Former Microsoft-employee Adam Orth addresses Xbox One '#dealwithit' controversy
"Sorry, I don't get the drama around having an 'always on' console," Orth had written at the time. "Every device now is 'always on.' That's the world we live in. #dealwithit
"Sorry for expressing my personal opinion about what I want from the electronic devices that I pay for on Twitter," Orth replied shortly after the internet storm that ensued. "Jesus."
Ultimately, the backlash that ensued cost Orth his job as he resigned his position and left the company less than a week later. Last night, at GDC Next, Orth finally broke the silence, speaking publicly about the matter for the first time.
"I exercised incredibly poor judgment expressing my personal opinion in a public forum about a volatile and divisive topic in the gaming community," he explained (via Polygon). "I made it even worse by continuing that conversation sarcastically with a close friend. While the tone was natural and normal for us, the rest of the world heard and read something very different. It's easy now for me to see the anger, outrage and how controversial it was based on my professional position and the tone in which I delivered my opinion.
"While I stand behind that opinion as well as the right to have and express it, how I said it and how I conducted myself was wrong. This was a conversation I should have had with my colleagues over a beer rather than on Twitter. I absolutely deserved any and all rational criticism and discussion based on my opinion. Unfortunately, that's not what happened."
Orth went on to detail the repercussions of the event, revealing that both he and his family faced harassment over the issue. Orth received abusive emails and phone calls as well as a steady stream of threatening messages via social media.
"Were any of these threats credible? Unlikely, but I wasn't going to put myself and my family at risk," he concluded. "Ultimately we had to leave town to feel safe. We had to completely rebuild our life and fortify our digital life as well as all of our financial accounts in order to protect ourselves and our assets."
Orth has since moved on to Santa Monica where he founded a new games development company which is currently working on its first game. Orth admitted the event has changed him "forever," but he has emerged "stronger" as a result.