Microsoft has announced a partnership with UK television presenter Jonathan Ross and his company, Hotsauce Interactive, to work with its studios to produce Xbox properties. The personality — a noted gamer — will be joining Microsoft Studios in a part-time consultant and executive producer role, and will be working with teams across the UK on Xbox titles.
Microsoft's corporate vice president, Phil Harrison, told Eurogamer that Ross was brought into the company to "change our thinking." Harrison said Microsoft wants to "broaden the concept of gaming," and to "maybe blur the distinctions about what is a traditional game and what is a traditional television program and what is a traditional linear media."
Ross will be working with Xbox teams across the UK
This marks the second time Ross has been involved in video-game development: in 2012, his company Hotsauce Interactive released Catcha Catcha Aliens! on iOS and Android. Ross will be working with Microsoft Studios including Rare, Lionhead, Soho Productions, and Lift London. Lift London's Lee Schuneman — head of the development house that makes games for "tablets, smartphones, and beyond" — confirmed to Eurogamer that he'd spent the last few months working with the presenter. Schuneman was effusive about Ross' video-game expertise, saying that he appreciated his authenticity and passion for gaming. Microsoft quotes Ross as saying: "They said they'd give me an Xbox One for free, so how could I possibly refuse?"