Jonathan Ross will be a UK-based part-time consultant and executive producer.
If you’ve never lived in the UK, you may not know who Jonathan Ross is. He’s best known as a TV presenter and chat show host, whose most famous comedy show, Friday Night With Jonathon Ross, went off the air in 2010. He’s been busy over at ITV since then but, fortunately for Microsoft, he’s also found the time to give it a hand with its Xbox One thingy. Ross will become a part-time consultant and executive producer, advising Microsoft on titles being developed by UK studios, like Lionhead and Rare. Microsoft’s Phil Harrison hopes that Ross will help Microsoft change its thinking, and possibly broaden the concept of gaming.
Perhaps, thinks Harrison, Ross will help Microsoft “blur the distinctions about what is a traditional game and what is a traditional television program and what is a traditional linear media.” Ross has worked in gaming before; he has a development studio with an iOS title to its credit, and was the voice of an unnamed marine in Halo 3, but his big draw, according to Harrison, is his encyclopaedic knowledge of all things game and movie culture. “He knows more about movies and Japanese manga than any person I have ever come across,” says Harrison, “and I include a bunch of people in Japan I used to work with.”
The head of Ross’ iOS studio Hotsauce Interactive, Georg Backer, will also take on an executive production role alongside Ross. The TV presenter is thrilled to be working with Microsoft, and is looking forward to playing with the new console. “They said they’d give me an Xbox One for free,” said Ross, “so how could I possibly refuse?”