INTERVIEW | Kevin Dillaerts (former Belgian Xbox product manager, now Koch Media)

INTERVIEW | Kevin Dillaerts (former Belgian Xbox product manager, now Koch Media)

Kevin Dillaerts was a former Belgian Xbox product manager and we sat down to talk about Xbox. While Koch Media has some interesting games planned we exclusively used our time for Xbox’s 20 year anniversary. Back in the days, I was in a unique position that I regularly worked with Kevin, so I do know the guy a little and he’s truly a genuinely friendly guy who loves gaming.

You started your Xbox position in 2015, I’m a bit unsure how long you were Xbox product manager but I remember we actually did quite a few things together. For instance, a Gears of War event at Gameforce, and correct me if I’m wrong Halo 5 Guardians? How was that relatively short time for you? 

Kevin | I stayed at Microsoft for about 2 years, which isn’t very long. Still, I have some fond memories from my time working on the Xbox brand. Gameforce indeed immediately comes to mind, I always enjoyed working on events where you get the chance to talk to games passionate to try out the latest games and to be able to give them an exclusive preview of what’s to come. I did also work on the Halo 5 Guardians launch event, and I also remember showing of the Rise of the Tomb Raider preview build in the Game Mania bus 🙂

There’s something special about you. Before working for Xbox you had a history with Playstation and now you have a position at Koch Media. Is there something about the gaming industry that lures you or was this a coincidence?

Kevin | A combination of both to be honest. When I started working, I never specifically set out to get into the gaming industry. However, when I was ready for a new challenge at the job I was doing at that time, a job listing for PlayStation crossed my path and I jumped on it. And once you get some experience and contacts in the industry, it’s easy to stick around I guess. 
Of course, I really enjoy working in the gaming sector, it remains one of those special industries where you get a unique mix of serious business, a high level of fun, passion, and exclusive insights. 

With Xbox Series X|S, Game Pass, and an impressive amount of Xbox game studios times have been different. Looking back at your time what is the biggest positive change for you for the Xbox brand? 

Kevin | I feel that Xbox has always been the best in building out its platform. They are not afraid to drastically change their firmware to make it even snappier and easier to navigate. They have always come up with great ideas to make life easier for gamers (Looking For Group for instance is a fantastic feature that deserves more love). At the same time, I don’t believe it to be a controversial opinion to say that they have not been so strong in the ‘exclusive’ titles. With the recent studio acquisitions though, they are in a great spot to bring those must-play experiences to the Xbox family.

You worked for Playstation, Xbox, and Koch Media. By definition you must be one hell of a gamer, right? Or is it hard to still have gaming passion when your work revolves around gaming? 

Kevin | Haha, well, I have been gaming since I was a kid. I started with the NES, MSDOS, Windows 3.11 etc. But that doesn’t make me a ‘hell of a gamer’ though, I have yet to finish a Souls-like game, to be honest 😂 Still, that won’t stop me from enjoying games, it’s a great way to relax, connect with your friends and get immersed in crazy worlds and bonkers adventures.

Thanks for your time Kevin. As I said previously I was always fond of you and, sorry for being so personal, love your tattoos! Final question, what would be your most anticipated Xbox game? And yeah, we would love to read why! 

Kevin | Thanks, I’ve added a few more since we last saw each other 🙂 Allow me to also express my love for your amazing Ori tattoo!I am a huge fan of the Alien universe and especially the weird, twisted designs of H.R. Giger. So, it comes as no surprise that I’m really looking forward to Scorn, a game heavily influenced by that art style.