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Episode #358 – Exclusive Podcast interview with Christa Charter aka Trixie360

Gamertag Radio interviews Trixie, an ex-Xbox employee about her new novel, the reason why she left Microsoft and much more.

*"Xbox is run by mostly middle managers with no gaming experience"
*"Xbox left J Allard"
*Xbox Community
*Xbox Live Gold member vs ads
*The reason why Inside Xbox failed

Xbox conversation starts at 25:04.

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dedicatedtogamers1393d ago

Unfortunately, this is becoming true for a LOT of companies, not just Microsoft's Xbox division. Notice how many "social media" integrations are being added into consoles these days? That isn't gamers saying "this is how we make our games better". That would be middle managers saying "hurr hurr wouldn't Twitter be a good thing to add to our system guize?"

I miss the old days of developers (and console makers) being die-hard gamers, from the entry-level guy all the way up to the boss.

Knight_Crawler1392d ago (Edited 1392d ago )

I agree and as much as I wish things could go back to the good old days, I have accepted that as technology progresses things have to change.

Game consoles are no longer dedicated gaming machines like they were in the past and gaming consoles are your one stop social media hub and the next gen consoles will take social media even futher...heck I expect the 720 and PS4 to be 20% console and 80% PC.

With this said its not hard to see why Sony and MS are hiring experts of all sorts that dont have a back ground on gaming...Sega was made up of people who were hardcore gamers but lacked the business mentality and the Dream cast ended up sinking them.

Sure my gamer instinct is pissed about how gaming is no longer just gaming but from a business perspective this make sense and in these times you can not just rely on games and have to offer a variety of things with your gaming service.

Nintendo is now feeling the pressure because they lacked so many things that MS and Sony offered and are now playing catchup...the Wii U online can either break or make Nintendo.

Edit: My point was that the gaming business has become more than just games and experts from other fields are needed in order for the company to make a profit and survive.

knowyourstuff1392d ago

It has been thought of by companies that didn't start up as gaming companies (like Microsoft) that businesses are just machines designed to make money, and you don't need a game developer who specializes in coding to run the business, the marketing, the supply chain, etc. Quite frankly, this is true, however some industry knowledge is still required. You do need to know what people are playing, and someone who can analyze current and emerging markets. I don't need to play videogames all day to understand markets and how to do proper project management, but if you have someone who really doesn't care about games because they don't play them, that's a serious problem. You do need to care about the product you're putting out, because without that you get rushed games that release full of bugs.

shutUpAndTakeMyMoney1392d ago (Edited 1392d ago )

If ps4 & 720 were 110% pc they would still have hardcore tactical shooter & true horror games left.

lol now if wiiU takes off the tablet crazy will be part of everyday console gaming.

One of the big companies already bought into cloud gaming so yikes.. Console gaming so popular it is killing it as a hardcore platform.

After looking at splinter cell the only stealth game left is MGS. Kojima stands alone.

forestfrog1392d ago

I disagreed with you, im not saying you are wrong, I just don't like what your saying.

miyamoto1392d ago

LOL What are u peeps talking about?
Nintendo's longtime president Yamauchi prides himself as the emperor who never played a single video game on any Nintendo console since they started doing games in the 1980s. Bitter irony eh?

Of course they are all about the money.

But the question is who among them are doing their homework about nurturing the industry and making it grow up.

My point is by this time if you are really passionate about legit video games you should be able to discern for yourself who is are REAL DEAL from the PHONY POSERS.

Who continues to make the effort to move games forward and who holds it back and who brings it backwards? who brings new stuff to gaming . who abuse it & just in it for money only?

EVILDEAD3601392d ago

The music industry isnt run by Musicians...
The Sports Industry isnt run by Sports Atheletes
The Game industry isnt run by gamers

The Xbox is a platform for games and entertainment, just as any console is at this point.

Just because we all love and play games doesnt necessarily make us all qualified to manage a business.

MS made some great business decisions this gen that has put the Xbox brand in a great position.

But at the end of the day, like Sony and Nintendo, not all of those decisions are perfect.

Evil

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1392d ago
PirateThom1392d ago

Sadly, the days of gamers making games is almost at an end.

It's too big a business now. While I have no doubt some of the middle managers do enjoy games, I am under no illusion it's in the same sense a lot of people enjoy games; casually, on their phone, the yearly COD/Madden/FIFA release.

Problem is, even the ones who play games, like Shuhei Yoshida are still in charge of a company/part of a company and the bottom line is all that matters.

3GenGames1392d ago

Apparently you haven't heard about Homebrew for older consoles. Or Indie games for PC and such.

extermin8or1392d ago

tbh there are still great games being released, rarely in an industry is the person in charge the best person for the job purely because he like the stuff he's in charge of, you need someone to make practical unbiased decisions so you survive as a compnay; as long as they aren't stifling the developers too much and allow them creative decsions or at least take their advice then gaming will be fine; it's the actual main development workforce that needs to have a passion for what they are creating (sorry about typo's my pcs dying and theres a30sec lag between me pressing a key and it typing so i cba to fix issues)

lastdual1392d ago (Edited 1392d ago )

And yet a lot of those social media features may end up not mattering when Smart TVs become the norm in a few years.

Once your TV has all the functionality of a tablet computer built into it from the start, your console connecting to services such as Facebook will just be redundant. At that point, it becomes all about the games once again.

In fact, TVs may eventually give the consoles direct competition if they come with game-streaming platforms such as OnLive pre-installed. The execs at companies such as MS are going to be in for a hard time if they think their current stategy will continue to work in the future.

Knight_Crawler1392d ago (Edited 1392d ago )

Thats a really weak argument...have you tried browsing the net on one of those smart TV's or watch a youtube video? slow as hell and maybe 1 or 2 tv have descent speed - it wont be till another 3 years until we see a TV with PC capabilities.

The next gen consoles will be more PC than gaming consoles and if this true then this will kill 2 birds with one stone...sure they wont replace PC's but what if gaming consoles can do 80% of what a PC can do.

mcstorm1392d ago

The biggest problem with the digital age is there is no default format from videos, music, websites ect. Plus here in the uk to get netflixwe need a game consles as our smart tvs dont support it they tend to go for love film and sky player is only aavailable on thr 360 so because of this people will still use consoles for this access but i dont think any of this is the reason why people buy a games console.

The 1st reason is games and type of games they want depends on which console they buy and if it then works with a service they have they will use there consoles to access there service.

lastdual1392d ago

@Knight_Crawler

Obviously Smart TVs are still in their infancy, but looking forward, there's no doubt that the tech and user experience will improve.

What tablets can do now, TVs will be able to do within a few years - the point being that the "console as an internet/social media hub" model isn't really the future.

chasegarcia1392d ago (Edited 1392d ago )

Sony boss is a gamer / just saying.

nukeitall1392d ago

He is still middle aged, and probably doesn't have time to game much while earning his millions.

G20WLY1392d ago

@nukeitall, so you have to be young and play all day long to be a gamer? I both disagree and resent that :|

showtimefolks1392d ago

they did hire phil harrison so hopefullt that will help

Bigpappy1392d ago (Edited 1392d ago )

If any of these companies don't put gaming ahead of all else, they will loose their console business. Gaming is what sells consoles and keep them relavant. All that social stuff, music, sports, movies, ... is available else where. Consoles are sold because of games, all the other crap is just nice to have.

I am still mad at M$ for not working something out with Jay Allard though. I am surprise that Apple our Google didn't give him an offer he can refuse. He was the brain that made Xbox a viable alternative to what was already on the market. He created Xbox Live (Voice chat; maket place; XBLA; Achievements; ...). He is a gamer and gets excited about things that make gaming more enjoyable and promotes growth.

These new guy are more focused on how to make more money with the Xbox. I understand that side too, but they have to know that gaming has to be the main focus or it will all blow-up in thier faces. Halo4 show that someone there still understands that Xbox will only allows other areas to grow if the gaming side remains very strong.

Cueil1392d ago

J Allard left the Xbox brand long before he left Microsoft... his other projects were mostly failures or got cut as a device and later partially used in other devices

pain777pas1392d ago

This was not suprising and I have been saying this for so long. 2005 to 2007 Mass effect release was 360 in its prime. Really great system and shocking Japanese support with exclusive games. I have not been on live in years so knowing now that Trixie is gone is so sad. Her and Major N were my peeps at a time. I remember the good old days of watching the first trailers for Assasins Creed lonely souls (best trailer in my opinion of all time)and Ace combat (didn't buy it though). The Halo 3 build up vidocs about the brutes. Mass effect trailers and build up. Lost odessey, Blue dragon.... I loved it especially when it was the only system on the market at the time till MGS4 and RROD pushed me over edge back home. This was a depressing interview but we still have Sony which only overpriced their system really because the 60gig PS3 is the best disc based console ever made. 360 I loved you for Oblivion, seeing Gears(played it but it was a long tech demo to start really), Bioshock, Halo 3, Mass Effect and RR6 (don't laugh the community in the early days were amazing mature gamers who loved the game to master it and have fun).

ChickeyCantor1392d ago

It's because these people talk business. And good business is money.

meetajhu1392d ago (Edited 1392d ago )

This is the reason Console gaming should die. The PC gaming is so much better and mature. 3rd rated mong heads who have no flipping clue about gaming, run console business eg:Major Nelson.

RustInPeace1391d ago (Edited 1391d ago )

If PC gaming is so "mature" (in the sense of the players, not the tech being newer/better/"mature" ; ), then why can't I play ONE legit game of BF3 (or any competitive game, really) without someone blatantly using hacks for the sake of being an as*hOle and tarnishing the experience? Given, it does happen on consoles, but its almost a lifestyle for PC players when its skill VS skill.

rezzah1392d ago

I think we may always miss the old days because companies are heading to were the money is. They want to popularize their product with the social media. Some to a greater extent than others.

If any company reflect the idea of more gaming dedication over another company, I think we would head over to that console. But there are other factors that I'm sure I don't see right now.

+ Show (7) more repliesLast reply 1391d ago
Bumpmapping1392d ago (Edited 1392d ago )

She looks like the gremlin chick from Gremlins 2.

iNFAMOUZ11392d ago

no she doesn't not even close.

NotSoSilentBob1392d ago

You must be thinking of Nicki Minja.

MikeMyers1392d ago (Edited 1392d ago )

This is why many are pleased with what Steam has done, is doing, and will be doing in the future. You can tell it's not run by a bunch of managers with little or no experience.

When you have a company as large as Microsoft, the innovation, the hunger, the eagerness to prove themselves gets lost along the way. Plus the Xbox brand was created with more than just gaming. That division is there to work within all of Microsoft's vested interests.

TekoIie1392d ago (Edited 1392d ago )

You kind of missed the point -_-

Steam doesnt fit the comparison in this subject. On top of that MS didnt start out in the gaming industry and so when they went to make the move into that industry the reasoning was simple: to make money with a new product.

Valve on the other hand was created because people wanted to make games for a living.

MikeMyers1392d ago (Edited 1392d ago )

Not sure how I missed the point when a company like Sony also didn't start out with gaming under their portfolio. However they did manage to run the Playstation brand quite well early on.

I feel there is a disconnect between those who run the Xbox division and the consumers, and that could be allocated to what this article is suggesting. If we agree to disagree that's fine but I don't feel I missed the point at all. If you get involved with something you should have people running it that have an interest and either have experience or gain experience while being there.

@nukeitall

I don't believe their budget was all that limited. This is Microsoft we are talking about and their initial investment with the Xbox back in 2001 was by no means small. Sony also seen Nintendo and Sega as competition and they managed to provide a product consumers wanted while not appearing as though it was run by a bunch of managers with no gaming experience.

Microsoft also bought Rare for $375 million dollars. That's not something a start-up company with a limited budget does. Look at Rare today and it's obvious they are nothing like they used to be.

sadday1392d ago

Mike, I tend to agree with nuke here.

Almost no one can enter the console business without heavy investments unless you want to be like ouya. Only way to be taken serious is to make serious investment.

To the gaming industry, that is a start up.

The beginnings of Xbox is detailed in a book called The Xbox 360 uncloaked. It is a great read.

I wonder if nuke read it.

Cueil1392d ago

even steam is starting to move away from being a totally gaming platform

nukeitall1392d ago

I don't think a large company has necessary lost the eagerness to prove themselves. It is more the culture set at the outset.

From the start, the Xbox division had to prove itself and had very limited budget. In almost all ways, it was almost like a startup company.

MS perceived Sony's dominance as threat, and so the battle began.

wastedcells1392d ago

This is why I always end up supporting the console who seems to be geared towards games and the people playing them.

neogeo1392d ago

So you are a big Wii supporter?

majiebeast1392d ago (Edited 1392d ago )

Frank Gibeau from EA

That man is responsible for all the social aspects of deadspace 3,simcity and generals 2 among others. He is responsible for destroying those franchises to get the casual gamer with social media aspects like implementing twitter and facebook in games.