Online gaming conversations often involve at least one person whose uncle knows someone who works for a top game company and can tell you for a fact that said company will be unveiling something completely unrealistic at this year’s E3. Luckily, most people take these unlikely sources of information with the pinch of salt they deserve, but there are still a good number of gamers who pin their hopes and hype on false prophets.
While there are plenty of places which provide decent, honest sources of information, it can never hurt to have one more, which is why Hitbox Gaming is unveiling its own monthly interview with a real human person who actually works in the gaming industry.
Our first Random Encounter is with Blue Microphones, a company which has been making high quality audio equipment for the past 20 years. We had the opportunity to speak to Hillary Money, Director of PR and Gaming Relations, as well as Chase Pitzer, Art Director about the company and how they work to create the best audio experience for gamers.
Hitbox: Can you describe your role at Blue and how your work impacts your customers?
Hillary Money: I’m the Director of PR and Gaming Relations. I work with our sponsored gamers and the gaming media to tell the world about Blue products.
Hitbox: When did Blue enter the gaming market and what are the reasons for doing so?
HM: Blue started to participate in the gaming community in 2015. However, the gaming community had embraced Blue long before we got involved. With the explosion of Let’s Play and streaming on Twitch and YouTube, many streamers were using our Yeti and Snowball mics to capture professional quality audio. We took note of this and created Blackout Yeti, designed specifically for gamers and have been working with the community ever since.
Hitbox: Gamers have a huge number of different audio accessories to choose from. What is unique about Blue and why is that important?
HM: There is one thing that makes Blue stand out; we’ve been making high-end professional microphones for over 20 years. Our mics have been used in the world’s best studios by hundreds of artists including Imagine Dragons, Snoop Dogg, BT, Tom DeLonge, and many more. We brought that studio knowledge to our USB mic lineup so that you can capture studio-quality audio at your desktop. We also still continue to manufacture a full lineup of studio microphones.
Hitbox: Video games are very much a multisensory experience. What are your opinions on audio in games and what would you do to improve this?
HM: The audio and music in games has improved incredibly over the years and can create a completely immersive experience. Gaming companies are bringing in big talent to work on their audio, such as sound designer Richard Devine. While the production side of game audio is great, headphone and speaker manufacturers are selling players short and this is where the experience can be improved. We genuinely recommend a high-quality headphone, such as Blue’s Lola, as with high-quality gear, gamers get to experience all of the detail that the game audio has to offer.
Hitbox: What are your plans for 2017 and are there any dates your fans should be penciling in their diaries?
HM: Keep an eye out for some exciting product news throughout 2017 from Blue. We’ll have a few new products and new gaming bundles coming out.
Hitbox: Gamers can be very critical at times. How does Blue maintain a positive relationship with its customers?
HM: With decades of experience, we are very familiar with the nature of gaming and are well prepared for the challenges involved. Both professional musicians and gamers require studio microphones that deliver the highest quality audio for recording albums or broadcasting to thousands of people on Twitch. We understand these requirements and ensure we can bring that standard to both desktop and gaming products.
Hitbox: Final question. What is your favourite videogame soundtrack?
HM: Definitely Hotline Miami.
Quick Fire Round
Chase Pitzer, Art Director at Blue Microphones
Favourite game: Anything in the Zelda Franchise. If I had to pick one, I’d have to go with the original, even over Ocarina of Time.
Favourite protagonist: Link, obviously.
Favourite antagonist: While I’m going to give it to Ganon, I’d also throw in an honorable mention for the Lich King. That was the peak of my WoW playing days, and the storyline and final fight were incredibly epic.
Tear jerking gaming moment: I’d probably have to give it to the opening for The Last of Us. The living room was a bit dusty that day…
Fist pumping gaming moment: Probably any of those guild first kills back in my WoW days. It was awesome killing that pixel monster after smashing your head against a wall with 24 other people for hours on end. Those group-wide vent eruptions were always the best.
About Blue Mic
“Blue continues a 20-year legacy of innovative, cutting-edge design and performance across award-winning microphones and the critically acclaimed headphone line. Named one of the fastest-growing companies by Inc. Magazine for seven consecutive years, Blue offers a range of recording tools for almost any application in both professional and consumer markets. From Blue’s flagship studio Bottle microphone, to a premium headphone line, to the world’s #1 USB microphones, Blue has tools that inspire creativity. www.bluemic.com“