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Xbox Live founder Boyd Multerer leaves Microsoft

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

The engineer who led development on Xbox Live and the XNA game development tools for Xbox, Boyd Multerer, left the company this month after 17 years at Microsoft. Multerer announced his departure from the Xbox team on Twitter today.

"Goodbye Microsoft. It was a good run. Xbox was Great! Time to do something new," Multerer tweeted.

Multerer joined Microsoft in 1997, according to his Linkedin profile. In 2000, Multerer was hired to lead development on the online component of the original Xbox, which was called Xbox Online at the time. Multerer was responsible for hiring the Xbox Live development team and led the design, direction and implementation of Microsoft's online gaming service. He was the first person on Xbox Live, he has said, and emphasized security and anti-cheating measures.

Later, Multerer would go on to be product manager on XNA in order to meet "the pent-up demand of independent game developers" and build "the first open marketplace on a console."

Most recently, Multerer served as director of development for Xbox. He was part of the Xbox One team and oversaw technical design and development of the current generation console. Multerer promoted the Xbox One's cloud-based computing power at the system's unveiling last year.

"The last one, the box was fixed," Multerer said during a technical roundtable discussion, explaining that Xbox One can access "a growing number of transistors that are not that far away" that will allow "for bigger worlds, and take some of the things that are normally done locally and push them out."

Multerer is the latest in a list of high profile Xbox team departures in the past 18 months, which includes Don Mattrick, former president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business; Marc Whitten, former chief product officer for Xbox; Nancy Tellem and Jordan Levin of Xbox Entertainment Studios; and Ben Smith, former program manager for Xbox One TV.

For more on the development of Xbox Live, read Polygon's feature on how Microsoft conceived and designed the online service.

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