The Xbox MVP program is shutting down

Xbox logo at Gamescom
(Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The Xbox MVP program has been used to recognize and celebrate prominent leaders in the Xbox gaming community.
  • According to Windows Central sources, Microsoft is officially shuttering the Xbox MVP program at the end of the year.
  • The role of Xbox MVPs will be continued through the thriving Xbox Ambassador community.
  • At least some Xbox MVPs are being invited to become Xbox Ambassador Community Champions to play a more active role in the future of Xbox.

There are a number of ways in which Xbox involves its passionate community of fans and players, and one of the most esteemed ways of honoring a community leader that went above and beyond was the Xbox MVP award. Xbox MVPs not only are nominated by the community and recognized directly by Xbox, they also get to participate in exclusive events, conversations, and programs to help shape the future of Xbox. Now, it seems the program is coming to an end.

According to Windows Central sources, Xbox is planning to shutter the entire Xbox MVP program on Dec. 30, 2022, and will no longer recognize the award after that date. The current roster of active Xbox MVPs, which range from developers and moderators to streamers and creators, will still be able to enjoy a legacy status as an Xbox MVP. Also, Xbox is presenting a new avenue through which those MVPs can continue to contribute to Xbox, the community, and how we play our favorite Xbox games.

For a while now, the Xbox MVP program has been overshadowed by the Xbox Insider and Xbox Ambassador programs. The former allows anyone to test early and upcoming updates to the Xbox ecosystem and provide feedback on new features and changes, while the latter is a thriving community of hardcore Xbox fans that aim to curate an environment of inclusivity, safety, and positivity among Xbox players. More than half of the Xbox MVPs are already Xbox Ambassadors, and it seems that Xbox is allowing at least some MVPs to become more involved in the Xbox Ambassador program as Community Champions.

Xbox MVPs who are invited to become Xbox Ambassador Community Champions can continue to participate in confidential discussions to provide feedback directly to Xbox on existing or future plans. This is similar to one of the roles that Xbox MVPs have played in the past, such as with Xbox Game Pass and other Xbox initiatives. Community Champions started as ways to reward the most active and supportive Xbox Ambassadors, but over time Xbox has provided more opportunities for Community Champions to become involved. With the shuttering of the Xbox MVP program, these Community Champions will become even more important.

It's unclear if the Microsoft MVP program, which similarly elevates prominent members of the wider Microsoft community, is also being affected by this shift in Microsoft's approach. At least with Xbox, it does seem like there was redundancy with having both (and separate) Xbox MVPs and Xbox Ambassadors. With this change, Xbox MVPs will no longer be nominated or selected, but the Xbox Ambassador program will play an even more important role in how Xbox develops as an ecosystem over time.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.

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