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Microsoft puts Minecraft boss in charge of Xbox games

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Microsoft is promoting its Minecraft boss to the head of the company’s games studios. Matt Booty’s new role sees him oversee Microsoft Studios, as one of the top game executives reporting to Microsoft’s games chief Phil Spencer. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella previously promoted Phil Spencer from head of Xbox to a new role overseeing all games, associated hardware, and game strategy.

Spencer reports directly to Nadella, with Booty now reporting directly to Spencer. Both changes are designed to improve Microsoft’s games business. Microsoft has struggled to produce first-party games for its Xbox One console over the past year, after canceling Scalebound, Fable Legends, and Ion. Crackdown 3 was delayed until spring, and Microsoft even shut down Project Spark. Microsoft launched its Xbox One X game console recently without any high profile exclusive games, and it’s led to questions over the company’s games strategy.

GamesBeat reports that Booty’s new role will see Microsoft devoting more resources to its games business. Booty will be looking after Microsoft’s relationships with 343 Industries, The Coalition, Mojang, Rare, Turn 10 Studios, and Global Publishing. Booty first joined Microsoft back in 2010, and helped launch games for Windows phones. He’s also helped develop Xbox Live Arcade, and oversaw Minecraft maker Mojang after Microsoft acquired the company for $2.5 billion back in 2014.

Correction: Booty’s role overseeing Microsoft Studios makes him one of several executives at Microsoft that report directly to Phil Spencer, not “second only” to Spencer in the chain of command as this article originally stated.