describe your job to us. What do you do? Do you really play Xbox games all
says “Director Of Programming for Xbox Live.” While most people think
programming as in writing computer code, that’s not what I do…I leave that
up to people much smarter then me. What I actually do is work with the
Xbox Live community to understand their needs and concerns and communicate
their issues back to the product group. In addition I am the spokesperson
for the product group for the members…you can find me online and in the
forums as “Major Nelson” Another aspect of my job is to come up with
compelling ideas and programs for the community. Over the last 6 months I
have rolled out “The Xbox Live Mystery Gamer” which is a program in
which users get to play different people in the Xbox group…all the way up
to J Allard…and win cool prizes. Another program I developed is “R&R
Nights” which are special nights devoted to people who love video gaming,
but don’t like going online to get their butt kicked by some young kids.
people are on the Xbox Live team?
over 100 on the Live team, from developers all the way to operations.
active subscribers does Xbox Live have now? Has Xbox Live continued to grow?
week we announced that we hit 1-million members…which is incredibly fast.
The service continues to grow and become a viable business for Microsoft.
are the most popular on Xbox Live?
publish a top 25 games each week on Xbox.com, and last I checked it was
Ubi’s Rainbow Six Three. EA’s NCAA, released last week, is really doing
well…and I expect it to break the top five next week.
hint at improvements or developments that may be coming to Xbox Live in the
realizes how important the community is, and we are putting a lot of
thinking behind how can we create a service to connect more like minded
gamers. Specifically…if you are a person who is real hard core, your
probably don’t want a bunch of n00bs in your game. And the n00bs don’t
want to be in your session either. We are looking at how to give each
group the best gaming experience we can.
be required to buy a separate Xbox Live account for Xbox 2?
not made any announcements yet around a next generation console.
gamers expect to see over next year due to the recent agreement reached
between EA and Xbox?
will see all the great stuff they have come to expect from Xbox Live
brought into the EA Online experience. EA is a one of the world's premiere
game publishers, and we are thrilled to finally work with them in the
you see the future of online gaming going?
I see it
becoming more ubiquitous. We want to make your online and offline
experience blur. We have that today, with our “Live Aware” games such
as the critically-acclaimed “Chronicles Of Riddick” where users can play
the offline game, but receive friend invites to join other games. This
allows users to stay connected to the community even when “off line.”
your favorite game of all time?
like a cop out, but I have to say Halo. I was sucked in by the story, and
had “Halo Nightmares” every night until I completed that game. That game
is almost perfect in my mind..well until Halo 2.
you expect to be the most anticipated event/release for Xbox Live in 2004?
without a doubt.
people signed up for the Xbox Alerts service? What other integration
experiences can PC users expect with Xbox Live?
release numbers, but a significant number of our members have connected
their Xbox Live gamertag to their Passport and now stay connected to the
community via MSN Messenger. One of our goals is to keep you connected to
this vibrant community…and when members are at work, sitting at their
desk…they can see what their friends are up to on Xbox Live by glancing at
their Xbox Live friends list which shows their status AND what game they
games offer downloadable content now?
over 200 pieces of downloadable content. That number will definitely
continue to grow. It’s a win/win for the publishers and the community who
can get extra levels, cars or game modes through the downloadable content
on Xbox Live and extend their gameplay.
have any interaction with the Xbox Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals
(MVPs)? If so, how do they help?
very closely with our 13 Xbox MVP’s. I have most of them on my MSN IM
list, and we communicate many times each day. These men and women work
our forums (forums.xbox.com) and help members get connected, defeat that
hard boss or just talk about the latest game releases. They are the
cornerstones of the community.
have anything to add?
age of blogging, readers should check out my blog at
www.majornelson.com where I
post the latest news and information on Xbox and Xbox Live…as well as
other random thoughts that I think the members would like.
Xbox Live Statistics:
- Players in 24 countries have spent more than 160
million hours (or 20,000 years) playing Xbox Live.
- Members are playing an average of 265,549 hours
- More than 100 game titles from a host of top
publishers including Electronic Arts Inc., Microsoft Game Studios, THQ and
- Entertainment are playable on Xbox Live, and the
number is expected to rise to 150 by the end of the calendar year.
- Players have logged more than 220 million online
sessions, an average of 10.5 million sessions per month.
- More than 200 pieces of downloadable content are
currently available to expand and enhance already great games, including
new levels, new characters, new multiplayer modes and updated sports
- The top 15 cities worldwide boasting the most
Xbox Live members are Tokyo; London; Houston; Chicago; Toronto; San Diego;
New York; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Los Angeles; Miami; Seattle; Calgary, Alberta,
Canada; San Antonio; Las Vegas; and Seoul, Korea.
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