Otto Berkes, the last remaining Xbox founder, parted ways with Microsoft today ending a 18 year career. Berkes was part of a team that made the initial proposal for the Xbox video game console to Bill Gates in 1999.
As The Seattle Times reports, Otto Berkes ended his 18 year career with Microsoft today to work for “another company outside of the Seattle area.” Berkes, along with Ted Hase, Kevin Bachus, and Seamus Blackey, were the first to propose the Xbox gaming console to Bill Gates. Nearly 3 years later, the Xbox made its debut.
Berkes joined Microsoft in June of 1993 as a Graphics Technology Developer. Berkes also worked for the Courier tablet device, that ended up going no where.
Ted Hase left the team in 2006 and is now the Vice President at Aristocrat Technologies. Kevin Bachus is Bebo’s Chief Product Officer. Seamus Blackley left Microsoft in 2002 and is now working for Creative Artists Agency.
When asked why he was leaving Microsoft, Berkes said, “It’s a good time for me to make a transition to a different set of challenges and something new and fresh. No regrets, but it’s time to move on for me. I’m very proud of what I was able to accomplish here.”
“He was one of the crazy guys who came in my office one day with this idea of doing this thing, making this Direct X box,” Fries recalled. “They talked me into joining up with them and helping to make it happen. It wouldn’t have happened without him,” said Ed Fries, the man who lead Microsoft’s games publishing business when idea of the Xbox was pitched.
The Xbox now makes nearly $10 billion dollars in yearly sales, all thanks to four guys with one idea.