Today, we’re proud to announce that Casey Hudson has joined Microsoft in the role of Creative Director at Microsoft Studios, where he’s working on Microsoft HoloLens, Xbox, and other awesome projects. He reports directly to Kudo Tsunoda, CVP of Next Gen Experiences, in this new role and he’s currently busy relocating from Edmonton, Canada to his new home here in Redmond, WA.
Over the course of his 15 years at BioWare/EA, Casey has led the development of several of the industry’s biggest and best titles. He has brought a natural leadership style to his role at the helm of teams that have included over 200 developers, providing a vision for the creative, technical, and business aspects of some of gaming’s most important franchises. His role as Project Director placed him in charge of the creative and operational vision for development of franchises such as Mass Effect and Star Wars, while his responsibilities as Executive Producer involved a broader business strategy for expansion to other media. Since 2000, Casey has led teams in the development of major “event titles” that went on to achieve both critical and commercial success, giving him one of the most outstanding track records in the history of AAA game development.
With a degree in Engineering and a passion for art and music, Casey applies a full-spectrum approach to his pursuit of delivering the most exciting and memorable entertainment experiences in the world. We recently sat down with him to discuss his new role at Microsoft, and the exciting things that he will help us achieve with Xbox and HoloLens as we look to 2015 and beyond.
Xbox Wire: What can you share about your new role?
Casey Hudson: As Creative Director at Microsoft Studios, my primary focus will be the creative direction of HoloLens Experiences. I am extremely passionate about the potential of this kind of technology, as anyone who’s talked with me over the last couple of years can attest. I feel that the work being done at Microsoft on mixed reality and holographic computing will have a tremendous impact on how all of us interact with technology in the coming years. It’s an honor to be able to join such an incredibly talented team, and to work on something that will fundamentally advance the role computers play in our daily lives.
I will also be working with innovative new Xbox titles, helping them to find success through clear direction and creative vision. I will be involved in driving a creative focus for Xbox and Windows gaming, and I couldn’t be more excited to be involved in that. The projects I’ve seen in development so far are amazing, and it’s going to be an awesome experience helping these teams cross the finish line.
Xbox Wire: What are you most excited about in coming to work for Microsoft?
Casey Hudson: I’ve been an Xbox fan since I first learned about it during the development of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The games I’ve worked on have found the greatest success on Xbox, and it’s my preferred way to play games. I’m also a lifelong PC player, and I feel like I grew up with the advent of the personal computer. Given all that, coming to work for Microsoft is a special honor for me.
But in addition to the privilege of working for Microsoft and Xbox, I am particularly excited about working on HoloLens. I was fortunate to try an early prototype of HoloLens before it was announced, and I was blown away by the technology and what it was already capable of. Walking on Mars while sipping coffee in an office setting, Skyping with a friend who can draw on the walls of my environment, sculpting an object in 3D modeling software while a hologram of it sits on a table next to me… These first experiences cemented my belief that holographic computing was where I needed to be. There’s no end to the potential of this technology, and I look forward to being able to influence the full-spectrum experience on HoloLens, from hardware to OS, to applications and games.
Above all, I’m most excited about how much I will be able to learn from the team at Microsoft, who have already accomplished so much with HoloLens.
Xbox Wire: When you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun?
Casey Hudson: Naturally, I love playing video games, whether on console, PC, or mobile. I tend to enjoy the extreme ends of the spectrum most: the biggest AAA blockbusters, and the tiniest, most experimental indies. Playing games with my two young sons is a particularly good learning experience – not just because they’re often better at it than me, but because of how the next generation views digital entertainment having grown up in the age of digital downloads, touchscreens, and mobile games. Seeing things through their eyes helps me build a vision of where things are going next.
I also try to get away from digital and virtual worlds as much as possible when I’m away from work. As a private pilot, I like the challenge of a whole different set of problem-solving and communication challenges, where the stakes are much more real. Music is another outlet for me (guitar, keyboard, saxophone), as is art (be it painting concepts in Photoshop or simply drawing on a sketchpad). I have deep passions in both the arts and sciences, and the more I do of one, the more I crave the other. And ultimately, that’s what led me to do the kind of work I do today – a balanced approach where I’m able to work with amazingly talented team members across a wide spectrum of abilities. So while I dabble in a lot of different things and have an appreciation for many disciplines, it only gives me a deeper appreciation for the world-class experts I’ve had the privilege to work with in my career.
Thanks to Casey for taking the time to speak with us. We’re very excited about what he’ll be working on here at Microsoft in the coming months and years and can’t wait to share more.