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Shacknews interviews Phil Spencer - "I took the job because I was the only one left"

jhjfss

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"I think the reason I ended up in the job, frankly, was the other leaders were gone. I tease myself that I was the last person left at the table. and there's some truth in that. I want to make sure I keep my ego in check. It wasn't a clear, "You take the person who ran first-party and make them head of the platform." But frankly of the leaders that were there, I was the one that was left."


Another article about Phil saving the xbox division.

A few months later, Spencer took over as head of Xbox. Whatever jubilation he felt was short-lived; a few weeks into the job, he got a call from Satya Nadella, Microsoft's new CEO. "I don't actually know a whole lot about why we're in gaming," Nadella told him.
Spencer was facing a lot of internal scrutiny from his own team. Many developers who had worked on the Xbox One felt let down by Microsoft's big vision; it was, as some told Spencer, not in line with "the soul" of what Xbox was.
"Satya was transparent that there could be a future where gaming isn't a business that Microsoft should be in," Spencer told me. "But it's better to have it above the table than below the table, right?"
Spencer tried to work out what to say to Nadella. He looked at where Xbox had failed, and how the brand could be saved--if at all. When he finally called Nadella back, it was to say this: "If we're going to stay in the gaming space, then let's make sure we're all-in. The last thing I wanted to do was run the gaming organization here as kind of an afterthought of the company and kind of half-in, half-out. Let's go fix who we are."
 
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LeftThumbstick

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He’s done a great job of reviving them so far, and this will be his defining generation.

Hopefully he keeps pushing Microsoft to support Xbox more and more, and eh start making some games Phil 👍
 

Maxwell Jacob Friedman

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And hes doing a bang up job
 

JLB

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The story of Xbox is well worth a series right now.
First, original xbox was nearly ditched by B. Gates, but an unknown member of the team asked "what about sony dominating the living room?" and that changed Gates perception and gave a go to the project.
Then, Balmer saving the project with a mass check to cover the RROD-gate.
And this.
Xbox is truly a fantastic rollercoaster ha.
 
Apr 19, 2019
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Away with the fairies
The story of Xbox is well worth a series right now.
First, original xbox was nearly ditched by B. Gates, but an unknown member of the team asked "what about sony dominating the living room?" and that changed Gates perception and gave a go to the project.
Then, Balmer saving the project with a mass check to cover the RROD-gate.
And this.
Xbox is truly a fantastic rollercoaster ha.
I agree, but you've given the credit to Gates and Ballmer who signed off on the projects

It was J.Allard and Peter Moore that are the true heroes of Xbox.
 

rapid32.5

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Makes sense now, so he basically relaunched Xbox brand as a whole. Still, Bungie did some magic Voodoo in 9 months with Halo, considering current 343 Xbox situation.
 
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ReBurn

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I've been pretty happy with the Xbox brand under Spencer. I just wish those studio acquisitions would yield some fruit. Creative types need deadlines or they never produce anything.
 
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Prefer the Peter Moore/J Allard era despite RROD & HD-DVD not being a success. Thought they had a better momentum of game releases and genuine excitement. In some aspects it felt more progressive than regressive. As a fan I certainly didn’t feel too many disappointments or got bored of the “Wait till...” talk. Yes the PS3 had its problems however the 360 held its own imho.

I think what he goes into in the interview regarding pulling the brand and lack of team orientation , it really showed for a time and what they did release , the quality control of the content was inconsistent and personally disappointing for the most part.

He also talks about the intent to release Halo day one on XSX as a nod to the OG launch, which I think is a nice touch to the history of the platform . The OG Xbox also launched with the likes of PGR and Fuzion Frenzy. If I had been interviewing him I would of been tempted to ask why didn’t they have anything else new like that alongside it like the OG, 360 and X1 had.

I wish I had the faith and almost enamoured status some have in this guy, I don’t, it’s more hope than confidence he really delivers than anything
 

Monkeygourmet

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Nah, 21+ studios says he already earned his keep.

Until those quality games hit its irrelevant. MS cancelled titles last gen and also green lot absolutely weak sauce (recore etc).

MS seems unable to handle legacy titles like Fable properly, understand how to adapt titles like GOW to modernise them and bring them forward or actually build new IPs which have legs.

Phil has done nothing to improve that so far.
 
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Concern

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Gotta give him credit for not bailing on the brand like the others. He has put in good work to get the Xbox brand back on its feet after the Mattrick shit show.


I wouldn't say its necessarily on its feet yet but its definitely heading in a good direction compared to this gen.
 
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MrS

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I wouldn't say its necessarily on its feet yet but its definitely heading in a good direction compared to this gen.
Good exclusives is the only thing they lack. The missing piece of their puzzle, if you will. I see the Bethesda acquisition as a sign of intent on that front. This gen definitely won't be as bad for them as the last.
 
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H-I-M

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He sure does talk a lot for someone who still has everything to prove.
 

Concern

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Good exclusives is the only thing they lack. The missing piece of their puzzle, if you will. I see the Bethesda acquisition as a sign of intent on that front. This gen definitely won't be as bad for them as the last.


I agree but "only" is an understatement. Exclusives are basically the main reason people pick one over the other.

I need both since Sony mostly focuses on sp while ms does on mp.
 
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Hendrick's

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Besides list wars, how did those studios benefit people now?
They haven't yet, but it would be disingenuous to say it is irrelevant. I mean, if you believe that none of the 21+ studios will ever release a good game, that's one hell of a take.
 
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Monkeygourmet

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They haven't yet, but it would be disingenuous to say it is irrelevant. I mean, if you believe that none of the 21+ studios will ever release a good game, that's one hell of a take.

I’m saying until they land it’s all hot air. It maybe 4 years till the good ones hit. That’s almost half way through the next gen - pretty late if you ask me considering when he started his role.
 
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azertydu91

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They haven't yet, but it would be disingenuous to say it is irrelevant. I mean, if you believe that none of the 21+ studios will ever release a good game, that's one hell of a take.
Great so one day they or may not deliver on games...It's just getting tiring to hear wait til next E3 or next gen then there will be good games.
And we wait and wait again and so far nothing.Not even in a short or medium term.
To give you an idea Insomniac games have been bought in February and will put out 2 games less than 6 months after the ps5 comes out.
How many studios have been bought and since when to have nothing to show ?
 
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SantaC

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Praise be to the second coming of Jesus. (That was the J stands for in J Allard, Jesus Allard)

Seriously though, his on stage presentation style is just what Microsoft needed and need again. Hoody on, sit down on stage, whip out a controller and let the games do the talking
Best of all, he brought jrpgs to xbox350
 
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AJUMP23

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This is my J Allard. Not the corporate hoodie with a suit coat Hero Protagonists he became. 😂

He was great with the Xbox but the Zune was bad.
 
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chonga

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I find difficult to give credits to Spencer with ZERO triple A exclusive games at a console launch.

I believe there is no precedent.
Well, as pointed out here, he headed up the first party output during the era of "Xbox has no games" so I guess he is just carrying on what made him the boss.
 

ZehDon

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I put Phil Spencer in the same category as Kaz Hirai. They inherited a mess, and had to make the tough calls, the hard decisions, and take the shots. Kaz turned Sony around from its darkest days, and Spencer brought Xbox back from the brink.

Ask me in 2013, when I abandoned Xbox for PlayStation after the Xbox One disaster, would Xbox be around in 7 years, and I'd have said no. Great effort.