Mattrick tried to buy Zynga while still at Microsoft - report

Doggedly pursued social games company deal.

Ex-Xbox chief Don Mattrick tried to tempt Microsoft bosses into buying Zynga years before his recent appointment as its CEO, a new report suggests.

Mattrick had eyes for Zynga as early as 2010, Bloomberg sources stated (thanks, GamesIndustry International), when he opened talks between Microsoft and the social games behemoth.

Biking buddies Pincus and Mattrick.

Negotiations took place during the height of the Facebook game boom, and it was at this point that Mattrick and previous Zynga boss Mark Pincus became pals.

While a deal was ultimately never reached, this moment lay the groundwork for Mattrick's eventual departure. He and Pincus remained in regular contact, and began discussing Mattrick's move in March this year.

Bloomberg's report stated that both men are avid road-bike enthusiasts, and the pair would often go riding together.

The Xbox head honcho eventually left following a storm of controversy over policies for Xbox One and an eventual, embarrassing U-turn on the ones that were most unpopular. Far from a knee-jerk reaction to Microsoft's troubles, Mattrick's departure appears to have been long planned.

As previously reported, Mattrick stands to earn $19 million during his first year at Zynga.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our policy.

Jump to comments (65)

About the author

Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

Deputy Editor  |  tomphillipsEG

Tom is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.


You may also enjoy...

Valve says Steam Deck still on track for a February release

"Global pandemic, supply issues, and shipping issues notwithstanding".

PlatinumGames' Kenichi Sato steps down as president and CEO

Head producer Atsushi Inaba moves into roles.

Supporters only

Comments (65)

Comments for this article are now closed. Thanks for taking part!

Hide low-scoring comments

Buy things with globes on them

And other lovely Eurogamer merch in our official store!

Eurogamer Merch
Explore our store