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Novak also served as Xbox design director and Microsoft Studios design architect.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

April 20, 2022

1 Min Read

Xbox's head of research and design, Chris Novak, has departed Microsoft after almost 20 years.

Novak broke the news on Linkedin and explained he's leaving the company to spend some time doing a "life and design tour."

"I have resigned from Xbox and from Microsoft. I started at Xbox in November of 2002, so after nearly 20 years I know this news can either come as a surprise, or as expected. It’s a mix of both," wrote Novak.

"I have loved my time with Xbox. Building end-to-end experiences for gamers is a privilege. There are very few things one gets to work on in life which evoke such passion in people around the world. I adore listening to gamers and envisioning that next moment of unexpected delight. Gaming is amazing. Xbox will always be with me."

Novak joined Xbox as a design director and helped ship products including Project Gotham Racing, Crackdown, and Forza Motorsport.

He then took on the role of design architect at Microsoft Studios, where he worked on projects including HoloLens and Xbox Shell experiences such as achievements, party chat, and beacons.

After becoming head of Xbox research of design in 2016, Novak was tasked with guiding the user experience across gaming at Microsoft, including Xbox, Windows PC, Game Pass, xCloud, PlayFab, Xbox Live, and more.

He also conducted research for first-party games, and said he strove to "provide a compelling end-to-end experience" for users across Microsoft's gaming ecosystem.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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