Stepping In It: Adam Orth's Bad Night [updated]

By Joseph Christ on April 5th, 2013 (22 comments)

og:iamge:, adam orth, adam orth microsoft, 4pp

Considering the amount of secrecy behind Microsofts next generation console, contemporary DRM disasters like SimCity, and the ferocity with which people respond to rumors, now would be a really bad time to come out for Always Online DRM in the most dickish way possible right? I mean, any person in their right mind wouldn't go on twitter, give a full-throated defense of Always Online while using terrible analogies and then -even jokingly- trash people who live in poorly connected places or can't afford internet. You would especially be just INSANE if you were Microsoft's Creative Director and did that.

Cue Adam Orth last night.

Adam Orth, Adam Orth Microsoft

The tweet was spotted last night by NeoGaf and it gained traction not so much for the dickishness of the first post, but for the explicit tone-deafness that followed. After being called out by several Twitter profiles, not the least of which was Bioware game designer Manveer Heir, concerning the unreliable nature of many internet connections in the United States -not to mention the rest of the world- Orth continued in his defense of Always Online by making strange analogies like “Electricity goes out sometimes so I won't buy a vacuum cleaner.” He finally sealed his NeoGaf fame by responding to Heir's argument that some areas of the United States don't have proper internet with “Why on earth would I live there?”

adam orth, adam orth microsoft

It's been stated by both Orth -who's Twitter profile has now been set to private- and Heir that this last comment was just “trolling” on Orth's part and meant as a joke, but the damage had been done. It is now everywhere. The GAF thread is up to 124 pages by last count, and the Microsoft PR people have probably been reduced to simply running aimlessly throughout the office and throwing papers into the air in comical fashion.

Industry luminaries like David Jaffe have also come to Orth's defense, stating that he's "one of the good ones" but this has done little to stem the tide of public outcry which has been building steadily since last night.

And it's no surprise, since Orth's comments do not arrive in a vacuum. Even the final 'joke' is bolstered by his previous defenses of Always Online, and support a public view of Microsoft as existing in an enclosed bubble of cushy jobs, big houses with Kinect-ready living rooms and, of course, fantastic internet.

We're also in an exceptionally volatile place in the gaming industry. Sony has shown its hand but Microsoft has been mysteriously silent publically, leading to frothing speculation on the part of traditional Microsoft loyalists who worry about a prevalent Online DRM future. Especially after aforementioned high profile disasters like the Diablo III launch and the most recent Sim City debacle have turned the idea even more sour than it was previously.

I'm expecting that Microsoft is currently getting all of their i's dotted and t's crossed before putting out a statement at some point later today. Or they might not say anything at all. Which would fit into their strange approach to what should have been the smooth reveal of their next console. They do have internet though -great internet apparently!- so they must be reading the comments, and possibly going over the NeoGaf thread with a fine toothed comb. We already know that the PlayStation 4 won't require an online connection to play PS4 games. The question now is if Microsoft is ready to hand them the next generation by not doing the same.

adam orth, adam orth microsoft

Update: 11:43am

Microsoft's PR firm Edelmen has released the following statement concerning Adam Orth's tweets last night:

"We are aware of the comments made by an employee on Twitter. This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views are not reflective of those of the company.  We have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter."

Update: 1:40pm

Sources are telling 4Player that Adam Orth is no longer working for Microsoft. Currently tracking this down further...

...we've confirmed this with one reliable source but not two, and Orth's linkedin has currently shown no movement. We're considering this a high possibility but it currently lacks enough verification for us to confirm at this time.

Update: 4/10/13

GameInformer has confirmed with a second source that Adam Orth is no longer with Microsoft.

Tags: Microsoft, Xbox 720, Next Generation

Joseph Christ

Joseph Christ is the Reviews Editor and a Podcast Personality at 4Player. Specializing in reviews, editorials, drinking, and saying inappropriate things about gaming franchises that are beloved by millions, his satirical and sometimes edgy style offsets a more serious and penetrating substance lurking below the surface. He is also the host of the Cocktail Time Podcast. You'll follow his Twitter if you know what's good for you.

Comment!
  • Chad1954 1 year, 5 months ago

    And when people don't buy the console he can #dealwithit

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    • Soulglove 1 year, 5 months ago

      ^BOOM. I like this.

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  • joshuar 1 year, 5 months ago

    Here is a good laugh about the whole thing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cW28VSmXnCo

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  • Fuzzydude64 1 year, 5 months ago

    I hadn't even heard about this... though that may be due to me never using Twitter for anything.

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  • Fuzzydude64 1 year, 5 months ago

    Seriously, could he have been anymore dickish about this in the face of legitimate criticisms? Well, maybe, but a douchebag is a douchbag no matter the level of douchebaggery.

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  • CyborgMaid 1 year, 5 months ago

    Oh man... Another shitstorm caused by Twitter drama? What a pathetic world we live in...

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  • Breakspeed 1 year, 5 months ago

    "and the Microsoft PR people have probably been reduced to simply running aimlessly throughout the office and throwing papers into the air in comical fashion." Great article, even better imagery!

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  • Waari 1 year, 5 months ago

    While he handled the situation amazingly poorly, being always connected to the internet is becoming the norm. It is only a matter of time when all our devices will be always online and regardless of when it happens there will be people bitching about it. Fact is; the majority of consumers and the target audience has an internet connection.

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    • ShadowSyko 1 year, 5 months ago

      Maybe as far as the middle and upper-middle class goes, but the problem here is that there are still many consumers who do not have reliable internet access, either because of lack of coverage in their area, they can't afford it, or both. Whether it's in rural areas or in the hood, there's still a large amount of gamers who still rock the original Xbox 360 dashboard that their console came with because they've never had it connected to the internet to have it updated. It might only be a "matter of time" until almost all of America has broadband internet access, but that time is not now. Maybe Microsoft's "target audience" for their next-gen console has high-speed broadband readily available and easily within their budget, especially if Microsoft is indeed going straight for the upper-middle class suburban demographic almost exclusively (which is what it feels like to me), but the "majority of consumers" definitely do not have what might end up being a prerequisite for being able to use the next Xbox.

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    • WubWub 1 year, 5 months ago

      Sure the majority of people have an internet connection but just think of all the potential sales they would have if they just got rid of 'always on'. Also all the sales they would loose for having 'always on' just because people dont want to deal with it. It just seems like a bad business move and very risky. Always on will be a thing in the future. But it will be many years before even the most developed countries have networks capable of supplying high speed non data capped internet to every citizen.

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    • dumon 1 year, 5 months ago

      Internet in the U.S. is truly garbage. Although most cities have *adequate* connection, a big portion is spotty at best.

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  • Moom 1 year, 5 months ago

    I greatly enjoyed this article. It's fun to watch these kinds of things unfold. I agree with Waari BUT I still do not feel that we have reached that point and it is unfair to those who do not have that access to internet (Which is still a lot of people) and restrict them of something that clearly does not need it.

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  • Miggins 1 year, 5 months ago

    Whether this was just Adam Orth trolling Manveer or not, he needs to realize that what you say on Twitter will be picked up on and ran with by the net. And it will be out there whether you delete it or not. They really need to think about what they say before typing it up for everyone to see on Twitter or facebook or whatever media they use. It's kind of the whole Jay Wilson thing all over again. Kind of sucks that the guy lost his job over him not thinking before he started trolling a guy.

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  • TheBradMan 1 year, 5 months ago

    Even when things are becoming more and more connected to the internet, there's still no reason not to have some sort of offline mode. Hier's reasons are perfectly legitimate (unstable/no connections in many places), and besides, alienating potential costumers by not having an offline option is just plain bad business.

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  • Matt Ortega 1 year, 5 months ago

    As mentioned in my response to Joseph on twitter: "A part of me feels a tiny bit sad for the man, since losing a job in this day and age, is a tough situation to be in."

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    • Zladko 1 year, 5 months ago

      Maybe now he'll understand why people live in places like Janesville and Blacksburg.

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      • Matt Ortega 1 year, 5 months ago

        Good one, sir.

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  • FFRyan 1 year, 5 months ago

    Well today has certainly been an interesting day.

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  • wing2k12 1 year, 5 months ago

    The guy sounds like he is out of touch with reality. Shame. I have a fairly good internet connection at home, but even I won't rely on that for my gaming experience.

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  • crossoutlaw 1 year, 5 months ago

    that guy must really want to get fired

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  • dumon 1 year, 5 months ago

    #dealwithit? Ok. #PS4. Dealing with it, you douche nozzle.

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  • illumination83 1 year, 5 months ago

    lol

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