Bonnie Ross DICE 2017 Interview (AIAS)

Bonnie Ross 343 Industries

Here’s a chat I had with Bonnie Ross, corporate vice president at Microsoft and head of 343 Industries. The piece was for the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences to promote Bonnie Ross’ upcoming talk at DICE 2017. She’ll be heading up a session called “Stewards of a Sci-Fi Universe.” The talk will cover how game creators and their communities can work together to preserve cherished sci-fi properties.

As Bonnie Ross is a huge fan of Star Trek, I was curious to hear her thoughts on how to work with longtime fans of a franchise that have…strong feelings about new takes on the property. While I love the new Star Trek movies, I know many longtime fans that loathe them. Here’s what she had to say.

I love Star Trek and grew up with a mom who was devoted to the series, so we all watched it each week from when I was young. I didn’t realize it was in syndication at the time. I thought it was real-time as it never felt dated. I think the Star Trek franchise is over 50 years old and it is pretty amazing that it still has such an intense following.

As a Star Trek fan, I know that not every story is for every person. But the universe is for every person and it’s the most important character in the franchise. Like Star Wars, you can tell hundreds of stories in the Star Trek universe which means there is something for every fan, however different they may be. I personally loved the original series and I really liked The Next Generation. I didn’t watch as much of DS9 or Voyager, but more due to where I was in my life and not from a lack of interest. But I’ve seen every movie in the theater and I like them for different reasons — each appeals to some different part of old, new, or different.

From the perspective of one lifetime Star Trek fan, I think they asked for permission to make changes by paying homage to the old. I, for one, gave them permission to change and I’m still on the voyage. I don’t think you can be a 50 year-old franchise and keep everything the same. I think you have to build from your core universe and evolve to keep a franchise relevant.

You can learn more about the upcoming Bonnie Ross DICE 2017 talk and how it relates to the Halo universe by checking out the full interview here.