Xbox legend Shannon Loftis retires from Microsoft after 29 years

Shannon Loftis
Shannon Loftis (Image credit: Future of Story Telling)

Shannon Loftis has been a mainstay at Microsoft for almost three decades, responsible for building classics like Fable, Project Gotham Racing, Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts, and many more of the best games on Xbox. Recently, Shannon Loftis lead the charge at World's Edge, reviving the years-dormant Age of Empires franchise. Working successfully with Relic Entertainment, Microsoft revealed that last year's Age of Empires IV is the fastest-selling in the game's history, and is slated to continue to receive new content long into the future.

Today, after 29 years, Shannon Loftis announced her retirement, leaving behind a huge legacy at Xbox. World's Edge will be taken over by Michael Mann, who served as Age of Empires IV's executive producer.

After 29 years at Microsoft, I've decided to retire to spend more time with family, on my hobbies, and of course playing games. Words can't express how much it has meant to me to be part of the Age journey over the past five plus years. It has been the greatest honor of my game development career to be part of this community — to listen to you, to play with you, and to celebrate with you.Team Xbox has been an amazing environment to incubate our dreams, and the support we've had across the board from Phil Spencer, Matt Booty, and Aaron Greenberg, to the PC Game Pass team, to the store teams both at Microsoft and Valve, has been nothing short of amazing. I could not be prouder of the World's Edge team or our partners including Relic Entertainment, Forgotten Empires, and Tantalus.I always told myself that I'd leave Microsoft only at a high point, and there has been no higher point than this. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the support, passion, fun, commitment, feedback, and joy you've all provided for all of us.

Loftis noted that Age of Empires IV will get a major update sometime in spring, bringing fresh content and new game modes, alongside updates for Age of Empires II and III Definitive Editions as well.

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said on Twitter that working with Shannon Loftis has been "one of the most rewarding and insightful parts of [his] career," with many other developers and industry figures weighing in. Everybody I've spoken to on and off the record has only ever had positive things to say about Shannon Loftis, with colleagues emphasizing that her customer-centricity and leadership have shaped the Xbox of today.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!