In the wake of Don Mattrick’s surprise move from Microsoft to Zynga, Fast Company has a great profile piece about the man, his successes and his ridiculously extravagant lifestyle.
It’s a great read, opening up with an account of his storied history in game development, beginning with the game he developed as a teenager, through to his time at EA and Microsoft.
It also goes into detail about his lifestyle, claiming that he lives like a “saudi prince”.
Mattrick is married to a Canadian Telecom heiress and earned $21 million from EA stock options alone. His home, the largest in British Columbia, is worth an estimated $28 million. Among its amenities is a 10-car garage, which Mattrick, who bought his first Ferrari before he turned 20 with some of the proceeds from his first game sale, has filled. When I ask him exactly how many cars he owns, he just smiles. “A dozen?” I ask. “Ish,” he replies, acknowledging his taste for not only Ferraris but also Lamborghinis and Lotuses. Mattrick only reinforces this reputation of being “not present enough,” in the words of one former Microsoft executive, by preferring to work at home in Vancouver, where Microsoft has a gaming studio. He commutes to Redmond, when he has to be there, in a private jet.
For years gamers saw Don Mattrick was this unassailably smooth presenter, and as someone who had done a great job of pushing the Xbox brand into a great spot: it was something that gamers responded to, but also had mainstream appeal. The cracks did appear to be showing, however, at E3 where it seemed as though Mattrick couldn’t get through a single interview without dropping clangers. According to Fast Company Zynga shares are up 11% since the Don Mattrick announcement. It’ll be interesting to see where he takes the company from here.