Oral History of Ed Fries

Interviewed by Dag Spicer, on May 6, 2014 in Mountain View, California, X7162.2014

This interview begins with a discussion of Ed Fries' early childhood interests in computing and early video game programming projects, both personal and commercial. He describes, for example, a parody of the game Frogger he wrote for a small software company in California while still a high school student. After high school, Fries went to New Mexico Tech where he was first exposed to large-scale computing systems like the DEC System-20. Fries began work at Microsoft shortly thereafter, where he worked on applications new to Microsoft at the time: Word and Excel. He would eventually hold senior technical and managerial roles on both of these products. With the decision to produce the Xbox game console, Fries was eventually named head of the new Microsoft Game Studios - the creative arm of the Xbox team responsible for producing game titles for sale with Xbox. Fries concludes with a survey of the video game industry's past thirty years and possibilities for the future of game development.

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