Get To Know Our Team
Game Release Support Manager

Hi, everyone! Wynn, here. Back with another Xbox Insider Team interview. Today we’re chatting with Evie—a Game Release Support Manager who helps Xbox launch and support their first-party titles. How’s it going, Evie?

It’s going really well, Wynn! Very excited to be here talking with our Xbox Insiders.

Well then let’s dive right in. Let’s tell everyone a little about Evie.

Well, first things first. I’ve loved gaming my entire life. So much so that I knew from a fairly young age that I wanted to go to school for game design / work in the gaming industry.

Was there a particular game or experience that influenced that decision, or was it something you just always wanted to do?

A little bit of both. I always thought games were awesome, but there was a specific moment that really solidified my decision. My older sister had gotten stuck on this mission in the original Assassin’s Creed game. Well, I was watching her, and she asked me to try and get her past this one spot—as she was heading out to meet some friends—but to stop after I finished that mission. She didn’t want to miss any of the story.

Haha. I think I see where this is going.

Oh yeah. I literally couldn’t stop playing! I beat the rest of the game that night; I just loved it. The way it blended real history into the story was just so fascinating to me. I had never played a game like that before. Then, I played the second one when it came out a few years later, fell even more in love, and the rest is history. From that point on, I knew I wanted to make games that impacted others the same way that the Assassin’s Creed series impacted me, so I went to school for game design and graduated with honors in 2021.

Much better than my route. Loved games and wanted to go to school for it. But I ended up dropping out of college to go the “starving artist” route. Did a lot of starving and much less art than I would’ve liked.

Oh, I feel that! Everyone’s journey is different, for sure, and mine had its ups and downs. I loved every second of my game design college experience, though. It was a really tough curriculum, but it pushed me to be a better artist and I’m grateful for it.

So, you’re fresh out of college, ready to design games. What happens next?

It’s funny you should ask. I actually started at Xbox the day after I finished college! The timing was unreal. I legit turned in my last college assignment at 6:00pm on a Sunday and then started at Xbox at 9:00am the next day.

All right. Well, I’m unbelievably jealous. That’s incredible.

It really was. A few years before Xbox, I was working at my local mall at a LUSH cosmetics store that was across from one of those Microsoft Specialty Kiosks. I was always over at the kiosk talking to the team about the newest games and tech during my breaks. When a spot opened on their team, they told me to apply since I was so passionate about the industry… and I got it!

Oh, that’s sick! I started off in MS Retail as well. Love to see fellow Retail peeps making it big.

Absolutely! My time at Retail was a lot of fun—I met amazing people, made a lot of great memories, and I learned a lot. But, of course, it wasn’t without its own struggles.

Pray tell?

Well, barely three months after I started at Microsoft, they closed all of the Specialty Kiosks. I lost my job. I was seriously so devastated. The remaining Microsoft “full-line” store in my city only had a single spot on their team available at the time, and everyone I knew that got let go applied for it. For some reason, I just knew that my story with Microsoft wasn’t finished yet, so I applied for it too. I really hoped that they’d see my passion/potential and give me a shot despite only being with the company for a few months. Thankfully they did, and I got the role!

Then, less than a year later in March 2020, all the physical Microsoft Stores permanently closed due to COVID. All retail folks were moved to digital sales, which I did for about a year and a half while I was finishing school. About a month before I graduated, they opened a nationwide offer for 10 people to join Team Xbox. There were hundreds and hundreds of people that applied, and I was able to be one of those lucky 10!

Wow! That’s impressive. Literally batting 1.000 with your survival streak.

Yeah, I’m incredibly grateful for all the opportunities that I’ve had throughout my Microsoft career.

Big same. So, you get this Xbox gig. Was that on this team?

Not originally. We all started as Customer Success Managers who worked on the Xbox Forums. We answered questions and escalated issues that customers were reporting. We’ve all since spread throughout Team Xbox, and a few of us made our way over to this team!

Excellent. Love to hear there’s even more Retail people here.

So, I know you’ve only been on the team for a couple of years, but has there been anything you were just super psyched to work on?

Working with the first-party studios—like Turn 10 and Bethesda—has been the most exciting thing I get to do on the daily. Which is actually part of what I was most stoked about doing last year. I supported Bethesda with the Starfield launch! Working with the studio and developers during the months leading up to the launch was an amazing experience.

What a coincidence! The Starfield launch window was literally when I was finding out I was getting this role, so it holds a special place in my heart too.

Aw, I love to hear that! That’s amazing.

Is there anything you’re working on right now that you can tell us about?

Unfortunately, things have to be a little tight-lipped for most of my projects. I’m working on some exciting releases throughout the rest of the year, so I can say that our Xbox Insiders should be on the lookout for some cool game flights coming down the pipeline!

We absolutely love to see it.

Okay, let’s do some rapid fire. Normally I start with favorite game, but we’ve got that covered. What’re you jamming to recently music wise?

My music tastes are seriously all over the place. I like to listen to everything from hardcore to indie folk. Phonk and Darkwave are probably some of my favorite genres right now. I really like to listen to that kind of stuff while I’m gaming, especially when it’s games like CoD.

I’ve also been super into the band Heilung recently.

I’m not sure I’m familiar with them.

They’re the band that’s doing the soundtrack for the second Hellblade game!

Oh! The one we had on stage. That’s super cool.

Yeah, I saw them in concert a few months back and I just cannot stop listening to their music. Listening to them and seeing them live is like being transported back to the Iron Age. I think they’re just amazing.

I’ll have to check out their stuff then.

Moving on. Any shows you like to binge or movies you like to re-watch?

I really like binging competition shows. Like, I will drop everything and binge The Great British Baking Show whenever a new season drops! I’m also shamelessly into romance / period pieces like Bridgerton or Outlander. Scary shows like The Haunting of Hill House, and the French horror series Marianne, are some additional all-time favorites.

All of Mike Flanagan’s Netflix stuff is top tier. The Fall of the House of Usher was sublime.

Right? He’s so good.

Aside from shows, I do have a few comfort movies. The Dark Knight trilogy is a fave. The 2005 Pride and Prejudice is amazing. Oh, and I love The Lord of the Rings trilogy… Extended Edition only of course. Those get yearly rewatches for sure.

I’m resisting the urge to spend the next 15 minutes debating which Pride and Prejudice is better, but I’ll just say that Colin Firth is the best Mr. Darcy.

Mmm. Agree to disagree! Haha.

Do you have any interests or hobbies outside of gaming/tech?

Let’s see. I cross-stich, I garden, I just started making candles, and I really like baking.

Oh, and I want to start making mead!

Oh, got it. You want to live in Pride & Prejudice. This is all making sense now.

You’re not entirely wrong! I also love animals, always have. I volunteer for a wildlife rescue on the side, which came in handy a few months ago when I had to save a bat that flew into my apartment.

I’m sorry. What’s good?

Haha. Yeah, it was pretty intense.

I bet! I’m kinda petrified of bats because of the whole, “They can bite you without you knowing and transfer a disease to you that kills you before you know you’re infected” thing.

Like a totally rational person.

That was definitely something I was keeping in mind! Bat bites and diseases are no joke. Luckily, I took many precautions while handling / caring for it, before delivering the little one to the wildlife rehab center the next day.

Well, aside from apparently being a professional bat-wrangler, is there anything else of note?

Another neat thing about me is that I am a twin! Fraternal, not identical. She’s awesome. We’re super close and she’s my best friend. Also, in case anyone is curious, I am the older twin. By two minutes!

As an older sibling, I know the importance of making that distinction.

Well, it’s been great chatting with you Evie. Any final words for the Community?

Just that I’m so excited to be part of the Xbox Insider Team and I think 2024 is going to be an incredible year for the entire program. There’re all kinds of amazing things happening. I’m excited for everyone to see what we have in store!

Beautifully said, Evie. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Xbox Insiders, be sure to be on the lookout for more content all throughout February including more interviews from the team, a trip down memory lane, and so much more. All of our 10th Anniversary content can be found on our Hub Page.

Until next time! Wy\nn/

The post Get To Know Our Team: Evie – Game Release Support Manager appeared first on Xbox Wire.

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