Last week Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat penned an expose detailing how shoddy production practices emploted by Microsoft resulted in the Red Ring of Death fiasco for Xbox 360 console owners.
Moments ago Takahashi published an update to report that a QA tester who spoke to him on the record for the investigative report had been fired by Microsoft just days after its publication:
Robert Delaware was the only named Microsoft worker (a contract employee) who talked — without permission — to VentureBeat for our story last week on the Xbox 360 defects.
Microsoft had him fired on Wednesday. Delaware worked as a game tester at Microsoft but was employed by the temp agency Excell Data. He reported directly to a Microsoft manager, who told him he was being let go because of the VentureBeat article.
Takahashi reports that Delaware (left) may face litigation, presumably for violating a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) of some sort. Of his abrupt termination, Delaware told Takahashi:
I don’t regret it. I’ll fight it [if he is sued]. If they want to come after me, bring it on.
GP: Video games are fun, but the video game business most assuredly isn’t fun and games. It’s corporations and big money and the consumer is often hung out to dry. The RROD fiasco and EA’s horrendous Spore DRM are but two noteworthy instances.
Microsoft may well try to make an example of Robert Delaware in order to intimidate the next guy from speaking up. However, the screwing that MS gave game consumers with the RROD exponentially outweighs whatever technicality Delaware may have violated. Let it go, MS.
…and now I have to end this rant in order to box up my third RROD Xbox 360 for shipment to rehab.