Head of Xbox Research & Design exits company after 20 years

After a 20 year career spanning the start of the Project Gotham Racing series up to now, Chris Novak is exiting his role at Microsoft and Xbox.


One of Microsoft and Xbox’s major lead veterans is set to exit the company. Chris Novak has been Head of Xbox Research and Design for a few years and has a couple decades with the company under his belt beside that, but it looks like Novak is looking for greener pastures. The Xbox design veteran has announced he is exiting the company on amicable terms.

Chris Novak confirmed his own resignation via a post on his LinkedIn page on April 19, 2022. According to the announcement, Novak is exiting his role as Head of Xbox Research and Design on good terms and merely feels its time to move on to the next chapter of his life.

“I have loved my time with Xbox. Building end-to-end experiences for gamers is a privilege,” Novak wrote. “There are very few things one gets to work on in life which evoke such passion in people around the world. I adore listening to gamers and envisioning that next moment of unexpected delight. Gaming is amazing. Xbox will always be with me.”

Chris Novak Xbox Microsoft Project Gotham Racing Microsoft HoloLens.
Chris Novak's efforts with Xbox and Microsoft have spanned popular franchises like Project Gotham Racing and technology like the Microsoft HoloLens.

Novak’s career has gone back 20 years, featuring a number of high-profile Microsoft and Xbox game franchises, gadgets, and technology. He started with the likes of the Project Gotham Racing games back in 2002 and would go on to become a design architect for the Microsoft HoloLens in 2009. Novak has further put his efforts in as a first-party liaison to Xbox Game Studios projects like Sunset Overdrive and Ryse: Son of Rome. Novak would go on to say he’s going to pause as he figures out what to do next, but the next chapter of his life’s work should begin soon.

With Novak headed out at Xbox, it’s unknown who takes his place at this time, but it sounds like Novak and Xbox are parting ways on a good note. Best of luck to Novak in his future efforts.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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