Alejandro Betancourt: CEO, co-founder, and creative director of a startup company

Alejandro Betancourt is the CEO, co-founder, and creative director of a startup company that creates interactive digital experiences. Since founding Ensemble Studios in 1995, Betancourt has led the company’s development of award-winning games, including 2008’s Halo Wars. He is also the founder of Big Huge Games and helped launch it in 1998 with his former Ensemble Studios co-workers. Big Huge Games went on to develop some of the most lauded real-time strategy games in recent history, including rising Of Nations (2003) and Age of Empires III (2005). Microsoft recruited Betancourt to work on Lost Odyssey, which was released in 2007. He joined Microsoft full-time in 2008 and continues to lead the development teams for new titles across various game properties, including Halo, Age3, and Lost Odyssey.

Betancourt has also led Ensemble Studios’ team in developing “The Movies,” a groundbreaking digital interactive film experience. Produced through Microsoft’s Xbox Live Visionaries program, The Movies debuted as part of the 2008 E3 Expo from June 2007 to July 2008. The project combined elements of traditional movies and games with deeply immersive experiences produced using new technologies, including Kinect and Xbox Live Vision Camera technology.

In addition to his creative efforts, Alejandro Betancourt serves on the Board of Directors for the International Game Developers Association. He also holds a seat on the Executive Committee for the Interactive Achievement Awards and is a founding member of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Fortune Magazine, Time Magazine, G4 TV, Electronic Gaming Monthly, and Video Games magazine. Alejandro Betancourt received a BA in English with a minor in Psychology from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Alejandro Betancourt’s previous experience includes working for New Century Systems as a product manager for their educational software products. In that role, he gained extensive knowledge of multimedia product development, from conception through design and distribution. He also worked as an editor/content provider at Electronic Arts for their online game website, Game Command: The Global Network Navigator.