Bonnie Ross, vice president at Microsoft and head of 343 Industries, received the Hall of Fame award at the DICE Awards.
Ross did not create Halo. That was Bungie. But she believed in the universe of Halo. When Bungie left Microsoft and went to Destiny, Ross stayed with Halo at Microsoft and founded 343 Industries.
"A leader who is incredibly creative," said her boss Phil Spencer. "One of the defining world builders in playing."
She thought Halo might be Microsoft's Star Wars. Ross delivered a thank-you speech to 700 spectators at the DICE Awards, the elite gaming event of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.
Ross is the 23rd winner of the peer-run group's prestigious award. the AIAS. She is one of the rare women honored by industry for her achievements in creating halo video games and promoting Diversity and STEM (Science, Technology, Technology, and Mathematics) education for women, under-represented minorities. and children.
As Spencer said, Ross was instrumental in the vision and expansion of the Halo franchise, which excited generations of fans, generated nearly $ 6 billion in global sales, and made video games a growing business global entertainment phenomenon.
Ross & # 39; s interest in technology and gaming began early on, when she advanced in mathematics and science education leading to a degree in technical communications and a major in physics and computer science. After college, she completed an internship at IBM, before she began her career at Microsoft and initially dealt with operating systems.
Ross began her career in the gaming industry in 1
In these roles, Ross worked with several leading development studios in co-developing or publishing many well-known titles, including Counter-Strike (Xbox), Dungeon Siege, Fuzion Frenzy, Gears of War, Jade Empire, Mass Effect, NBA: Inside Drive , Pandora's Box, Psychonauts and Zoo Tycoon
In 2007, when Halo's creator, Bungie, separated from Microsoft as a first-party developer, Ross founded 343 Industries, an entertainment studio dedicated to the growth and expansion of the Halo Franchise had prescribed. In an interview with GamesBeat, Ross considered the creation of 343 Industries their proudest contribution. If Bungie fell apart after the hive-off, we would not have any more Halo games.
At Microsoft Game Studios and 343 Industries, Ross has worked with or directly overseen many popular Halo games: Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Range, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo: Spartan Attack, Halo: Spartan Strike, Halo 4, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Halo 5: Guardian, Halo Wars 2, Halo: Fireteam Raven, and the upcoming Halo Infinite
Halo was also a transmedial effort. Ross has helped develop Showtime's upcoming Halo television series and live action series such as Halo: Forward Unto Dawn and Halo: Nightfall. In addition, 12 out of 17 Halo novels were included in the New York Times bestseller list, and Halo's consumer goods generated over $ 1.5 billion in consumer spending.
When it comes to diversity, Ross co-founded the Microsoft Women in Gaming community, a way for women in the industry to connect and support each other. Starting with a small cocktail event with around 20 participants, it has since become an annual lunch at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), which attracts over 1,500 visitors.
Ross was named one of Fortune's most powerful women gaming and is part of the "She Can STEM" campaign by The Ad Council.
AIAS Hall of Fame recipients include: Todd Howard (2017), Hideo Kojima (2016), Leslie Benzies (2014), Dan and Sam Houser (2014), and Tim Sweeney (2012).