A few months ago, we introduced you to the Xbox Insider Team’s very own Brad Rossetti, and today we’re catching up with another member of Team Xbox! This time around, we chatted with Catarina from the Xbox Live Social team. In addition to being a talent when it comes to Gears of War, Catarina is one of the program managers responsible for bringing the Discord Linking feature to the May update for Xbox One, which is now in Preview.
What is your role within Team Xbox, and how long have you held your current position?
I am a Program Manager in the Xbox Live Social team, for exactly 1 year now – I am responsible for some Xbox Live services and feature areas like Presence, Account Linking, Identity, Recommendations. Everyone in my team makes sure that the Xbox Live services are all up and running properly, while thinking about new ideas in the social space and making those a reality. We want to bring more people to our ecosystem and make sure that our fans get the features that are important to them in order to keep them engaged with their friends and communities (which is something I am incredibly passionate about!).
What console feature(s) have you worked on recently? What do you personally find cool about the ability to link Discord and Microsoft accounts?
The two most recent features I worked in were the new “Do not disturb” status and the new Account Linking with Discord. I personally think it is great that I am now able to share all the cool games I play on Xbox to my friends and communities who use Discord – because I am primarily a Xbox gamer and have been on a roll of trying new indie games, I now get a lot of questions from people on Discord like “tell me about that game you’ve been playing, I’ve never heard of it!” or if I’m playing a multiplayer title I get people asking to join and team up, which is great because I can always use some help! Also working with the Discord team to bring this feature to console has been a great experience and super fun: I am really happy about the amazing response from both Xbox and Discord fans.
Do you have an all-time favorite game to play on Xbox?
Such a hard question… But I will have to say Gears of War with Halo 3 being a very close second. I love playing shooters and used to play competitively (even had a small esports startup back in Portugal, where I’m from, which used to organize Xbox tournaments across the country) and Gears is the game that really made me become a huge Xbox fan. I’ve been a gamer all my life, but I never felt such a strong sense of community as I did once I started investing all my gaming time into Xbox Live. I met amazing people who then became teammates and then became my best friends to this day.
More recently I’ve been investing more time in single player games: Witcher 3 is a favorite of mine, Life is Strange, What Remains of Edith Finch, The Witness, Bastion… I’ll stop. 🙂
What about an Achievement you spent the most time trying to earn?
Both ‘Seriously’ from Gears of War and ‘Truly Awesome’ from Rayman Legends! ‘Truly Awesome’ was an achievement three years in the making, but so much fun was had with the daily and weekly challenges.
We’ve noticed (and love that) you’re involved with Women in Gaming! Can you tell us a bit about the group?
Sure thing! With Women in Gaming we are dedicated to strengthening the industry by attracting, accelerating and retaining women in gaming, so they are no longer underrepresented. I lead our internal “Retain & Accelerate” pillar, in which our main goals are to foster a working environment that better encourages, supports and empowers women, provides opportunities for growth and creates an open dialogue for women to share feedback and insights into the Xbox product experiences.
Why would you recommend joining the Xbox Insider Program?
The Xbox Insider Program is a great opportunity for the biggest Xbox and tech fans to directly influence and help the teams that are building the next new awesome features and games, before anyone else gets the chance to try them. The fact that all Xbox teams are so open to feedback and have such a direct way to receive it and act upon it is one of the greatest things about working here – believe me when I say that we do read your comments and suggestions from the quests and bugs you submit on the Xbox Insider Hub! They are incredibly useful and really a great way for all of us to come together and build the best product.
Are you open to speaking with fans of Xbox? If so, how can they follow you online (Twitter, Instagram, Gamertag, etc.)?
…I made it easy, right?