By now, the news has hit the wires (and the blogs) that Peter Moore, corporate vice president of interactive entertainment at Microsoft, is leaving Redmond to be president of the sports division at game publisher Electronic Arts (EA). An EA representative confirmed to CNET News.com that there is no press conference planned, but a release (now posted on Kotaku, which first reported the news) has been sent out.
It's by no means the only recent major executive shuffle in the game console world, as PlayStation creator Ken Kutaragi famously stepped down in April. But Moore's timing is interesting--he's departing just as the releases for some big Xbox and Games for Windows titles have been finalized in the pipeline, such as Halo 3. In essence, he's in the clear.
What's even more interesting is that even though Halo 3 was undoubtedly the centerpiece of Microsoft's rather theatrical press event at the E3 Business and Media Summit last week, Moore made a pretty big deal out of the EA Sports title Madden NFL 2008, with New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush coming onstage to demo the game (though his appearance was with Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of Microsoft global marketing, not Moore). Yes, Microsoft and EA are partners in this sense, so it was also positive hype for the Xbox, but talk about making EA Sports stand out.
One CNET writer quipped that Moore must have "told reporters they would only get the first half of his acceptance speech...and the rest would be up on Xbox Live Marketplace for 400 Microsoft Points." Moore, it should also be noted, is seminotorious for having tattoos of the Grand Theft Auto 4 and Halo 2 logos. No word on whether he's made plans for some EA Sports-worthy additions.