Boyd Multerer looks to the future of gaming at GCU master class

13 May 2015

Boyd Multerer

Boyd Multerer

Video games will run via satellite in just five years’ time.

This was just one of the bold predictions made by Boyd Multerer at a GCU master class on 12 May.

Boyd – the man responsible for Microsoft’s Xbox Live, the gaming and entertainment service now used by more than 46 million people worldwide – talked to students and staff about the importance of planning for the future.

He spoke about lessons learned from Xbox and his predictions for the future of gaming, stressing the importance of anticipating changes in technology and culture, and forecasting how they will change in future years.

But perhaps the biggest revelation was that he believes game-playing hardware will soon look to satellites and not broadband internet for communication, citing that Washington-based SpaceX is already working on mass production of satellite units to be sent into orbit by the year 2020.

Boyd was also asked about diversity in the games industry, replying that he felt it would be stronger if more women applied for courses and programmes such as those offered by GCU.

He added: “There are also a lot of games out there right now that involve simply running and shooting. Perhaps it would help attract a wider demographic to the industry if there was more of a focus on storytelling.”

Before the event, Boyd spoke about the importance of engaging with students at master classes. He said: “Bringing people in from industry, who can answer student questions and give a better perspective, is a fantastic concept. I don’t see enough of this in the States.

“My advice to those looking to get into the games industry would be to know what you want to do from the outset. Know what your speciality is. Don’t try to do everything. Pick the thing you’re really good at and focus on that. Everyone else is your competitor, so show your individual talent and your passion. Stand out.”

Lecturer David Farrell, of GCU’s School of Engineering and Built Environment, said: “It is a real pleasure and honour for us to have Boyd visit the University. Few individuals have had as significant an impact on games and technology as Boyd. His work has consistently been at the cutting edge of what is possible and it was fantastic to hear how he anticipates the next wave of games, technology and culture.”

After almost 20 years at Microsoft, Boyd left in December 2014 and is now working on an as yet unannounced project.