Hi there, Xbox Insiders!
To Whom It May Concern
Fall has begun over here at HQ, and you can already feel its effects in the air. The leaves are turning, the faint smell of vaguely pumpkin flavored coffee permeates the office, and the night is dark and full of terrors. (That’s from when everyone still liked that show, right?)
Indeed, the winds of change blow heavily this year; our beloved program caught in the gale’s tempestuous grasp. So put on your favorite flannel, equip your thickest framed glasses, spin that classic blue (or green, or red, or white) record, and gather ‘round to hear all about the upcoming improvements, new initiatives, and much more coming to the Xbox Insider Program!
In Regards To Myself
My favorite game show host likes to say, “The only way to begin is by beginning,” and since I grew up in the South that means introductions are in order.
Hi! I’m Wynn; the newest member of the wonderful Xbox Insider team. I’ve been brought on to lead all things Comms and Community (or as I like to call it: Comm(s)unity) for the Xbox Insider Program, so you’ll be hearing from me more and more in the coming months. I’m super excited to be joining this team right now and I hope that my passion for both gaming and Xbox Insiders can help our 10th anniversary be a banner year for the program.
Some more about me? Well, I’m a huge Sci-Fi/Fantasy nerd, I wake up early on the weekends to watch Liverpool (YNWA), and I love achievement hunting. I’m also something of a writer myself (if using the word “tempestuous” in the opening section wasn’t a dead giveaway). But that’s enough self-indulgence, let’s talk about ~the future~.
Breathing In A New Mentality
From our social presence to new content being developed, from our releases to things we only dared dream of, there’s so many exciting projects we’re looking forward to sharing with everyone. We’re truly redoubling our efforts on having an “Xbox Insiders-first” mentality, and we hope everyone is as stoked by these changes as we are. Below you’ll see the first look at our Content Roadmap. It includes the return of old favorites, retiring (for now!) a few items, and a hint of new possibilities on the horizon!
Everyone Looks So Good From Here
My first week here, I scrolled back through all 205 pages (yes, all of them) of Xbox Wire articles we’ve posted. I wanted to understand the history of the program and what has changed over the years. One of the changes we discussed was a shift away from “people-content” and a move to “program-content”. Q&As, Community Spotlights, and deep dives had slowly faded from the limelight. Well no longer! A primary goal for this refresh is to demystify and de- “black box” things where we’re able to. This team is full of absolute rock stars. Some of whom have been here since the very beginning, and we want to share their stories with Xbox Insiders.
There’s also all the amazing Xbox Insiders themselves. Who can forget The Wee Bear’s dominance on the XP Leaderboards (or the way he always called it “Xbox Insiders Programme”)? Or when Beard got over 125K GamerScore in one month (which is about 6 games when adjusted for Xitilon/Ratalaika inflation)? We know our community is full of diverse and unique perspectives and we want to celebrate those stories, as well as highlight accomplishments and accolades within the program. Keep an eye out for these spotlights returning soon(tm).
The Created Void
I mentioned earlier that we want to demystify things where we can, which will sometimes mean acknowledging and owning our misses. The team spoke last week about being more cognizant around how we collected and delivered feedback from Xbox Insiders. One such item is Feature Fridays on the subreddit.
First, we want to give an enormous, heartfelt, “Thank you” to everyone that has participated in these threads over the last five years. Your contributions cannot be understated. We also realize this experience has let some of you down. As such, it’s our intent to retire the current Feedback Friday threads at the end of this year in preparation for launching a better, more transparent process. (Note: Plans can change! If we need more time to implement the new pipeline, we’ll make sure to keep everyone informed.)
To be perfectly, Hydaelyn-level, crystal clear, this does not mean we are abandoning our feature request pipeline. It’s an incredibly valuable tool not only for the Xbox Insider Team, but tons of other engineering and development teams within Xbox. The current vehicle isn’t working as intended, so we’re retuning the engine and giving it a fresh coat of paint. It’s still early days but our proverbial “North Star” is firmly set. Ensure that Xbox Insiders are given proper expectations and insight into what happens after a feature is requested. We’ll also be opening threads on the subreddit to gather feedback around this topic in the coming days. See y’all there!
The Changing Of Times
Looking even further down the line, you might notice things are a little less defined. Lots of teases on the roadmap, yet nothing quite solid. The planning stages for these projects have just begun and we don’t want to overpromise there. This is only the beginning. We’ll continue to send out these Community Update letters on a regular basis (aiming for the first Tuesday of every month) to discuss more about what the future holds. But maybe the roadmap itself holds more than meets the I?
There Could Be Nothing After This
I said, “could”, right? I know this is getting lengthy, so I just want to end by saying once again thank you so incredibly much to all the Xbox Insiders who continue to spend their time and effort delivering feedback, reporting problems, and engaging with the program. Without y’all, none of this would be possible.
Hope everyone enjoyed this inaugural Xbox Insider Program Community Update! If you haven’t already, drop us a follow @xboxinsider or head over to our official subreddit r/XboxInsiders. You can also join our [REDACTED] where we [REDACTED]! There’s also [REDACTED] and [MEGA REDACTED] for those of you who enjoy that.