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Phil Spencer: 'We Need To Win With The Gamers'

Gameinformer :

Following his appointment as the new head of Xbox, we had a few minutes to speak with Microsoft’s Phil Spencer. During our conversation, Spencer kept returning to a theme of “games first,” marking a chance from how Microsoft has positioned the Xbox One since its reveal in May 2013.

“My goal, first and foremost, is to make sure that everybody understands that Xbox is a gaming brand and it’s going to be gaming first,” Spencer tells us. “That’s a leadership principle that I will bring to the program from day one. It’s not that it hasn’t been there in the past, but if you put the studio guy at the head, you kinda know what you’re going to get.”

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MightyNoX1270d ago

Why? Your current strategy seems to be working fine. Xbox is supposed to be MORE than a gaming machine, remember?

Focus on gamers? Pff. That's crazy talk.

Kayant1270d ago

I kinda agree with that. It still confuses me why they introduced the XB1 the way they did because it wasn't going to please the people that where mainly watching the reveal and since then they haven't really gone back to that messaging which is great. In the end it's the games that will sell and define the XB1 platform so someone like Phil Spencer at the helm now is perfect IMO.

MightyNoX1270d ago

It's funny you should mention that. I hopped back on YT to re-watch the reveal and one interesting discovery is how it clocks over 200k whilst the 'TV TV Spaht TV' highlight is almost 7.5M

Cupid_Viper_31270d ago (Edited 1270d ago )

@ MightyNoX,

MS HAD to change strategies and what you're seeing right now is a direct result of the outcome of TitanFall.

The amount of money poured into that game was substantial. ( For instance, GTA4's DLC deal for the 360 was $50 million plus for timed exclusitivity, and that was years ago. So one can only imagine how much it cost to keep it off the PS3 and PS4, Delay it on the 360, plus marketing, plus bundling)

i personally believe that some $300-$500 millions exchanged hands for Titanfall. And after the game performed well below expactations, some heads had to roll, hence why Phil is now in charge.

The second reason why phil is in charge is because it is also very clear to microsoft that the XBox brand needs a huge face lift, (Again see Titanfall numbers) the game was advertised like Halo and COD but didnt move consoles like those games have. meaning that PERCEPTION is key here, and that is what needs to change right away.

They also bundle the Xbox division with Windows now. Some will say that this is about unifying all aspects of microsoft which is partly true. But another reason is because Microsoft has just now decided to not sell the Xbox brand, and is tightenning its belt to absorb the losses that will incur by burying it in the Windows division. investors and share holders will focus less on it as a result.

But it is safe to say that the " Next Water Cooler" (All in One) experiment thing has failed and "Tap water" (games) is now back in.

keep in mind that this is all my personal opinion on the matter.

georgeenoob1270d ago (Edited 1270d ago )

@cupid

Selling 1 million copies with 4 million X1's, a 25% attach rate, is below expectations? What kind of expectations are you talking about? It seems people on the internet love to call anything a failure regardless of how well it sells.

@bic

The game sold over 700k worldwide in 4 days. It is now the 31st, you really think TF ceased sales after 4 days?

bicfitness1270d ago

@georgenoob.

Where are you getting 1m TF sales from? The last press release we had from MS was "hundreds of thousands" a week and a bit after release. If they crossed 1m, we would have heard it. Unless they're saving that for the NPD to soften the blow if they lost hardware sales that month.

RiPPn1270d ago

@georgeenoob: They could give a crap about attach rate, the game was supposed to move consoles. Judging by the rash of bone discounts and sales over the last week in an obvious attempt to bolster March NPD numbers, it's safe to say it did not meet expectations.

As for Phil, I'm glad a game guy is now in charge, but this is the same guy still blaming messaging over the actual problem. I don't think he is the second coming of the original Xbox team, but he is a step up from the past 4 years that's for sure.

Eonjay1270d ago (Edited 1270d ago )

He is trying to wash the taste of Don Mattrick out of people's mouth. It always sucks to do clean up someone else's mess, but I think thats why Spencer was chosen. He is the most likable out of the bunch and he has managed to not insult anyone's intelligence like Microsoft's PR disaster crew.

Could you imagine the look on his face watching Don and Larry answer questions.

I think we would have all be horrified working for someone who didn't seem to give a damn about the company's reputation.

DigitalRaptor1270d ago

They will damage control it, but Titanfall did not match expectations, and after that, what'cha got?
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Xbox division must be really confused right about now, since they probably still want to market it towards non-gamers.

What do they really want out of this machine? Watercooler? TV shows? the most hardcore of hardcore gaming? Kinect? They should've just gone with games from the start, and the extra features and stuff would've sold themselves.

christocolus1270d ago

@kayant and george

You guys are right.. dont know why any gamer would come in here trying to downplay this. This is great news not just for the xbox division but for xbox fans and gamers as a whole. Devs have been really happy about this news too sending congratulatory messages and wishes to Phil.

Phil is a great guy and a true gamer at heart this is the best deceision Sadiya could have taken regarding the leadership of the division. Its definitly a great time for the team and im happy , xbx fans are happy and devs too are happy about it...im really looking forward to the future and the great things to come.

Those asking how much titanfall has sold can do a search on google to find out for themselves or check out the latest global figures which was posted here on N4g a few hours ago.

Again i say a big congrats to the entire Xbox team. I believe Phil will do great things for the brand.

miyamoto1270d ago (Edited 1270d ago )

Is this the final 180?
They are actually going back from what they should have started?
The ultimate damage control?

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 1270d ago
LexHazard791270d ago

Xbox was a gaming brand before it became the all In one! Its only right they focus on gaming, everything else is just icing on the cake!

stiggs1270d ago

@ MightyNoX

Do you eve get tired of being so negative all of the time?

It must be exhausting.

HappyWithOneBubble1270d ago

They see Sony is winning with this strategy and now they what be for the gamers. A little too late to act like they care now.

TheXgamerLive1270d ago (Edited 1270d ago )

Hmm how did i know a weakassed butt hurt other console fanboy would speak up and cry first, especially when it has nothing to do with you.

Be it Xbox PS PC, enough already. Whine elswhere. MS/Xbox fans are damned happy.

I could care less of ps news bc its your news and im not jealous as you are.
Move along Mkay. Things are great and getting better.

GT671270d ago

Phil spencer: "we need to win over gamers"

good luck with that. two late to put "theme games first"
in people head.
only thing he can do now is wash DON MATTRICK out of people mouth start over.

asmith23061269d ago

It's so funny the way they are taking a leaf out of Sony's book, actually half the book. They f*cked up royally at E3 and need to follow the competitions lead.

Concertoine1269d ago

Its not like sony did something revolutionary and MS is copying something distinct. They just put all their effort into powerful hardware and games, and MS wanted to chase a bigger market. Sony did what they knew would work, MS (like nintendo did with the wii) took a risk.
Really, MS is using the same approach they had with xbox and xbox 360, a focus on games.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 1269d ago
lifeisgamesok1270d ago

Phil Spencer gets it and I'm glad he is in charge

It's going to be great seeing Microsoft studios improve and Phil is the man to do it. He's a gamer like you and me

christocolus1270d ago

“That’s a leadership principle that I will bring to the program from day one. It’s not that it hasn’t been there in the past, but if you put the studio guy at the head, you kinda know what you’re going to get.”

That's great. I remember Phil saying if he was made CEO of MS he would dedicate all resources to game development...lol. He was kidding but its great to have someone with such a passioin for games at the helms of of the division... Xbox fans can expect a focus on games as it was with the original xbox once again.

LexHazard791270d ago

Yeah I remember that. Best guy for job and im glad MS made the move!

liquidhalos1270d ago

Yeah i personally think this is great news. They made a good choice and hopefully he will push for some new great AAA games. This made me decided to get myself the Xbox One now to keep the PS4 company later in the year, so i can start to enjoy the best of both worlds

Eonjay1270d ago

Remember there is a difference in knowing the path and walking the path... it took Sony years of work on the PS3 and a dedication to quality that won them all those GOTY awards... of which they own more than anyone. I want to see something compelling and years of consistency. Buying success is nothing compared to building it yourself

Flamingweazel1270d ago

they just figured this out now???? LOL.

AngelicIceDiamond1270d ago

“My goal, first and foremost, is to make sure that everybody understands that Xbox is a gaming brand and it’s going to be gaming first,”

Enough said.

DigitalRaptor1270d ago (Edited 1270d ago )

That certainly wasn't the case a few months ago, and it's pretty strange that this wasn't the attitude form the start. Weird, how a vision for a console can just fall flat on its face.

But it's good to see Phil steering the ship in the right direction.
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@ MorePower

I'm not talking about Phil. I'm talking about Microsoft executives and Xbox prior to the PR disaster, where they had to change the anti-consumer policies, remove focus of the things people were complaining about and SUDDENLY put gaming at the forefront.

I'm talking about the fat-cat execs that thought it would be a good idea to focus roughly 50% of their effort on non-gaming, and reveal their console where 95% of it was not about games.

I'm talking about Yusuf Mehdi, and Don Mattrick and Major Nelson and Albert Penello and Mark Whitten. The people decided on this and thought core gamers wouldn't care, which is why they are trying catch up in that space: http://www.gengame.net/2013...

I'm talking about the MS execs who ultimately flip-flopped. The engineers that helped make a console that was a multimedia box that ALSO played video games, rather than a laser-focused, bleeding-edge gaming console. The same people who are just now trying to claim like it is the best that GAMING can offer, rather than the best that MULTIMEDIA can offer.

I like Phil. I didn't use to, but i do now. It's good that he's the head of Xbox. But facts don't change. If gamers hadn't spoken up about the atrocious decisions Microsoft had made for the Xbone and the way consumers would access content, he would be right there behind Don Mattrick - smiling and telling consumers that we simply are "not ready" for Microsoft's vision: http://www.theguardian.com/...

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"It took the industry months to figure this out they hate the only console that has the games."

PS4 has MORE games. It has more first-party exclusives and more diversity. Wii U has more great first and third party games than the Xbone.

MorePowerOfGreen1270d ago (Edited 1270d ago )

He has had the same vision with his old job that he does with his new job(Hence why he was hired and the industry being excited)

What he is saying is that, he's going to use his new power to the fullest to pump out games so there is no mistaken that the XB1 is a console for gamers/games first.

I'm assuming you're claiming Phil liked the Media hub first marketing(which doesn't mean games were not a focus then hence why XB1 has the most AA games already)

Phil made all the right moves that allowed the XB1 to overcome the hate bandwagon crusade, while folks were/are busy hating on XB1, XB1 gamers have been playing many exclusives. It took the industry months to figure this out they hate the only console that has the games.

tigertron1270d ago

Xbox is first and foremost a GAMES machine. Everything else should be secondary.

The PS4 is successful because of Sony's sole focus on gaming. Microsoft tried to copy their original PS3 strategy and it backfired. Now that Spencer is in charge we shall see a much more gaming focused Xbox.

asmith23061269d ago

"Now that Spencer is in charge we shall see a much more gaming focused Xbox." - I wouldn't bet on that. The guys at the top are still in charge.