Update:

The job listing no longer exists, and using the link results in a page stating that “This job has expired. Please try your search again.”

It seems likely that Microsoft noticed the job listing was getting attention and has taken it down publicly as a result. We’ll have to see if it shows up again or they try instead to hire for this role in secret.

Original story:

Microsoft has received criticism this console generation for a perceived lack of AAA blockbuster-type games, especially in comparison to Sony. This situation has only been exacerbated by the closure of Lionhead and the cancellation of Scalebound. Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, has talked repeatedly about how the company needs to grow more first-party content. There have been some recent steps that point towards improving this situation, such as the promotion of both Phil Spencer and Matt Booty. Additionally, Darrell Gallagher was hired and made a part of the Microsoft Studios executive leadership team, with a promise of more information at E3 2018. It appears we may be seeing another step toward that goal, as a new job listing has appeared. According to the job description (which was first noticed by ResetEra user Rychu), Microsoft is hiring for a new California team to produce AAA games.

Here’s the job listing details: 

Executive Producer/ Lead Producer

  • Develop and manage the product production and launch of across various platforms from both a development and publishing perspective
  • Manage development from concept to release and deliver great high quality games that build on franchise goals
  • Deliver financial and schedule goals on time and to quality
  • Build lead and manage a production team, working in conjunction with multiple cross-functional groups, to deliver milestones
  • Develop and improve production and organizational processes as the teams scale
  • Hire and grow internal studio talent to build teams and culture
  • Utilize location in Southern California to build an ecosystem of contract and external employees for production scalability

Further information in the listing points out responsibilities such as making sure titles ship at AAA standards, a knowledge and understanding of building new IP and overseeing a big new game franchise.

This is definitely great news and it points to Microsoft truly listening to the concerns of their fans and critics. While it’s unlikely we’ll see what is being worked on here any time soon, the groundwork is being laid. Maybe we’ll learn more at E3 2018, when Darrell Gallagher’s role at Microsoft Studios is further explained.