Former Xbox Live “Head Banhammer” Joins Microsoft’s Gears of War Team

Stephen “Stepto” Toulouse, the former Director of Policy and Enforcement for Microsoft’s Xbox Live service, is rejoining the company as the Director of Community Engagement at Black Tusk Studios, the Microsoft-owned studio currently working on the next Gears of War project.

Jokingly known as the the “Head Banhammer,” as Director of Policy and Enforcement Toulouse was in charge developing and implementing policy for Xbox Live, as well as working with developers, press, and customers.

Toulouse explained that his new role will be key in coordinating gamer feedback into future titles as well as keeping things fun and exciting with existing games.

“I’ve been shadowing the Gears forums and looking at people’s thoughts,” Toulouse said on his personal blog. “I don’t just want us to make the best next generation Gears of War game ever, I want to make sure that everyone playing the game today feels just as good today and down the road in their investment into our amazing world as we do. There’s a Gears nation out there. I’m a part of it and it’s amazing.”

You can hear more about Toulouse’s return to Microsoft and what he’ll be doing in his new role on the latest Major Nelson podcast.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

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