Kinect creative designer is now leading Rare, Lionhead, and more

You remember that Kinect guy with the sunglasses? Kudo Tsunoda? The creative director of the (over)ambitious peripheral recently resurfaced as a leader on Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality project and is now, after a big leadership shake-up at Microsoft Studios, also in charge of several prominent Xbox studios.

Microsoft revealed today that Tsunoda will lead the “vision and experience development” of multiple operations, including Rare, Lionhead, Lift London, the Microsoft Studios publishing team, and smaller developers like Press Play. Meanwhile, Lionhead studio head John Needham will head over to Microsoft’s Redmond HQ to work on HoloLens and some unspecified new franchises.

A few other leadership changes occurred under the new management, check out this video interview between Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb and Tsunoda for the full rundown.

The teams behind Microsoft’s biggest properties – Halo, Gears of War, Forza, and Minecraft (still feels weird to call that a Microsoft franchise) – will still report directly to Xbox head Phil Spencer. Speaking of Gears, Tsunoda said we’ll “hear more about what’s going on” with the series soon.

Tsunoda said he’ll take several of the lessons he learned from launching Kinect to heart as he helps lead the studios – namely that any new gaming technology should come with plenty of games for “core” users to enjoy, and that involving fans early in development can lead to diverse, surprising experiences.

We’ll have to wait and see if Tsunoda’s ascent is related to therumored departure (opens in new tab) of Microsoft VP of Interactive Entertainment Phil Harrison.

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