'Halo Franchise Management Team' good example of diverse workplace, says Microsoft

'Halo Franchise Management Team' good example of diverse workplace, says Microsoft
Michael French

By Michael French

June 2nd 2008 at 2:58PM

Peter Jackson game team, headed by Kiki Wolfkill, promoted in new 'You At Microsoft' recruitment campaign

Microsoft has kick-started a new promotion designed to prove its workplace is packed with diverse staff and is using the team making a new Halo game with Peter Jackson is a key example.

A new 'Changing Face of IT Campaign' called youatmicrosoft.com looks to 'promote a more diverse, inclusive IT workforce by launching new diversity recruitment initiative'.

Microsoft has been promoting various sectors of its business as part of the recruitment drive, singling out female general manager of the 'Halo Franchise Management' team as a key example of its inclusive workforce.

The group manager of the team which looks after the Halo franchise, is "currently in the throes of assembling a crack team, comprising an art director, creative director, development lead, audio director and other functions, that will develop a new game for the Xbox 360 console in collaboration with Lord of the Rings director Jackson".

Says the report, officially published by Microsoft: "Wolfkill and others bring a perspective to the table that offers invaluable input across every facet of the design process and beyond as the game industry, like others, looks to broaden its market."

“From portfolio planning, to how we market our games, to how accessible we make them at the feature-design level, we have the ability to develop games that can appeal to more than just the hard-core market,” the report quotes the 10-year Microsoft vet as saying. Wolfkill was previously director of art for Microsoft Game Studios.

“Game development is hard,” she says in the piece.

“It’s very complicated and [because] it’s become such a competitive market, it’s an intense experience. On top of that, it’s a creative team endeavor. You cannot build something creative without everyone’s personality and values being tied into the process. Everyone has to bring everything they have.

“If a company is going to push forward and be innovative, they need every perspective, age, gender and ethnicity brought to the table.

"The world is just so big now that you cannot create anything in a vacuum anymore and expect it to have success. There are no lines in [today’s] world and to build experiences and software that supports a culture that lives without those lines, you have to have extreme diversity in the thought process.”