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Bonnie Ross, head of Microsoft’s Halo franchise, speaking at Grace Hopper x1 in Redmond, Wash. (GeekWire Photo / Clare McGrane)

The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences has announced that it will induct Microsoft and 343 Industries‘ Bonnie Ross into its Hall of Fame at the next DICE (Design Innovate Communicate Entertain) Awards. The award is to be presented to Ross by Microsoft’s Phil Spencer.

The Hall of Fame award is typically given to designers, producers and creative directors who “demonstrate the highest level of creativity and innovation … on a scale that expands the scope of the industry.”

Previous winners include Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid), Dan and Sam Houser (co-founders of Rockstar Games), and last year’s honoree, Bethesda’s Todd Howard (executive producer on Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls and Fallout 3). Ross is the 23rd honoree and first woman to enter the AIAS’s Hall of Fame.

Ross got her start in the video game industry as a producer, working on titles such as Zoo Tycoon, Dungeon Siege, Jade Empire and Psychonauts. She has worked at Microsoft since 2005, and founded 343 Industries in 2007 to take over development on the Halo franchise after its original developer, Bungie, separated from Microsoft. (343 is named after one of the characters in Halo, the eccentric robot 343 Guilty Spark, whose job was to watch over a Halo.)

Halo is one of the most famous franchises in the video game industry, as well as one of the most influential. After Halo: Combat Evolved in 2001, every second action game has featured its trademark recharging-health mechanic. Halo had sold 65 million units as of 2015, and has been a flagship title for the Xbox since its debut in 2001. Under Ross’s tenure as head at 343, the series has entered a new storyline, produced two live-action films, and racked up two new best-selling games.


The DICE Awards will be held on the evening of Feb. 13th, 2019, co-hosted by Nerdist’s Jessica Chobot and KindaFunny’s Greg Miller. The awards ceremony is held yearly by the AIAS, a professional trade organization that represents over 30,000 members of the video game industry, to present honors to game creators as determined by a panel of their peers.

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