The Axeman Cometh. Is Phil Spencer the Wrong Man for Xbox?

"With news of Scalebound's cancellation, we ask whether Phil Spencer is the wrong person to steer the Xbox to success."

Asa from Gameondaily discusses whether Phil Spencer should be blamed for the Xbox's recent failings.


Admin note: this submission is about Phil, not what you think of your fellow users. Please keep it on topic.

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Herbalistic496d ago ShowReplies(2)
darthv72496d ago

some will say yes and others no. Honestly though, the tough calls have to be made and that means having to deal with the backlash of making those calls. We don't know all the details about why certain games get canceled. All we have is speculation until both parties agree to disclose the reasons in a mutual decision.

Games like Scalebound and Fable legends and phantom dust all have been canceled with little to no explanation and it has been speculated that Scalebound was taking too long with development and/or MS was being pushy for updates. Fable legends was not turning out to be the game MS was expecting and/or the development team wanted to start over which would take even more time. Phantom dust was just not shaping up to be a good game (multiplayer only) and/or MS wanted the original game remastered instead.

Some of those statements may have some truth to them but overall the decision to cancel these projects was made under the guise of quality control. Anyone in a position of leadership has to make those tough decisions even when the consumer backlash is something they know they will have to face.

How you face it says allot more about a leader than just simply making these decisions.

YinYangGaming496d ago

This is one of the only logical and reasonable comments I've seen made on this site, even the internet, since the cancellation of Scalebound. Kudos.

Vhampir496d ago

It's a long winded way of saying nothing at all.

LordMaim496d ago

Phil Spencer has made some extremely good calls since taking over from Don Mattrick, turning around what was nearly a catastrophic launch and building back to a powerful brand. Asking this question is ridiculous at this point.

CrazedFiend496d ago (Edited 496d ago )


And yet, with that one sentence I see I will have gotten more out of that one comment from darth than I would ever get from all your comments combined. I fear I may have to find a way to gain back the 10 points I lost off my IQ for having read it.

morganfell496d ago (Edited 496d ago )


The problem with his comment is at the end:

"How you face it says allot more about a leader than just simply making these decisions."

99.99% of Xbox and potential Xbox gamers are neither aware nor do they care how the head of the division faces an issue. And comments from behind the scene are beginning to indicate this issue was generated by MS. So basically what he is saying is

"How you face something you caused says allot more about a leader than just simply making these decisions".

Suddenly that statement seems a great deal less inspiring.

jmc8888495d ago (Edited 495d ago )


Something he caused? Some of these games were green lit by previous leaders like Mattrick, and game developers might have said one thing in a presentation that sounded great, but then Spencer saw it wasn't up to snuff, and cancelled it.

It's a bit disingenuous to say he 'caused' it.

As for others saying darth was long winded, get over it. I don't see much enlightenment in twitter sized responses. If something takes a while to say, it does. Idiocracy is rearing it's heads, and yes, twitter is dumbing us down and giving some people what amounts to ADD.

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guyman496d ago ShowReplies(1)
Ravenor496d ago

Any time Scalebound been shown it has looked extremely rough, uninteresting and destined for the same bargain bin that The Order resides in. When Kamiya came out on stage the last time Scalebound was shown his intro was "ever since I was little I wanted to make a game where you fight big monsters" I'm paraphrasing but it was something along those lines, if I was banking his game I'd expect a bit more energy than what he gave.

Scalebound getting axed is not the least bit surprising, what is surprising is how quickly everyone forgets Don "hair flip" Mattrick. Yeah let's pine for the guy who thought during the Unveiling I wanted to see him speaking to Goodell.

Godmars290496d ago

And still, unlike other canceled titles, the issue with Fable Legends and Scalebound was that they were high profile. MS made a show of directly promoting them right along with Sea of Thieves and Crackdown 3. The new Phantom Dust as well, to such a degree they immediately announced the HD remake of the old. Also two of those titles were past due for unrelease, unlike normally canceled early in production games.

The only way MS can recover from this is to announce new games, but if those games only get canceled, and they now have an established record for do such, what's the point?

TankCrossing496d ago

They're doing a remake of the original Phantom Dust?

rainslacker496d ago (Edited 496d ago )

While I agree with you, the right guy would be able to explain why a cancellation is actually good for the gamers, instead of just stating it as a forgone conclusion.

I like Phil overall, but when something like this happens, it really annoys me that all he does is push out marketing platitudes with no actual explanation, all while showing some remorse that it had to happen. I don't mind that he mentions the good that is coming to try and assuage the disappointment, but MS in general goes straight to that, instead of actually being transparent.

He doesn't have to be ugly, or blame anyone. There are ways to express the problem without actually calling out the guilty party. Something along the lines of, "Development wasn't progressing fast enough and the game was becoming prohibitively expensive to make" would have been sufficient to remove all the speculation about what happened, and allows MS to look like they made a reasonable business decision, and gets the developer off the hook, because people don't know the actual reasons why it wasn't progressing properly. But he doesn't do that. He says, "We regret it, but it's good for you, the customer". Leaving everyone to speculation. Making MS look bad. Bringing a lot of negative focus on their current line up, and leaving a lot of unanswered questions which people are going to make up their own conclusions on.

I guess in short, it's more that I only see Phil as a PR head. Not an actual head of Xbox. It's hard to give him credit, because we don't know what he is actually responsible for implementing on his shift, and what he is just relaying that is the work of others or MS own directives. To this date, I really have no clue what exactly it is that Spencer has done. All I know is that he's given credit for any and all good things that have happened with Xbox since his promotion, and he gets no blame for the bad things that happen. Even things like BC, which came out way too close to his promotion for him to actually be responsible for getting off the ground, since his old job had nothing to do with that. But ironically, with SB, his prior job would have been directly linked to that project getting off the ground, so it's cancellation, and inception, were likely all on him.

lastking95496d ago (Edited 496d ago )

Phantom dust isnt canceled, another studio is working on it. Lionhead quality was plummeting. Made nothing but trash after fable 2. Scalebound......WTF HAPPENED EXACTLY? It was looking good everytime they showed it. Unless 0 story progression was made I dont see what went wrong.

495d ago
jmc8888495d ago (Edited 495d ago )

Exactly. Imagine the backlash if they released some real turd games. Looks like either way Microsoft and Phil Spencer was going to have backlash, and imo for the Microsoft/Xbox brand it's better to have the backlash from cancelling the games and the consumers still have the money in their pockets.

I don't see that as being the wrong man for the job. The wrong man would of let turds come to market and taken the money.

Hopefully they take stock in their situation and endeavor to get more talent on board to make better games. Being strong enough to cancel games gives such feedback that it might be necessary. Letting turds come to the market doesn't as much, because then a corporation can say... well we made our money back. At least we know they know that something is wrong and consumers have the money in their pocket.

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YinYangGaming496d ago

Can we just take a second to take a step back and observe the overblown nature of this news. When Phil and Xbox released the Xbox One S just a few months ago, it was called the "comeback" and his leadership was praised for turning the ship around for the Xbox brand. He cancels a game that was missing deadlines, stuck in development troubles and looking in bad shape and look how quickly people are to jump back on the Xbox hate wagon. It's embarrassing we wish failure on any brand/persons in this industry.

ninsigma496d ago

Jump back on?? We're seeing people on this site who have never had a bad word to say against microsoft now complaining about this decision. I don't even think it's because scalebound was meant to be this awesome amazing game (maybe some thought that I'm not sure) but because this is yet another game to get the axe as well as the studios that have been closed down under Microsoft while they have yet to show alternatives. Last year they had some good games in gears 4 and fh3 but before that was an only ok game in QB with very little to nothing for MONTHS. This year is no better. Crackdown 3 is no where to be seen lately. It will likely be shown again at e3 with a release date for end of year but that series has never been crazy popular. The next big name game is halo wars 2. An RTS won't cut it. Then sea of theives looks terrible. After that what big games are there??

dcbronco496d ago

The problem is if Microsoft goes ahead and releases a lackluster game they will get criticism. Quantum Break is an example. It may have been an issue of missed deadlines but it's a business and as long as the deadline is reasonable you only get so many chances. If Phil believes there is no more room for mediocrity then that should be reason to celebrate not criticize.

dcbronco496d ago

Apparently three people would prefer to get taken for $60. Or they're playstation fans that want Microsoft pushing out sub par games. I want them to have standards.

jrshankill495d ago

"Last year they had some good games in gears 4 and fh3 but before that was an only ok game in Q"
Ori, Forza, Sunset Overdrive, Halo 5 were all quality exclusives before QB. Let's get facts straight.

"sea of theives looks terrible"
Your opinion. Most think it looks fun and different.

ninsigma495d ago

I agree on all those except halo 5 being good games however they weren't last year (which is what I've been talking about). And no most don't think that's the case. It's mixed around for sea of theives.

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AngelicIceDiamond496d ago

Right MS released the slim in which allot ppl here didn't think it was gonna be that big of a deal or "cut in the sales of the Scorpio??" Since Phil been in charged hes turned the whole Xbox ship around. Scalebound's cancellation is a big deal and I personally am very upset and hell I'm even questioning MS games studios now but to question his stance over in the industry over a cancelled game is absurd. Hell Don Mattrick, Forced Kinect, Higher price W/ slightly weaker specs, DRM 24 hour check ins, can't sell used games, terrible indie policy. There was even a rumor about banning your games library if you were caught cheating or too many complaints on your profile. MS first major blunder in years since Phil's control doesn't stack up to the last boss.

You're absolutely right. Though I'm still upset at MS for cancelling there are some so I say "legit" reasons for the cancellations. The game had 2 major showcases and previews and both times the game looked rough half the game community couldn't help but notice. The cancellation could be quality control. The game could have launched and would of gotten hammered in metacritic and sales and articles popping saying MS is poor at managing quality games are bombing.

Catch 22 cancel it, MS gets hammered or release it with a big potential for disappointment, MS get hammered.

RpgSama496d ago (Edited 496d ago )

The Xbox One S was called a "comeback" just from certain pro Ms gaming sites and MS fans only because it sold more than the PS4 in only 2 countries for 4 months of the year, at a time that people where waiting for the Ps4 Pro to launch.

There was no "comeback", there is no momentum, and this year started in the worst possible way for them, I refuse to believe that the main studio at Platinum Games with their lead producer Kamiya were going to deliver a 6/10 game, maybe it wasn't going to get GOTY awards or straight 10/10 out of everybody, but not every game has to, look at Gravity Rush 2, a solid 8, there was a time when 8+ meant good to great and not trash like some people treat it today and 9+ amazing.

itsmebryan495d ago

You refuse to believe that game was a 6/10 but, why? Do you have proof? Do you have beside info? Or are you just making it up ?

thejigisup496d ago

I don't wish failure, I just recognize it.

bluefox755496d ago

I don't think people "wish failure" (well, maybe some), but I think when a company like Microsoft ignores the demands of fans for so long, it's kind of hard to feel any sympathy when things finally do fall apart. With core gamers, it's always been about "the games", but once again Microsoft doesn't seem to realize this. Or maybe they do and they're just not good at it, I dunno. The point is, they have really under delivered with regard to software, and they seem to be okay with that. The strategy seems to be: "Pay no mind to our underwhelming software catalog, look over here at Backwards Compatibility, 4k Bluray movies, and our upcoming Super Powerful Scorpio!!"

rainslacker496d ago (Edited 496d ago )

People way over blew just how awesome he was with the release of a slim version of the console, not to mention every other great thing that's happened since MS had to somehow try and gain back consumer confidence. It wasn't some monumental event which cemented his ability to run a console division. A slim revision was a forgone conclusion, likely started before Phil took over. Same with Scorpio. Same with any game that has released under his current tenure. Same with BC, which came out too soon after he took over for him to actually be responsible for initiating it. Same with DX, same with Cloud compute, etc.

Under Spencers leadership though, quite a few studios have been closed, and several games have been cancelled. The most recent, SB, he would have been responsible for helping to get off the ground from his prior job at MS. I don't think that Spencer's praise is well deserved. I think he's doing a decent job of delivering whatever message MS is trying to deliver right now. But his failings are completely glossed over and ignored by those who praise him, while they put him up on a pedestal which he can't possibly ever live up to.

To be fair, it wasn't all on Spencer that the bad things also happened, but he would have had to be the person which had to decide how to fit MS allocated resources for game development, and decide which studios had to get the axe. It's a hard thing for a business to do such a thing, and I don't envy him for it, but those would have been his decisions, because he could have made a case why they should have been kept open....and even then, he may not have been the ultimate decider.

I don't wish Spencer to fail. I just wish people would actually use some modicum of critical thinking before they go making it so Spencer's eventual failure is because people have come to expect too much from him, because right now, MS user base seems to expect MS to deliver the moon, and they can't even get off the ground right now.

Lets be real here. Spencer isn't the sole person running the Xbox division. He's certainly a rudder to help steer the ship, but he is restricted by MS own policies. His job isn't to make Xbox the best it can be, it's to make sure that it fits into whatever MS wants to achieve with the device and the game studios associated with it. His influence stems from being able to offer real critical reasons which can help both MS, and make the Xbox a better brand.


About the criticism for releasing a bad game.

That's par for the course. There were a lot of people that liked QB. And QB wasn't a bad game. Negativity is going to come either way, and if they cancelled a game because they were afraid it would get negative feedback, then MS has much more serious problem than just cancelling this one game.

Luckily that isn't likely the case.

SB is a tricky case though. It was supposed to release soon. I can understand if there were production problems and MS didn't want to invest more money in it, but after so much investment, I wonder just how much effort was given to give assistance to helping finish the game. We see other publishers or console makers send in help when necessary, but it would appear that MS didn't do this. The big question is why? Was it because they didn't have faith it would make a return on investment, or was it because the game was really that bad and so far behind that it would have been prohibitively expensive, or was it because they had issues doing so with P* games trying to assert their own wishes on the development of the game?

Lots of unknowns, and without knowing all the details its hard to make a definitive conclusion.

morganfell496d ago


Hardware, regardless of how wonderful it happens to be, is not a comeback without the proper accompanying software. It isn't about power, players, headsets, controllers, or any of these issues at the end of the day. Instead what is important consists of three items.

2. Games
3. Games

obidanshinobi495d ago

Quiet you, this is N4G, no room here for reasonable comments, debates and opinions, especially if it's Xbox One related. :)

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gangsta_red496d ago (Edited 496d ago )

Very good article and I agree.

Phil is doing the best he can with what he has been given and even though he has retconned a lot of the many blunders the console had at launch it seems the only uphill battle he now has to face is the "where are the games?" stigma that has been attached to Xbox. Other than that the Xbox has turned around real nicely and it has been under his watch.

"Let’s assume for the moment that Scalebound was terrible."

And here's the thing, the game supposedly had a lot of problems, from the engine not working properly, to framerate drops. It is said that the game just couldn't function right on the Xbox console. I keep reading from some on here that MS should have just released it...could you just imagine the backlash if that would have happened?

MS's games get scrutinized enough (all games do but...) Xbox games gets a special type of scrutiny not found on any other system. I can only imagine the articles and fan(boy) reaction if Scalebound released with technical issues and a meta score anywhere below 85.

Phil has been upfront and vocal on what he wants to do with Xbox, he answers tweets and keeps himself pretty accessible to Xbox fans. That alone IMO is what I can appreciate about the guy, who else in this console business does this as much as he does?

I wouldn't have had a huge issue with Scalebound being canceled if there was at least something else similar (action type game) coming in from MS for Xbox.

"The name will be etched on the Xbox memorial wall alongside Fable Legends, Phantom Dust and Project Spark."

Who is the R & D head guy at MS? Maybe we should be asking Phil this question before we all drop him into a pit of boiling acid. Who is green lighting these games and then finding out two to three years later when the game is in beta that it wasn't fun or technically possible on Xbox? That team or guy should be the one to be fired.

BecauseImBatman496d ago (Edited 496d ago )

I agree and there is plenty of blame on both sides. Platinum was clearly spreading their resoures to thin. Working on multiple projects at once. But my biggest problem from all these cancelled games (by Microsoft) is it's starting to set a pattern and now it's seeding into fans minds that whenever MS announce a new game, should we get excited for it ? Will it even get released ? etc.

They need to stop announcing games, if their unsure of the IP's future. That's the main issue for me anyway. One thing I do know for sure is Phil isn't axeing these games cause he enjoys it clearly, he thinks it's the right decision and he knows more than any of us. Of course I'm still upset about Scalebound cause I still think the IP was littered with potential from what we've seen but it's what we haven't seen is the reason behind they games cancelation and I can only hope that Phil made the right one.

Hopefully they can bounce back from this cause they were finally starting to get some momentum going into 2017 and this is not a good sign for xbox games going forward. And MS relationship with developers will get even more tarnished.

gangsta_red496d ago (Edited 496d ago )

"But my biggest problem from all these cancelled games (by Microsoft) is it's starting to set a pattern..."

There's now a cloud(ha!) of doubt hanging over anything MS says when before there was anticipation and excitement. Again, this is probably just an exaggeration if you step back and look at the bigger picture but right now this is how a lot of people feel.

My thing is Fable Legends looked great and if the whole 4v1 thing didn't work then why not make it a dungeon crawler like Diablo or better yet something similar to Divinity: Original Sin? Salvage anything, something.

Project Spark, great idea and giving IP assets like Conker to the gamer to make whatever was also good idea. But the UI, the layout and the strange F2P model in the beginning just completely killed the game.

Phantom Dust should have been handed to the original creator and to a Japanese team in the first place. The game just had that unique feel and action that only the Japanese can do. To do anything else with the game is just a puzzling decision.

All I can think of is Phil came in and saw all this goin on and said "Hell No, stop this shit now". Maybe, maybe we will see his supposed vision on the upcoming Scorpio which should be all him.

RpgSama496d ago

I agree that the game must have had development issues, the issue I have with Microsoft is that for them it seems that the answer is always to axe the game, it's never to support even more the studio, to give them more time, more resources, to let them do their own thing, I know it's a business, but developers are also artists doing their craft, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet, Look at the Last Guardian 10 year development, did it turn out like the best game in the history of the world? No, but it was a great game and it was it's own thing for better or worse, the developer got to share his vision with the world.

There are just too many precedents now, they just don't care for anything else than the bottom line.

BecauseImBatman496d ago (Edited 496d ago )


I share the same concerns, I would have thought that giving Platinum more time to create their vision would have been the best call but this is the the thing perhaps Scalebound was a dumpster fire unable to be fixed with more time and money without basically restarting devlopment. We don't know.

And The Last Guardian I think was put on hold for a number of years, and then was revived for PS4. Clearly the problem with that game was trying to get it to run on a PS3, they had to wait a whole generation to bring it back. And with MS's new initiative to release every game on X1, PC and Scorpio - I don't think they were gonna be able to do that. But I agree ultimately that sometimes developers just need extra time to fully realize their vision. Maybe MS could have compromised on certain features like the MP it could have worked out. We'll never know.

RpgSama496d ago


So were all these cancelled games dumpster fires? That's the thing I find hard to believe, when there are so many hyped and then cancelled games, some from proven developers, they couldn't all be trash, there must be a deeper issue.

BecauseImBatman496d ago


I agree, their is possibly an issue going on or Phil is just getting really unlucky and all the games he's having to cancel are being made publicly available but that's their fault for announcing and showing these games off at events and stuff even though their unsure if the IP has a future. So their inviting the criticism themselves. That's he underline problem of that their announcing these games, creating hype and then canceling. Games get cancelled all the time we just don't hear about most of them. Although Scalebound definitely had a lot of money already put into it.

And I didn't say Scalebound is a dumpster fire, just that it could possibly have been. And I don't know about Fable Legends. I played the beta, seemed fine but not much to do except the same missions over and over. The leaked Phantom Dust footage did look trash to me and I agree with Gangster that they should have given that back to the OG devs.

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Rob_Ko496d ago

"Let’s assume for the moment that Scalebound was terrible."
solution - give them another year or two and make it good.
For company that is so rich they are afraid to spend a penny in good cause.

gangsta_red496d ago

You don't stay rich by spending and spending without seeing returns.

darthv72496d ago

sometimes it isnt so simple. In the case of last guardian, since Ico only works with sony... they had all the time to work on it because it was seen by the suits as a project they wanted finished when it was ready.

Platinum works with multiple publishers and their workload was probably something that was seen by MS as getting in the way of a contractual obligation that was signed years prior. you have to admit that their work on Nier is near done and that game probably started development after scalebound deal was made. (speculation).

so when you pay a contractor to do some work and they initially tell you a date it would likely be ready and that date comes and goes and you decide to be patient only to have the contractor come back and say its going to take longer and cost more $... what do you do? for some they would cut their losses and move on while others would just suck it up and keep paying and waiting. It really comes down to the nature of the work and how much was accomplished in the time frame.

BecauseImBatman496d ago

Throwing money at a problem doesn't make it go away or in this case fix it.
There is things we don't know. We don't know how troubled the game was or if it even could be fixed.

Knowing the little I know, it would have seemed to be a better decision to delay the game and release it in 2018 but again we don't have all the facts. We gotta assume they considered giving Platinum more time and money.

Christopher496d ago

Bill Gates wears cheap, off the rack clothing and makes more in a Day than we do in a year.

Rich people stay rich most of the time by knowing what to spend your money on and what to not spend your money on.

vega275496d ago

@ Rob_ko

So let me get this straight. If yhe game looks terrible then you keep throwing money at it? For what? Just to say " hey the game looks terrible, but at least we wasted money on it so the sonyfanboys that wasn't going to buy the game or system that are fake complaining would have more to bash us with"

Thats stupid. You don't keep throwing money at something just cause you got the money. You can spend millions dressing up shit. But its still going to be shit. Period

rainslacker496d ago (Edited 496d ago )

MS was the producer of this game. They could put their foot down and do what they had to do to make the game better. Even in early development, MS would have had a lot of input into the game and the game design. It's not like they just gave P* a check and said, "go to work". They were involved from start to finish. All producers are. Even Sony with their top studios don't just give them free reign. Even Nintendo doesn't just let miyamoto do whatever he wants. They discuss and build the game together. There really is no more team based AAA game development anymore. It's all done by committee.

Ironically, when this game started, Phil was directly responsible for the above work. He probably wasn't MS producer liasan, but he was certainly in the know about what the game would be, and likely had a lot of communication and input into the game itself.

Those trying to say that the game sucked, either don't realize the above, or willfully ignore it. If it sucked, then MS should have done something about it long ago.

As the producer, if MS saw there were problems getting the engine to work on the X1, they should have offered more support to fix it. If it couldn't be fixed, then as producers, they need to analyze the situation much sooner and switch engines or can the game back when these issues would have become apparent. These kind of things don't just crop up near the end. If they do, then it's within something in the game being implemented. If that's the case, then that implementation needs to be analyzed, and decided if it should be fixed or removed.

This is such a common part of the development process it's simply just par for the course. It's frustrating for the developers. It's frustrating for the producers. But months aren't spent pushing a feature that just won't work. Not by the developer because the producer will shut that down, and not by the publisher, because their concern is not to spend inordinate amounts of money on something that likely won't be missed by the end user.

I hate to blame either MS or P* here, but realistically, all signs point more towards MS mismanaging the project. Either they were giving P* too much freedom to do what they wanted, or they wanted something that P* couldn't deliver and did nothing to fix the problem. Too long was spent on allowing things be behind without actually setting the ship right, and that ultimately led to high stress on the development team, and MS just giving up, when all it probably needed was some analysis of the game, and seeing what could be done, and how much it would cost. Just hoping things work out, is never the solution.

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AngelicIceDiamond496d ago

Phantom Dust is still happening. Ii agree we need to question MS R&D and why games aren't being released.

gangsta_red496d ago

Right on for the link. Didn't know that at all.

I'm not a fan of remasters, but I don't mind them if the game is old enough to warrant it. I would rather see a reboot or a sequel but at least they're trying with this (along with Voodoo Vince). At least they are showing interest with some of their more obscure IP's.

MasterCornholio496d ago

"Dual Shockers are reporting that Microsoft’s Shannon Loftis mentioned a remaster of Phantom Dust during a YouTube Live stream at E3. The game is aiming for a 2017 release, and will be update many of the assets used in the original game"

I thought there was supposed to be a Phantom Dust 2?

Sparta07496d ago Show
gangsta_red496d ago


" Phantom Dust is still happening " lol no is not.
They cancelled Phantom Dust 2,

He never even mentioned Phantom Dust 2, he even left a link to the fact how can you quote Angelic and then go on to completely miss what he said.

and leave a 'lol' to boot.

AngelicIceDiamond496d ago

@Master It wasn't Phantom Dust 2 it was suppose to be a reboot all together. Either way the Ip is still happening and I couldn't be happier about the game considering its literally my favorite Xbox game of all time. Its even suppose to support the arena functionality on Xbox.

@Sparta Remaster just as good for me again its my fave Xbox game of all time so I'm stoked.

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Godmars290495d ago

"Xbox games gets a special type of scrutiny not found on any other system."

That's because typically high claims are made, often by fans, that don't get delivered. Kinect for instance was suppose to revolutionize not just the Xbox 360, but the gaming industry as a whole. It was only going to be this massive thing, despite early and later demos, but then when it didn't (over)perform as expected those same fans who had raised their own expectations touted every little crumb they could. That MS often does little to curtail such attitudes, foster it sometimes, is all the worse.

There also the issue that niche titles like this are treated like they'll have broad appeal. That the one game will turn everything around from any other issue.

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ziggurcat496d ago

I don't think Phil is doing a bad job or anything. The only decision I still think was the wrong one was spending the 2 billion dollars to purchase Minecraft. While it stands to reason that that franchise will generate a lot of revenue for them, I just think that they could have used that money to bolster their 1st party line-up. The Scalebound cancellation doesn't exactly have me concerned at all because we don't know (or at the very least, I don't know) the exact details apart from Kamiya going through some mental health issues (likely just from the pressure that the industry imposes on devs on a daily basis), and I think it's a matter of extenuating circumstances that lead to that decision.

gamer1138496d ago

I do believe Minecraft has already returned that investment and is making MS money regularly now.

game4funz496d ago

And its selling well on the vita I believe. Lol

WickedLester495d ago (Edited 495d ago )

I must be some weirdo because I have never liked Minecraft, nor have I ever understood it's mass appeal.

Kabaneri496d ago (Edited 496d ago )

Thats actually the smartest decision they have made this generation. Minecraft as an IP is worth more than Gears, Forza, and Halo combined in potential revenue.

ziggurcat496d ago

I would have just personally liked to have seen them invest in new IPs. It was a smart decision as far as business goes, though, even if I didn't necessarily agree with it.

StarElite496d ago (Edited 496d ago )

It could be worse, they could've bought Candy Crush instead for five times that amount. *glares at Activision

rainslacker496d ago

That was likely in the works long before Spencer took over. Those kinds of deals take months to negotiate. Spencer didn't just take over and say, "Hey, lets go buy Minecraft. I only need 2 billion dollars".

MC was purchased because MS saw the potential for ongoing revenue streams. It wasn't a bad purchase, because the IP is worth more than that on merchandising rights alone.

In fact, most things I think Spencer is given credit for really weren't his doing. BC, Scorpio, and the Slim's success being the three biggest ones. He can be credited with delivering the message of slim and BC very well, but that's about it. Scorpio remains to be seen, because I feel they are delivering the message wrong, because they're doubling down on power while simply saying they have great games without actually showing them....and even taking some away.

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