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Monday, August 4

A Crying Shame: Xbox Developer Dead in Murder-Suicide

This is just horrible and sad, both in the loss of two talented people in the game industry (console and pen-and-paper) and the sick spiral of spousal abuse and death that our law enforcement can't seem to prevent:
Very sad news from Redmond, Wash. Melissa Batten, 36, a software development engineer in Microsoft's Xbox division, was murdered by her estranged husband, who then shot himself to death, earlier this week.

Batten, a Harvard-educated lawyer, was a Software Development Engineer in Test for Microsoft, supporting Rare on its 360 titles work. She had worked for Microsoft since 2002, earning credits in Halo 3 and Gears of War as an SDET. Earlier, as a lawyer, she had been a public defender for the Mecklenburg County (Charlotte, N.C.) Public Defender's Office.

Her husband, Joseph Batten, was also 36. He had also worked for Microsoft but most recently worked for Wizards of the Coast, publisher of hobby games such as Magic: the Gathering. Melissa had obtained a restraining order against her husband on July 21. Another news story describes Joseph Batten as obsessive and verbally abusive, and when she learned he had obtained a handgun, she sought the protection order. [MORE]


posted by Michael Tresca at 6:52 PM

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