects that Moore had previously downplayed, the move will cost Microsoft as much as $1.15 billion last quarter alone.
The closeness of the 360's warranty extension and Moore's departure has raised some eyebrows, given his prior steadfast dismissals and evasions on any 360 hardware issues. Even more ironic will be the fact that Moore's new gig will have him helping to hype games on the 360's archrivals--the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii.
Electronic Arts has confirmed to GameSpot that Peter Moore has been tapped to become the new president of EA Sports. The move will put Moore in charge of one of the top third-party publisher's four divisions, which were established in a recent company-wide reorganization. EA Sports develops and publishes the popular Madden NFL, NBA Live, Tiger Woods, and FIFA franchise, as well as the just-released NCAA Football 08.
Though some might consider it a demotion, Moore's move is the latest chapter in a long and storied career in the game industry. Before becoming the Xbox's chief spokesperson in 2003, he was president and COO of Sega of America. During his tenure there, he presided over the Sonic Factory's transition from console-maker to third-party publisher in the wake of the Dreamcast's demise.
[UPDATE] Wasting no time in filling the abrupt vacancy, Microsoft also announced today that the reins for its interactive entertainment business have been passed to Don Mattrick. Altogether fitting in light of Moore's new digs, Mattrick served as Electronic Arts' president of worldwide studios until February 2006. The seasoned exec has been working as an external advisor for Microsoft's entertainment and devices division since February 2007, and will transition into his new role of senior vice president of interactive entertainment business effective July 30. Moore will remain at Microsoft through August to aid in Mattrick's transition.
[UPDATE 2] Moore's move was also greeted with kind words from a former archrival. Sony Computer Entertainment America president Jack Tretton issued a statement warmly welcoming Moore to EA Sports, which develops a range of PS3 titles. "We wish Peter the best of luck in his new role at Electronic Arts and look forward to working with him," he said. "We have an outstanding relationship with EA and their sports products have been incredibly successful on all our platforms. I am sure this will continue with Peter now at the helm."
[UPDATE 3] Last but not least, later in the day an EA SEC filing revealed Moore's generous salary package, which includes a $1.5 million signing bonus.