After a series of questionable statements made through Twitter last week, Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth, has parted ways the company. Rumors claim that Orth had resigned from his position, though it’s unclear whether the resignation was forced or done willingly. Microsoft has yet to speak publicly on the matter, saying only “We do not comment on private personnel matters” to Polygon.com.
This comes in response to Orth’s tweets last week about the new Xbox, set to be released later this year. Speculations on the newest Microsoft gaming hardware include having to maintain a constant Internet connection to play any of the games, a feature which fans are in arms against. Though the feature has been neither confirmed nor denied, Orth took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the outcry. His tweets included “Sorry, I don’t get the drama around having an “always on” console. Every device now is “always on”. That’s the world we live in. #dealwithit” and “The mobile reception in the area I live in is spotty and unreliable. I will not buy a mobile phone. Sometimes the electricity goes out. I will not purchase a vacuum cleaner.”
The tweets even led to an argument with BioWare gameplay designer, Manveer Heir, telling Orth to take a lesson from Sim City and Diablo 3. The following day, Microsoft issued an apology saying, “This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views are not reflective of those of the company.”
The tweets caused quite a stir on the internet. Blogs and major video game related news sites reported the story and many outraged gamers took Orth’s tweets as a confirmation of the controversial feature.
This isn’t the first time an employee has received backlash from their social media posts but it serves as yet another testament to how dangerous social media sites can be. Companies work hard to maintain their public image and will not hesitate to remove employees that negatively reflect it. It’s always unfortunate to see years of hard work of a high ranking employee nullified by 140 characters.