Long-time Xbox design boss Novak departs Microsoft

Long-time Xbox design boss Novak departs Microsoft

The head of research and design at Xbox, Chris Novak, is leaving Microsoft after almost 20 years.

In a post on LinkedIn, the developer said that he was departing the company yesterday (April 19th) and that he would be taking a break in the immediate future. Novak joined Xbox back in 2002 as design director before rising to design architect seven years later. In 2016, he was promoted to his current role.

"I have loved my time with Xbox. Building end-to-end experiences for gamers is a privilege," Novak wrote.

"There are very few things one gets to work on in life which evoke such passion in people around the world. I adore listening to gamers and envisioning that next moment of unexpected delight. Gaming is amazing. Xbox will always be with me.

"My journey has a period of reflection and rest in its immediate future—one I promised myself a few years ago after a significant event outside of work. I’m going to spend some time doing a life and design tour everywhere I can. If you want to collaborate and chat design, games, or product please reach out (no matter the industry!). I’ve found that the best things I’ve seen or done in games have sparked from other areas, and I want to lean into that in a big way.

"I will always root for Xbox, for user-centered process, and most importantly for the voices of countless gamers around the world looking for ways to connect to one another and the games they love. They are who we really work for!"

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.