Kudo Tsunoda on the role of marketing in Kinects development kinect news

At the MI6 Game Marketing Conference held on 7th April, Microsoft Game Studios creative director and general manager Kudo Tsunoda had a keynote on marketing’s critical role in the development of Kinect. According to him,

From the beginning, the design and marketing teams fused.[...] The marketing people and the designers did this amazing thing together.

Go to full post to see what more Kudo had to say about the collaboration between the two teams.

Design and marketing teams fused

Kudo explains that the two teams, from the beginning, worked together so well  because they all needed to learn a lot so collaboration was critical to them.

When we sat in meetings, it wasn’t about competing ideas and agendas. The designers weren’t pitching their ideas and waiting for marketing’s response. We were all on the same page. Everybody was feeding into each other. We were genuinely synced.

Marketing was a big part in creating the Kinect experience

In the game industry, it is recognized that marketing and developers have different priorities and see things differently. However, in the case of Kinect, marketing team had an important role in helping developers understand that design should be based on research.

As developers, we had spent years creating core games, making awesome blood come out of someone’s face. We knew how to design stuff, figure stuff out and make it awesome. We soon realized we would not figure this out in the usual way, by sitting in a room and coming up with ideas out of our heads. Marketing people helped us understand that there is a big difference between design-by-brainstorming and design-by-research.

We got outside our heads and our meetings and got out there to see how people played and what they wanted. Suddenly, design wasn’t about the designers. It was about the data.

The collaboration between the two teams helped further in the formulation of the core principles of Kinect.

We became a lot more inclusive about how we figured out design. We worked with marketing to figure out, first, who the customers are and what they want. We learned the core principles of Kinect would be about physical play, something that was approachable and intuitive. This could not be about an hour long tutorial in which you learned how to walk about and shoot things.

Kinect project, the result of a successful collaboration

Possibly, one of the reasons of Kinect‘s current success is based on the continuous alignment between the two teams: marketing and development.

The designers were super pumped to be getting this level of collaboration. It was such an invigorating time to have everyone on the same page. We did everything we could to keep the collaboration going all the way through the project.

We do know that Microsoft spent a lot of money on Kinect marketing but probably not many expected to hear about a strong collaboration between marketing and design teams in the development of Kinect. I’d say that Kinect project should be an example to be followed in the gaming industry.

Source: Gamasutra

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