Microsoft's Games Platform Strategy Man Moves To Amazon

A potential gaming push by Amazon.com gets a big boost, as Microsoft's director of game platform strategy Andre Vrignaud takes on a new role with the online retailer, and he's "very intrigued about what Amazon is looking to do."

Vrignaud revealed his change of occupation in an entry on his personal blog on Friday, hinting at something gaming-related going down at Amazon.com.

Well, I guess I'll just cut to the chase and say that I'm moving on from Microsoft to take a new role at Amazon. Can't really talk about details at this point, but it'll become pretty evident soon enough… and you all know where my passions lie.

If his employment history is any indicator, that passion is for gaming. Vrignaud has been with Microsoft for eight years, hopping on in 2002 as the company's director of Xbox Live platform strategy in 2002 following a stint as Intel's director of games platform strategy. In 2004 he got his old title back at Microsoft, spending six years as the director of the company's games platform strategy.

Over the course of his eight years, Vrignaud was responsible for selling Xbox Live to a game industry unsure of what to do with it. In his blog post he talks about the trials and tribulations involved with Xbox Live's early days.

Not many people remember now, but there was a time when even the idea of Xbox LIVE was extremely controversial. We got… robust, shall we say, feedback on a variety of subjects. I remember folks insisting that voice would never be desired from the console audience, or that this whole crazy digital content download Marketplace thing would never take off. And of course, quite a few folks struggled to believe that Xbox LIVE would be a service that people would be willing to pay for. 25 million+ members later I think that debate has finally been put to rest.

Vrignaud's departure follows that of two other big names from Microsoft's Xbox team, entertainment and devices president Robbie Bach and Xbox daddy J. Allard, who both left Microsoft in May.

And what of Amazon.com's gaming plans? Vrignaud is mum, but he won't remain mum forever.

"Hopefully we'll be able to have some interesting conversations in the not too distant future!"

Top Microsoft game employee jumps to Amazon [Cnet]