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Should Phil Spencer be replaced at the head of Xbox?

VALCON 82

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My guess, they were stretched too thin. Having a limited number of studios for their platform meant that games needed to release at certain intervals otherwise droughts would last too long.

Another guess is that making games is hard. Sony just gave Sucker Punch 6 years to produce an 83 Metacritic game that basically did nothing innovative and no multiplayer mode. really!

I think Phil convincing MS to buy 6 more studios was brilliant. I agree

I think Phil bolstering GamePass is brilliant. I agree

I think Phil adding PC into the XBox ecosystem is brilliant.

I think Phil undercutting the PS5 on price with the Series S is brilliant.

I think Phil understanding multiplayer, sandbox, GAAS is brilliant. not sure

The games will come.


highlighted above.. you are correct and i do agree with some of your points. However...

using GoT as example... 83 is still really good to not have multiplayer or be innovative and just be a brand new IP.
Microsoft gave Crackdown 3 at least 5 years worth of development
it was also an existing IP with big following
It also had multiplayer

and yet it only came out with a metacritic of what ... 60? so your right making games is HARD
Some might just be better at it than others
 

S0ULZB0URNE

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I think we should be asking that question about her.

It's overdue.
 

Abriael_GN

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Yes. And I think he will be.

Everyone is entitled to wishful thinking.

Something's gotta be done.

Indeed. And that's forum randos who have absolutely zero ideas about how the industry works combined with an excessively inflated idea of their opinion (because they play games, so obviously they know better) shutting up about the jobs of people who have worked in the industry for decades. 🤔
 
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S0ULZB0URNE

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Everyone is entitled to wishful thinking.



Indeed. And that's forum randos who have absolutely zero ideas about how the industry works combined with an excessively inflated idea of their opinion (because they play games, so obviously they know better) shutting up about the jobs of people who have worked in the industry for decades. 🤔
Maybe not post in these types of threads?
 
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renzolama

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I mean, what decisions is he actually responsible for? As far as I can tell he just does Microsoft's marketing speak, and his audience seems to love him regardless of how many failures are occurring behind him at any given time. If his only job is to make people think that game pass is a great value then they should definitely keep him on.
 

kruis

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I mean, what decisions is he actually responsible for? As far as I can tell he just does Microsoft's marketing speak, and his audience seems to love him regardless of how many failures are occurring behind him at any given time. If his only job is to make people think that game pass is a great value then they should definitely keep him on.

Phil Spencer is not the head of the Xbox PR department, he's the boss of the entire gaming division and one level below the CEO of Microsoft.

 
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renzolama

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Phil Spencer is not the head of the Xbox PR department, he's the boss of the entire gaming division and one level below the CEO of Microsoft.


You can explain how corporate hierarchies work all you like, it doesn't change the fact that Phil Spencer's primary function has been to do PR speak and salvage the Xbox brand. He's never given the impression that he has any involvement whatsoever in the design / decision making for Xbox consoles, his interviews have almost uniformly come across as somebody explaining decisions and/or failures made by others. If you designed and built a perfect manager robot it would come out as Phil Spencer.
 
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Papacheeks

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My guess, they were stretched too thin. Having a limited number of studios for their platform meant that games needed to release at certain intervals otherwise droughts would last too long.

Another guess is that making games is hard. Sony just gave Sucker Punch 6 years to produce an 83 Metacritic game that basically did nothing innovative and no multiplayer mode.

I think Phil convincing MS to buy 6 more studios was brilliant.

I think Phil bolstering GamePass is brilliant.

I think Phil adding PC into the XBox ecosystem is brilliant.

I think Phil undercutting the PS5 on price with the Series S is brilliant.

I think Phil understanding multiplayer, sandbox, GAAS is brilliant.

The games will come.


This was stuff that needed to happen for xbox to survive you understand this right?

Regardless of ghost of tsushima 83 on meta, the player feedback, reaction and sales show that Sony made the right move with Sucker punch.

Microsoft from a while ago had rumblings from the top up in a meeting of literally spinning off xbox/gaming division.

Gamepass is how phil was able to get more money for the division. He had to come up with something and it was not all him, to sell Nadlla that meshed with the rest of the company's trajectory.

Gaming service was the only way, and since you have a netflix service, streaming was part of that which meant growth in their enterprise sector with servers made up of the hardware, and azure for streaming, and data base growth as well.

This was their last chance, Nadalla wasn't going to just spend billions to buy a bunch of studios without some form of return or growth that can be seen throughout the company. ANd services are what their entire company uses for most of their growth.

If Gamepass numbers don't continue on the trajectory that we've seen with 10 million active users, and people continue those subs, and use xCloud it's not going to be a good gen for Xbox period.

There is so much riding on services/software.

And right now nothing is ready for this big push of said services.
 

LittleBusters

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You can explain how corporate hierarchies work all you like, it doesn't change the fact that Phil Spencer's primary function has been to do PR speak and salvage the Xbox brand. He's never given the impression that he has any involvement whatsoever in the design / decision making for Xbox consoles, his interviews have almost uniformly come across as somebody explaining decisions and/or failures made by others. If you designed and built a perfect manager robot it would come out as Phil Spencer.

Phil isn't Mark Cerny, no matter how much you want him to be. It would be nice if the next head of Xbox was a hard-core engineer.
 
Dec 29, 2018
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I don't think Phil needs to go. I think he needs to grow some balls and bring out the axe.

Some heads need to roll and i'm looking at 343i.

GAAS is a good direction to go in and i've said it before, i look forward to Xbox becoming a GAAS platform. In that sense i'm covered on the games front with Playstation for my blockbuster AAA exclusives and Xbox for my GAAS games.
Its a win for both platforms.

I like Phil. He's a likable guy. But Phil needs to talk less. Also get someone else in place of Aaron Greenberg. Been saying that for years.
Phil just show the games. You set yourself up for a lot of criticism if you talk too much before showing what you have. Its exactly what Sony have been doing, staying radio silent and just showing the games. Us Sony fans complained about the silence (myself included) but i see how they have now avoided the pitfalls that Xbox seems to have found themselves in.
Like Jim Ryan said at the start of the PS State of Play 'We'll let the games do the talking'
Was somewhat underwhelmed with what Sony showed but at least i was not promised the moon and stars an hyped to 11.
 

kruis

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You can explain how corporate hierarchies work all you like, it doesn't change the fact that Phil Spencer's primary function has been to do PR speak and salvage the Xbox brand. He's never given the impression that he has any involvement whatsoever in the design / decision making for Xbox consoles, his interviews have almost uniformly come across as somebody explaining decisions and/or failures made by others. If you designed and built a perfect manager robot it would come out as Phil Spencer.

Phil Spencer has only worked in management jobs for the past thirty years, I don't think he has a technical background. But he is the head of Xbox. He's in charge. No one else.

BTW It's funny that Spencer is such a blank slate that Gaffers can project all their hopes and dreams for Xbox on him. He's responsible only for all the good decisions and isn't responsible for mismanagement ("he's just a PR person") or the lack of high quality first party games in the past ("he had no power, MS bigwigs worked against him, his budgets were slashed, etc"). even though Spencer was the head of MS Games Studios between 2008-2014 and head of Xbox for the past six years.
 

diffusionx

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This is the same situation that soccer clubs have to deal from time to time: fire the coach or keep faith in him?

There are arguments for both options: maintaining Phil ensures the continuity and future success of Xbox, whilst the “new factor” created by firing him could change things for the best.

In my opinion, Phi had more than enough time to at least organize a consistent exclusive roster, which didn’t happen in the Xbox One and it doesn’t seem will happen so soon in the XSX.
On the contrary, except for Ori, all Xbox exclusives this gen had some kind of problem or shitstorm, and I doubt that won’t be the same case for the next releases (if they ever get finished, that is).

Besides, those dozens of acquired studios mean nothing. Those are studios that never really did anything on the level of Isomniac before being purchased, and I really doubt it will change now that they are MS proprieties.
Not even going to mention that forced Initiative hype.

Phil did good on Game Pass, xCloud and other things, but is thi really what Xbox wants? Is that what consumers want?

It feels like Xbox shifted from that TV TV TV discourse just to turn into a gaming Netflix.

Anyone who thinks that MS all this time was trying to do what Sony did, and they bought studios so they could have their Naughty Dog, their Insomniac, their Sucker Punch, whatever, was not paying attention. Their goal IS a gaming Netflix. Microsoft is a services company now, for Xbox to fit into the MS umbrella, it has to be a services organization as well. If Phil can execute a gaming Netflix, he did his job.

The problem from my POV is that you have to stick the landing, and MS has not stuck the landing. I could pin all the blame on 343, but the buck ultimately stops with him.
 
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Jokerevo

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Why? I mean they have the console, they have the games coming. They have new studios. Not gonna happen overnight

Yes he has to go. HALO is the only genuine AAA flagship and they had 7 years to get it ready for launch but the sudden refocus towards gamepass halfway through the gen shows that the priority isn't games, it's subscriptions. This is all well and good but failing to have one game that actually shows you have the powerful console is = fail.

343 should have been given a remit to create an XsX HI exclusive and then gut it for the gamepass crowd.

XDF still don't realise how much damage gamepass is going to do to what should be your mainstay or stable of games. Every single console needs an identifiable stable of games that say : this is worth buying an XsX for.

Instead XsX exists for the hardcore and MS has zero interest in that niche number and it shows. This whole strategy revolves around lockhart now and it's ironic that the company with the greatest means is not interested in actually making any new exclusive IP for its new hardware and by accommodating PC you also include non SSD hardware configs. That will hold back XsX until the install base justifies investment but how can you build the install base if you don't invest in exclusives for it.

Those 12 flops look more like 4 flops. What a waste.
 

mekes

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I think this is a pretty harsh thread!

Spencer seems ok to me. Not perfect, definitely guilty of a few mishaps but hopefully he can feel his way into that boss role over the next year or 2. From a PR perspective I mean... Microsoft still come across as a little too corporate for my tastes, and treat their games more like products when showcasing rather than player experiences. And then of course all of the “Exclusive World Premiere” nonsense that fills any press conference they do. I do expect something a little more, honest to the craft than what they often present.

I don’t plan on buying a new Xbox right now. Im hoping Phil will bring a whole host of new IP AAA first party titles in the upcoming years. Halo, Gears, Forza and the occasional Fable are the losing gen ttiles that Microsoft have been releasing for too long now. Decent enough games, no need to can them, but they need new blood on the software front. And I feel that for a lot of people, due to Microsofts stagnation on the software front, it might take more than 1 gen to fix up and start getting people invested again. The poll numbers around here are pretty damning. People like to joke Song-GAF on here but anybody is free to join, and numbers are numbers.

I kinda feel that all of Microsoft’s shortcomings, which have been piling up since the 2nd half of the 360 gen in my opinion til he took over, are now his problem. Which is fair enough, but he deserves time to put things right and make serious changes. Hopefully he has a good grasp on what he wants to achieve, and we will know some time down the road. I already think he is better than the person he replaced.
 
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Wildstar75

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He's at the helm and has to take responsibility. There are very few reasons to want to buy a Series x in the next year. Maybe they thought some 3rd party game was going to come in with something beautiful that takes full advantage and save them. It didn't happen. They will make more money off their year one first party games by having a significantly bigger addressable market....BUT they took their eye off the prize again. Microsoft hasn't learned from their terrible debut and launch of the One. Phil and 343 Studio head needs to be fired. New head needs to come in, acknowledge the mistakes, and start trying to win back faith in MSFT Gaming.
 
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Wildstar75

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Anyone who thinks that MS all this time was trying to do what Sony did, and they bought studios so they could have their Naughty Dog, their Insomniac, their Sucker Punch, whatever, was not paying attention. Their goal IS a gaming Netflix. Microsoft is a services company now, for Xbox to fit into the MS umbrella, it has to be a services organization as well. If Phil can execute a gaming Netflix, he did his job.

The problem from my POV is that you have to stick the landing, and MS has not stuck the landing. I could pin all the blame on 343, but the buck ultimately stops with him.


You are probably right about their strategy. But all I hear is TV TV TV! They should have known better.
 

phil_t98

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Yes he has to go. HALO is the only genuine AAA flagship and they had 7 years to get it ready for launch but the sudden refocus towards gamepass halfway through the gen shows that the priority isn't games, it's subscriptions. This is all well and good but failing to have one game that actually shows you have the powerful console is = fail.

343 should have been given a remit to create an XsX HI exclusive and then gut it for the gamepass crowd.

XDF still don't realise how much damage gamepass is going to do to what should be your mainstay or stable of games. Every single console needs an identifiable stable of games that say : this is worth buying an XsX for.

Instead XsX exists for the hardcore and MS has zero interest in that niche number and it shows. This whole strategy revolves around lockhart now and it's ironic that the company with the greatest means is not interested in actually making any new exclusive IP for its new hardware and by accommodating PC you also include non SSD hardware configs. That will hold back XsX until the install base justifies investment but how can you build the install base if you don't invest in exclusives for it.

Those 12 flops look more like 4 flops. What a waste.

it’s not like there has been a global pandemic going on is there? What’s ps5 biggest launch game? Spiderman which we haven’t really seen any footage of yet..

they have also said that it started out as an add on for PS4 but they just upgraded it to pa5. Spiderman my fave game on my PS4.

would you launch the PS4 with uncharted list legacy? Not really so we will have to see what this spiderman game is like
 

S0ULZB0URNE

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Why, can't take someone bringing some logic to the circlejerk? 😏

Tough luck, champ.
I like him just not his work, well lack of.

Logic?
When the job requirements aren't being met... It's time for a change of staffing.
That's logic.
 

RJMacready73

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Absolutely, hes head of that department and he oversaw each and everyone of those presentations which have all sucked absolute balls and left the Xbox team which have a fantastic machine with nothing but memes, they needed to get this spot on, messaging perfect, games perfect.. fucksakes they're coming from so far behind this was their chance and he fucking blew it
 
Jan 29, 2019
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About the only things he could do quickly were jettisoning the Kinect and cutting the price. Then the X1X turned out pretty good too.
Maybe start acquiring studios? Instead of waiting for the end of the gen, they would (presumably) have had a couple of nice games during the gen, sold more systems, gained the attention of gamers in general and some good will/trust from the community for the transition to the next gen.

MS said the hardware did not matter when transitioning ot the one as well.
 
Jan 29, 2019
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You can explain how corporate hierarchies work all you like, it doesn't change the fact that Phil Spencer's primary function has been to do PR speak and salvage the Xbox brand. He's never given the impression that he has any involvement whatsoever in the design / decision making for Xbox consoles, his interviews have almost uniformly come across as somebody explaining decisions and/or failures made by others. If you designed and built a perfect manager robot it would come out as Phil Spencer.
Man, when you are this high in a giant corporation's org chart you make decisions, nobody tells you what to do (except the CEO, but he is to high level it won't be him that's responsible if you fail like that)... This reveal was the big thing, he has to have green lit it.

His job is not a PR one, but when he speaks in public he is doing PR.
 
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dvdvideo

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If series S is handheld with an oled, the power to trounce a switch, has backwards compatibility, is all forgiven?
 

GHG

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If series S is handheld with an oled, the power to trounce a switch, has backwards compatibility, is all forgiven?

Well it would certainly be interesting but I can't see it happening nor would it be cheap.
 

Evil Calvin

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Isn't Bonnie Ross the problem here? Years ago I was questioning what she did. She revealed a Phantom Dust reboot. That went over well.
 

Iced Arcade

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If only he would have nixed off kinect, tvtvtv, released a more powerful X1, included a UHD drive in the base model 1x, launch a Netflix style game service, purchased a fuck ton of studios to bulk up 1st party in the future, launch an actual solid streaming service, purchase mindcraft, purchase the gears franchise, get ready to launch a more powerful console than the competitor instead of lazing around with Craig. Fuck that guy, fire him.
 
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Papacheeks

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If only he would have nixed off kinect, tvtvtv, released a more powerful X1, included a UHD drive in the base model 1x, launch a Netflix style game service, purchased a fuck ton of studios to bulk up 1st party in the future, launch an actual solid streaming service, purchase mindcraft, purchase the gears franchise, get ready to launch a more powerful console than the competitor instead of lazing around with Craig. Fuck that guy, fire him.

Yea if only he's done that much sooner we would be seeing gameplay of said games. And honestly buying gears is make or break. Rod left so who knows how the hell Gears is going to be. Right now it's not in he best of places.

If anything they should have continued the deal with Epic, or made a contract with CLif to come on and be a overseer for the franchise. Now it's in this weird limbo where they dont know where to take the series.

Coalition seems to be a better managed studio, but it seems they need a break from Gears.

Non of that stuff you mentioned did anything to move the needle outside of cheap games on gamepass. The whole issue is software, and who the fuck known years from now how any games outside of proven studios are going to pan out.

This is not a one gen issue they have had. It goes all the way back to xb360.

Get Microsoft away from xbox division and get new people to run it that have PC gaming software background.

Honestly I don't think xbox will ever recover to the days of when it was at its height during early 360 years.
 
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S0ULZB0URNE

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Sounds like a generic "I don't have an argument, sorry" response, which it is.
Yeah you don't know but keep posting.
Xbox is in shambles and he is part of the blame.
If they want to succeed they will make changes and his position is likely one of the changes/hence this thread.
 
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Demon2blades

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MS made their big investment into XBox in 2018, not 2014.

Didn't they buy Minecraft in 2014 for a shit Ton of money ? That was a big investment but wouldn't that money have been better spent buying a few studios back then ? I reckon the money's always been there but it wasn't the direction ms wanted to go in they don't want to make AAA after AAA It's too expensive and not sustainable subscription material hence why there's so much crap on Netflix amongst some/very few gems

That's the aim imho the Netflix of gaming .
 
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Komatsu

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Everything that happened since Phil Spencer took over the reins - first as a AVP under Terry Myerson, Operating Systems Group EVP, then as an EVP answering directly to Satya - shows that the C-Suite and the Board have full confidence in his work, and confidence at a trillion dollar company doesn't come without some metrics being met.