Adam Orth, the Microsoft developer who last week courted controversy by imploring those unhappy with always-on DRM to ‘Get over it’ has left the company, according to reports from Polygon. It is as yet unclear as to the circumstances of his departure, and with Microsoft Game Studios issuing the statement that ‘We do not comment on personal matters’, it is unlikely we will find out the truth any time soon.
Mr. Orth’s remarks were made in response to vocal criticisms of the idea that the next Xbox would have to be constantly connected to the internet in order to work. He tweeted ‘Every device now is ‘always on.’ That’s the world we live in #dealwithit’, despite the fact that no current systems currently require a constant internet connection. More to the point, internet penetration is actually fairly low in the United States, and certainly rural areas do not yet have decent connection speeds or unlimited download limits. In response to this criticism, which named a town which currently has very poor internet access, Orth responded ‘Why would I want to live there?’.
In an interview with The Escapist Magazine, The Last of Us creative director Neil Druckmann has claimed that the team had to specifically request female focus testers due to the research team not having considered it. This is an unfortunate implication about the state of the industry’s attitude to women, especially considering the fact that 47% of gamers are female.
It seems that it would be a priority for developers to attempt to be more inclusive of women, given that the experience of being female is one that almost 50% of the population will never experience, and an interactive medium like gaming seems the most effective method for them to achieve some level of understanding on the topic.