Studios User Research is the preeminent source of consumer-focused entertainment research and insights for Microsoft Studios. Through key partnership, we provide impactful analyses & strategic guidance to enable innovative experiences for our platforms, which include Xbox, Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

Our team consists of a diverse set of backgrounds including cognitive psychology, human factors, data analysis, BI engineering, business, and software development.

See the links below for more information. We can be reached at

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Recent Press & Publications
Games User Research Bootcamp at GDC 2013, see GDC Vault for access (Featuring Tom Lorusso & Kristie J. Fisher)

Data Science, Risk Management, and Tacos: Inside Halo 4’s Playtest Labs, by Matt Leone. Polygon website. (Featuring E. Schuh)

Video Game Design and Development, by Rebecca Clay. APA GradPYSCH, 2012. (Featuring T. Nichols)

Cognitive Flow: The Psychology of Great Game Design, Baron, S., Gamasutra website, 2012.

Peering into the Black Box of Player Behavior: The Player Experience Panel at Microsoft Game Studios, Phillips, B., GDC, 2010.

Playtest Labs : Get your gaming voice heard, by Laura Foy. Online Channel 9 Video. (Featuring T. Nichols)

Microsoft to Debut Final Halo Game, by Wendy Kaufman. NPR Radio. (Audio - Featuring R. Pagulayan & J. Hopson)

User-centered Design in Games, in the Second Edition (2007) of the Human-Computer Interaction Handbook. (Written by Randy Pagulayan, Kevin Keeker, Thomas Fuller, Dennis Wixon, Ramon Romero, and Daniel Gunn)

Halo 3: How Microsoft Labs Invented a New Science of Play, by Clive Thompson. Wired Magazine. (Featuring R. Pagulayan)