Chris Novak, Xbox’s head of research and design, is leaving after nearly 20 years

Chris Novak, Xbox’s research and design manager who has been with Microsoft for nearly 20 years, is leaving the company, he announced Tuesday on LinkedIn. In his current role, which he has held for more than five years, he led the user experience for things like Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Cloud Gaming and Xbox Live, according to his LinkedIn. At Microsoft, he also had the roles of design architect and design director.

“I’m loved my time with the Xbox,” Novak said in a LinkedIn post. “It’s a privilege to build end-to-end experiences for gamers. There are very few things you get to work on in life that arouse such passion in people around the world. I love listening to players and imagine the next moment with unexpected joy. Gaming is great. Xbox will always be with me. “

Novak shared more about his career in the company in an interview with Polygon published Tuesday, which I recommend you read in its entirety. “Microsoft has been where I’ve been told in the crucible of gaming, from the world’s best across the industry,” Novak told Polygon. “I have to see it in its best times and its worst times. And that learning process I really appreciate.”

Novak has also spoken The edge earlier, including a discussion of the challenges of making console interfaces. While the change may be a blow to Microsoft, I think he’s leaving the Xbox in a good place. Admittedly, Microsoft has some ground to cover to catch up with Sony, but products like the ones Novak worked on put the company in a strong position to compete.