Microsoft’s creative director Adam Orth shared his thoughts via Twitter back in April of this year regarding the stir that was created when everyone learned about the next-gen Xbox One’s requirement of having an always-on internet connection. Unfortunately, his statements made Microsoft look bad and he subsequently resigned from the company. Now, after all this time, Orth speaks out about that one unfortunate day.
“Sorry, I don’t get the drama around having an ‘always on’ console. Every device now is ‘always on.’ That’s the world we live in. #dealwithit.” That was the comment Adam Orth made on Twitter, when the world learned the next-gen Xbox One would require an always-on internet connection in order to function. “Sorry for expressing my personal opinion about what I want from the electronic devices that I pay for on Twitter. Jesus,” Orth added further when the internet began flaming him for his comments.
Microsoft eventually offered a statement apologizing for Orth’s actions stating that he was “not a spokesperson” for the software giant and that his personal views did not reflect upon the company’s “customer centric approach.” Microsoft further added that they were “very sorry” if Orth’s comments had offended anyone.
Eventually, Microsoft back-tracked on the requirement to have an internet connection every 24 hours just to play Xbox One games offline.
Fast forward to November 7th, Adam Orth has gone public about what happened that day. Speaking at the GDC Next event in Los Angeles, Orth admitted that what he had said via Twitter was a mistake. However, he still stands by the idea of speaking freely about the subject matter. This is what he had to say:
I exercised incredibly poor judgment expressing my personal opinion in a public forum about a volatile and divisive topic in the gaming community. I made it even worse by continuing that conversation sarcastically with a close friend. While the tone was natural and normal for us, the rest of the world heard and read something very different. It’s easy now for me to see the anger, outrage and how controversial it was based on my professional position and the tone in which I delivered my opinion.
While I stand behind that opinion as well as the right to have and express it, how I said it and how I conducted myself was wrong. This was a conversation I should have had with my colleagues over a beer rather than on Twitter.
I absolutely deserved any and all rational criticism and discussion based on my opinion. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.
Orth also faced harassing emails and phone calls over what he said, going as far as having to relocate in order to protect his family. “Were any of these threats credible? Unlikely, but I wasn’t going to put myself and my family at risk. Ultimately we had to leave town to feel safe. We had to completely rebuild our life and fortify our digital life as well as all of our financial accounts in order to protect ourselves and our assets,” Orth explained.
Orth feels that this ordeal has changed him forever but in return has made him stronger. “This event changed me positively and profoundly forever. With the help of friends, family and deep personal reflection, I came out the other side stronger.”
Oh by the way, Orth became an Internet meme after his comments were said.
Further reading: Microsoft, Xbox One