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Xbox Pioneers delves into the past, present and future of creativity and innovation in the gaming industry on the 20th anniversary of Xbox launch

·6 min read

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Xbox changed the gaming industry when it launched in November 2001 and became one of the most profitable gaming brands. But ever wonder how a Microsoft got into the console gaming business and evolved as a market leader in the $200 billion industry?

Microsoft Alumni Network Photo | Kennedy Byrne
From left, Gaming industry legends Robbie Bach, Ed Fries, Reggie Fils-Aimé, Peter Moore, and Bonnie Ross gather to record Xbox Pioneers: Creativity & Innovation -- Past, Present & Future.
Microsoft Alumni Network Photo | Kennedy Byrne From left, Gaming industry legends Robbie Bach, Ed Fries, Reggie Fils-Aimé, Peter Moore, and Bonnie Ross gather to record Xbox Pioneers: Creativity & Innovation -- Past, Present & Future.

Then watch Xbox Pioneers: Creativity & Innovation — Past, Present and Future. The discussion, presented by the Microsoft Alumni Network, is moderated by former Nintendo of America President and COO (yes, you read that right!) Reggie Fils-Aimé and features Xbox visionaries Robbie Bach, Ed Fries, Peter Moore, and Bonnie Ross. As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of Xbox, the panelists look back at how they used their creativity and innovation to push traditional boundaries of gaming and establish Xbox as a dominant player in the industry. These industry trailblazers share their personal stories and experiences — reminiscing on the past and looking forward to what the future holds.

As Fils-Aimé states, "Creativity and innovation are the life blood of this games industry."

The panelists take viewers back to a time of internet dial-up and discuss the pioneering decisions to move from PC games to console, to move from dial-up modems to ethernet, to create a different type of game for the console, to adopt a subscription model before they were cool, and more. Then, learn about the role of creativity today and what these visionaries think about the future of gaming with the metaverse, AR, VR, diversity in gaming, immersive 3-D experiences, ethical responsibilities of game developers and more.

"Robbie, Ed, Peter, Bonnie and Reggie remind us of the cutting-edge decisions made 20 years ago and spark our imagination of what's yet to come," said Ali Spain, Microsoft Alumni Network executive director. "It's important to celebrate the strides these individuals made to change the landscape of the video game industry and celebrate creativity and innovation in technology."

Xbox Pioneers premiers November 22 at 10 a.m. PT on Microsoft Alumni Network's YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/microsoftalumninetwork) and the official Xbox Twitch (Twitch.tv/Xbox). To schedule an interview, contact Becky Monk at 206-714-2133.

About the panelists:

Robbie Bach: Robbie Bach joined Microsoft in 1988 and over the next 22 years worked on various marketing, general management, and business leadership roles. Beginning in 1999, as Chief Xbox Officer, he led the creation and development of the Xbox video game business. Now, he is an entertaining storyteller and catalyzing voice who writes books and speaks to audiences on leadership, creativity, strategy, and civic issues. Bach believes that everyone has a responsibility to engage on civic issues. He serves on several national nonprofit boards and has penned two books, Xbox Revisited: A Game Plan for Corporate and Civic Renewal and new contemporary thriller The Wilkes Insurrection.

Ed Fries: Ed Fries [pronounced Freeze] created his first video games for the Atari 800 in the early 1980s. He joined Microsoft in 1986 and spent 10 years as one of the early developers of Excel and Word before creating Microsoft Game Studios — publishing more than 100 games and co-founding the Xbox project. Ed retired from Microsoft in 2004 and continues to be active in the video game industry as an advisor, board member, including Smithsonian. He launched 1Up Ventures in 2019 to support independent game developers around the world.

Peter Moore: Peter Moore has more than 30 years of experience in gaming, entertainment, and consumer products and is currently SVP/GM of Sports and Live Entertainment at Unity. He has held leadership positions at Reebok, Sega, Microsoft, EA and Liverpool Football Club. He has his own charitable entity, the Peter Moore Foundation, that helps disadvantaged families. He also currently serves as a VP of Special Effect, a nonprofit that uses technology to enhance the quality of life of people with physical disabilities, and he and his wife Debbie are honorary presidents of Fans Supporting Food Banks, an organization that delivers meals to thousands of needy families in the Liverpool City Region. He also serves on the board of directors for Nifty Games, a developer of mobile sports games.

Bonnie Ross: As Corporate Vice President for Microsoft and Studio Head of 343 Industries, Bonnie Ross is responsible for defining the vision and leading the Halo franchise. In 2007, she founded 343 Industries, an entertainment studio committed to fostering the growth and expansion of the Halo franchise, as well as driving innovation across Microsoft platforms. Ross is passionate about bringing together art and technology to transform how people experience entertainment. She brings over 22 years of experience in the game industry, beginning her gaming career as a producer on PC sports games. She also is deeply involved in promoting efforts to drive diversity across the games industry and generating interest amongst women, minorities, and children in the pursuit of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. She co-founded the Microsoft Women in Gaming community, and, in February 2019, Ross was inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.

About the moderator:

Reggie Fils-Aimé: Reggie Fils-Aimé is the retired president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America, the largest division of the Japanese entertainment company Nintendo Co. Ltd. In this capacity, he helped bring the Nintendo DS, the Wii, the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U and the Nintendo Switch to the global marketplace. He retired in April 2019, and in he was inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame later that year. Since retiring, Fils-Aimé has focused his energy on growing the next generation of business leaders. He currently is a non-executive director for Spin Master Inc. (TOY.TO), and Brunswick Corp. (BC). He is also a special advisor for Rogue Co., an innovative video games publisher and developer. Recently, it was announced that Reggie will be chairman of the board for UTA Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company focused on gaming and its adjacency markets. This SPAC is due to IPO before the end of 2021.

About the Microsoft Alumni Network:

The Microsoft Alumni Network is an impressive worldwide community of alumni who share a common experience of having worked at Microsoft. Founded in 1995 by a few alumni who wanted to stay connected, the Alumni Network today is a member organization representing more than 48,000 alumni in 54 countries. The members are entrepreneurs, tech innovators, career professionals, nonprofit leaders, volunteers, and lifelong learners. The Alumni Network keeps members connected to all the things they loved about working at Microsoft: the technology, the learning, the giving, and — most importantly — the people. While the Alumni Network is independent from Microsoft Corp., the company supports its mission through member benefits and program support.


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SOURCE Microsoft Alumni Network