With the Red Ring essentially dominating the narrative surrounding the Xbox 360, the entire Xbox brand seemed to be on the ropes. It would take a major move to help Microsoft restore the credibility and trust it had built up with its customers, and such a move could only be made by the biggest players associated with the console.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, President of Entertainment & Devices Robbie Bach, and VP of Interactive Entertainment Peter Moore met to decide just how they would respond.
Peter Moore has spoken about the meeting on several occasions since leaving Microsoft in 2007.
“And, I am trembling sat in front of Steve, who I love to death, but he can be an intimidating human being. Steve said, ‘okay, talk me through this.’ I said, ‘if we don’t do this, this brand is dead.'”
Moore laid out a plan for Ballmer: one that required Microsoft to invest heavily in recalling, repairing, and shipping consoles back — all without any cost to consumers.
The cost would be a staggering $1.15 billion.
According to Moore, Ballmer didn’t give it a second thought; after all, the Xbox brand was on the line. He approved it.
“I’ll never forget that moment,” Moore said. “If you’re an Xbox gamer, you can thank Steve Ballmer for not even hesitating. Now, we were a wealthy company who could afford to do that, but not even hesitating because the brand was more important.
“If we hadn’t made that decision there and then, and tried to fudge over this problem, then the Xbox brand and Xbox One wouldn’t exist today.”