Credit to Bloomberg Businessweek
Right on time with the launch of Halo 5: Guardians on October 27th, the Business magazine ‚Bloomberg Businessweek‘ features a big piece on Bonnie Ross, head of 343 Industries. The article follows Ross and several others like Frank O’Connor over the course of this past summer. I highly recommend reading this article, seeing that it provides insight behind the curtains of 343 and presents Bonnie Ross in her role as a female executive in a still male dominated workspace. It also highlights Microsofts need to have a huge hit with Halo 5 in order to survive next to the Playstation. I took some quotes from the article that I found noteworthy, funny or surprising.
When asked about her ambitions for Halo, Ross always comes back to Star Wars, which she adored as a kid. “For those of us that are a little bit older, we saw Star Wars and stood in line the first time around,” she says. “We are seeing the same thing with Halo, where a lot of dads and parents that started playing when they were 20 or 30 now have kids that are coming in through our, you know, Mega Bloks line.”
Obviously I can relate to this very much. I am this parent who was 20 years old when I first played Halo. What I find really cool about Ross is, that she’s an actual gamer. Of course she won’t play as much as she would like to or as a 18 year old with lots of time on his/her hands would, but she played every Halo game and has read every Halo book. Being a female in a management position is rare enough but being one in the gaming industry is even more surprising. In my opinion the gaming industry needs more women. And I’m not saying this as a feminist, although I would have every right to. I just think that every company needs the balance of men and women working together. Women bring certain qualities with them, as do men. Let’s have both.
As a rare female executive in an industry dominated by men, Ross worked to remind her colleagues that girls play video games, too. She’s insisted that fully realized female characters play prominent roles in Halo 5 and made sure that dorky Halo T-shirts come in cuts for women, too. This may seem unobjectionable, but in the world of video games, trying to broaden the audience is daring.
Bonnie Ross is also a very clever business woman and she wants to make money. Before taking over 343 in 2007 she said: „If I take it over, I want to be George Lucas. I want to own everything, and I want to do things differently.”
She says that when she inherited the game, the philosophy was to say yes to any company willing to pay royalties. The worst? Some tacky pajama pants. “The pajamas actually were really comfortable,” Ross says. “But they weren’t super high-quality.” When she took over, she cut the line.
I want to take the time here to mourn those pajamas. I wished I had one. Who cares about good quality? Well actually I do but I’m sure I would’ve overlooked it once.
Bonnie Ross is a parent herself. She is 48 years old now and has a 10 year old son. In the article she talks about him and her playing Halo together. To do that with my daughter in the future is a dream of mine.
Ross has been tutoring one new Halo player: her 10-year-old son. Until recently, she’d considered the game a bit too violent for her children, but she’s begun letting her son play with her. “I firmly believe that your kids are going to play games, and you should play with them,” she says. “I want to share that first experience with him.” Mother and son have worked through two levels of Halo 5 together and occasionally play in multiplayer modes. She’s better than he is—for now.
To read the whole article click here: Bloomberg Businesweek
Credit to Bloomberg Businessweek