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Microsoft Veteran Vrignaud Leaves Firm For Amazon's Gaming Efforts

Microsoft Veteran Vrignaud Leaves Firm For Amazon's Gaming Efforts

September 6, 2010 | By Kyle Orland

September 6, 2010 | By Kyle Orland
More: Console/PC

Microsoft's Director of Game Platform Strategy Andre Vrignaud has announced he's leaving the company for an unspecified position at Amazon.

The announcement comes as Amazon is reported to be working on an expanded digital games store, with job postings indicating that " is developing an exciting new customer experience in video games."

"I make this announcement with mixed emotions as I'm excited about where Microsoft is going in the next few years as they look to reinvent digital entertainment... but I'm also obviously very intrigued about what Amazon is looking to do," Vrignaud wrote on his blog, suggesting that his role "will become pretty evident soon enough."

Vrignaud joined Microsoft in 2002 as the company's Director of Xbox Live Platform Strategy, where he helped guide the direction of Microsoft's nascent online gaming network.

More recently, he comments on his website, he's been "helping manage the overall gaming platform strategy for Xbox, Xbox Live, and Windows [as well as] how we roll out Xbox Live on Windows Phone." Before Microsoft, Vrignaud held positions at Strategic Simulation, Inc., Total Entertainment Network and Intel.

As for Internet giant Amazon's plans in the space, the company acquired casual games portal Reflexive back in 2008. Currently marketed as Game Downloads, and still labeled "beta," the service formerly offered by Reflexive currently concentrates exclusively on casual PC download games.

Amazon also sells retail games and hardware for all platforms and download points, as well as games for some digital console games, though it recently discontinued selling game codes for specific Xbox 360 downloads.

Nonetheless, after nearly nine years with Microsoft, Vrignaud is leaving with nothing but praise for his former co-workers. "I've always valued the passion Microsoft brings to identifying what the right thing is to do around a variety of topics for developers, publishers, consumers, and platforms... particularly the Xbox Live team," he wrote.

"Those teams are all people who are also customers of the service, and I'm comfortable saying the future is very bright under their stewardship."

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