Microsoft has been under pressure to do more to build up its first-party Xbox games portfolio as of late. Its primary competition in the console space, Sony's PlayStation, seems to be churning out Hollywood-level "AAA" games to widespread acclaim with no sign of slowing down. The same cannot be said for Xbox's recent efforts, but we're seeing the first signs that change is on the horizon.

Noticed by Rychu over at ResetEra, Microsoft is hiring a Principle Program Manager with experience in "AAA" games, located in Santa Monica, California.

Executive Producer/ Lead Producer

  • Develop and manage the product production and launch of across various platforms from both a development and publishing perspective
  • Manage development from concept to release and deliver great high quality games that build on franchise goals
  • Deliver financial and schedule goals on time and to quality
  • Build lead and manage a production team, working in conjunction with multiple cross-functional groups, to deliver milestones
  • Develop and improve production and organizational processes as the teams scale
  • Hire and grow internal studio talent to build teams and culture
  • Utilize location in Southern California to build an ecosystem of contract and external employees for production scalability

The listing asks for experiencing in shipping high-quality games to "AAA" standards, which typically refer to titles that utilize photorealistic art assets and expensive production values, including motion-capture, quality voice work and writing. Internally, only Forza, Halo, and Gears of War approach this standard for Xbox, with many of their other titles falling somewhere in the mid-range in terms of production quality.

Recently, I wrote an article describing how Xbox was working on a slim budget in recent years as part of the Windows & Devices group under Terry Myerson. With the re-organization in place and Xbox lead Phil Spencer sitting at the senior leadership table, Xbox will have the resources it needs to create a high-quality portfolio of content as we head towards the next shift in gaming, notably hardware-agnostic cloud streaming. Clearly, this, along with the recent hiring of Darrell Gallagher and promotion of Matt Booty, are the first signs of this turn around.

More: Xbox can play the long game with its exclusives