Xbox's Phil Spencer: From Savior To Villain

With his recent comments on the future of single-player games, a refocusing of the Xbox brand on hardware, and a fading confidence among his fans, Phil Spencer is losing a grip as Head of Xbox.

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Septic303d ago

Phil Spencer is misunderstood. Like Batman.

Septic303d ago

Lmao! Hats off to you sir

4Sh0w303d ago

Villain to who?...nah, check Phil Twitter and Xbox forums the guy has vastly more praise, you know from the people who matter, Xbox fans. ps folks may not like him but that's typical, just like Ciffy B used to be universally slammed by ps fanboys, now they love 'em.

Nodoze303d ago

Drop the mic on that one. Argument over.

Skull521303d ago Show
JackBNimble303d ago

Lol @skulls
Why do you care so much about what the Sony fanboys think, you got a beast right, so who cares what people say?... Unless it's true

freshslicepizza303d ago

Two-face? That's pretty good. I think it's actually more like two sets of visions, what he wants and what Microsoft is willing to spend. It was pretty bad to just rely on Forza 7 to showcase anything new. People have been bugging him for years to invest more and after a few failures commercially with Ryse, Sunset Overdrive, and Quantum Break they seem fearful to invest in new IP's aside from Rare's Sea of Thieves.

It's kind of the same pattern here, each generation they start out fairly strong and if nothing resonates as the new new big thing they fall back to familiar IP's and it never really grows.

With that said I understand his views on single player games. He already said he loves them but the indsutry is changing. What he is too cowardly to admit is Microsoft doesn't want to take on those risks and is more concerned with having everyone connected so they can be like Google and track everything.

MagicBeanz303d ago

BOOM! You win the internets. LOL

LordMaim303d ago

There's nothing wrong with Phil Spencer. He's done a fantastic job of turning around the Xbox One from the rocky launch.

b3ast303d ago Show
Niv303d ago

He lived long enough to see himself a villain.

AmUnRa303d ago Show
fiveby9302d ago

Yep that was my first thought too. "You Either Die A Hero, Or You Live Long Enough To See Yourself Become The Villain" -- Harvey Two Face

bouzebbal302d ago (Edited 302d ago )

Wow septic first post on every xbox article lol how cute.

I think the original xbox 1 message was much better than botw it is right now. At least it was something original and a risky bet. Now they're playing it too safe that the brand turned into a complete joke especially after they killed the exclusives.

nX302d ago

I think he went from villain to savior to disappointment in the past 6 years.

WickedLester302d ago

Personally I don't see what's so wrong with having two consoles with very different strengths. PlayStation has built a reputation of being the go to console for single player, character-driven, cinematic gaming. Xbox through Live has built a reputation of being the go to console for multiplayer experiences and services. Of course each console provides both but each obviously caters to one more than the other. At least that's a way to differentiate Xbox and PlayStation instead of everyone saying they're the "same console."

Goldby302d ago


Just cuz he has the masses with him doesn't mean he is what is best for the company.

And that can be applied to any company.

Or country leader

Bigpappy302d ago

Exactly what 4show has stated. His comment regarding single play may not go over well with many of his fans, but he is more popular amound Xbox fans than ever.

As far as PS fanboy how want more exclusives to pick and choose from on their PC'S, they would love to see him replaced yesterday.

+ Show (19) more repliesLast reply 302d ago
Death303d ago

Phil talked about the importance of single player and the difficulties it faces. Sony fans twisted it and claim he is against single player instead. That's not being misunderstood, it's having people lie to make themselves feel better and having an even larger group of people follow the those lies like lemmings off a cliff instead of thinking for themselves. This is the internet age and everything is in writing. It's not hard to view the source material and form an intelligent opinion, but people prefer to have an opinion first and then find things to support it instead. It's sad, but it's the age we live in.

Septic303d ago

Yeah that much was obvious and people to this day are still running that narrative. It's sad but what can you do. As a great sage called Christopher once said, the squeakiest cog gets the oil.

Apocalypse Shadow303d ago

It's not about what he says Death. It's the actions. He can say whatever he wants but what he does as the leader is what's most important.

No new studios. No new, big IPs. No counter response to GOW, Spiderman, Horizon, Zelda, etc. No counter response to uncharted except for buying time exclusivity for tomb raider which still came to PlayStation instead of making a game. No extra funding for recore to make it better. Loss of Remedy to multiplatform because of low sales. Reliance on the same IPs every year like clockwork. Actions. All about actions.

What do we see? We see the continued push for Xbox live. Their bread and butter. Every game from sea of thieves, state of decay, crackdown, gears, halo, Forza, etc are multiplayer driven to push Xbox live. Micro transactions to push Xbox live. Talk of GAAS to again, push Xbox live. Talk about Minecraft and cross play to push Xbox log in numbers. That's what we see.

Alan Wake 2? Nope. Ryse 2? Nope. Fable 4? Nope. Scalebound? Nope. All companies, remedy, crytek,lionhead and platinum games effected by his leadership and actions. No funding, closing and canceling.

How about a reason to even own a Kinect? Nothing from first party. Just tossed into the garbage bin. Wasted money

He's only a facade image that helped Xbox from becoming a disaster. But, he was there the whole time during that debacle and said nothing. Only saying gamers didn't fully understand what they were trying to do. No, we knew what they were trying to do because they thought they were in the leadership position and wanted to screw gamers over even more for profit.


BIGBOSS08303d ago (Edited 303d ago )

You xbox fanboys always complain like babies that everyone hates on anything microsoft for no reason but the truth is there are soo many reasons for them but you guys are blind to every single one of those reasons. It's your problem, not everyone else's. This isn't about one thing Phil Spencer has said. It's about all the terrible decisions microsoft have made since like 2009. Theres only so many shitty things you can before pretty much everyone hates you and Microsoft have gone way past the tipping point.

TKCMuzzer303d ago

Eh what, you pretty much described yourself in many of the articles you post in. You can be a lemming for both sides of the fence. The truth is people believe what they want to, you included, its a way of every fitting in with what they believe is right with what they like.
It's also not hard to view source material and pick out the bits you want to , which will support your point of view.
Whether you like it or not Phil has said some contradictory things and unfortunately for him they are stored on the internet, so sometimes come back to bite him.

Eonjay303d ago

See its a setup two ways. First, he is responsible just like Don Mattrick for its downfall. Second he was always going to be to blame when they couldn't match Sony in sales. Don had 50% of the overall market. Phil has about 30% (We think). Phil has done decidedly worse in his tenure as head of Xbox. And fans could always use him as a scapegoat.

LP-Eleven303d ago (Edited 303d ago )

@ Apocalypse Shadow: Best post I've read in a very long time!

DragonDDark303d ago

@Apocalypse pretty much. Wont expect any full response to this

LexHazard79303d ago

Dont come with that Xbox fanboy crap being blind. If Xbox does something anti consumer or things I dont like..I let it be known. But theres been plenty of times where praise was due and you guys are the one that come on the threads and ruin the shit! Anyone can go look at any past article and see for themselves. I was looking thru some earlier, and I was just like wow these Sony dudes are Savages strait up!

Death303d ago

Quantum Break and Recore are single player new IPs from Microsoft. The last interview he did he spoke about b/c and original Xbox games that are single player as well. It's no secret Microsoft is responsible for the push towards social gaming, but single player still exists and many of the games with a multiplayer component can be played alone as well. Gears and Halo have a campaign that can be played solo or with friends in co-op if you choose. Adding the multiplayer component didn't make either series worse, it added replayability.

Shadowlee303d ago (Edited 303d ago )

@ Shadow apocolypse
Where to start
First off Phil has been great as the head Xbox making sure he stay engaged with the community and giving ALL top request if he can and which he has done. Fans asked for a new faster efficient UI and he has given it to where it now faster than ps4s and pins to get what you need quick. Hes given BC the #1 requested feature on xbox forums. Mean Sony say BC is no biggie yet continues to rerelease old games and overcharge for ps now.

No new studios? How do you know?
No new ip? Wtf is sea of thieves? Did he not just confirmed new ips in the works? No counter? So crackdown, state of decay, forza 7 not releasing? What was sonys and nintendos counter to halo 5, forza h3, gears 4? The faces of Xboxs (Waits) weve had a nee uncharted release in 3 years or less since its debute. Halos only on its 5th main line game in 3 gens while uncharted is on its 4th in just 2 with and new one on its way. Yet you trashing halo and forza?

Wtf! State of decay isnt even multiplayer driven 😂 did the 1st even have online multiplayer? Cause I dont recall ever playing mp on it lol learn your facts and online mp would only ruin what you built in the game. Halos singleplayer is as good and important as its mp and any halo fan will tell you this (except 5 lol) and same goes for forza its a damn racer its 50/50. And regardless why is mp focus a bad thing? It only adds more replay value and content than a singleplayer only game. Whats the point of paying $60 for a game youre gonna beat in under 12 hours and have nothing else to do in game? Youre better off renting it and saving $55 call me when God of war has the play hours of halo. Hmm... 15 hours vs 100+ hours ya im choosing the 100+. So pushing xbox live is bad? Offering game pass is bad? Have online mp is bad? Gtfoh

Kinect i personally never gave 2 💩 about no matter how good or perfect it was. However many haters like yourself that had no interest in the first place complained of lack of support and ms forced it to get support and it only hurt ppl like me that didnt care about it. Btw what happen to ps camera? (No hate just havent heard about it in awhile)

Youre hating on Spencer for what exactly? Turning xbox around from its crappy launch condition? Giving the top requested things like bc, more power, new ui? Rest of 2017 and 2018 looks solid game wise and phil confirmed 2019 and 2020 new ips and a "horizon" type game. So what is there to hate him for? Did he deny us ea access?(best value in gaming) did he say screw you to those that wanted bc? A smaller console? More power? Better policies? Crossplay? No! But guess who did! 😎 *pops collar*

ziggurcat303d ago

So where were the 1st party single player games during MS's E3 presentation?

gamer7804303d ago

exactly, done by console warriors basically.

Apocalypse Shadow303d ago

There's only one shadow. And you're not it shadow Lee.

Spending money making features is not spending money making games. Games are more important. If a UI has to be fixed that many times, then that means it was broken to begin with and poorly made. BC is a great feature. When it becomes more important than new games, then that's a no no for Microsoft.

More money than Nintendo and Sony. Where's the announced new studios?I know they closed 8 already. Prove to me they're opening some. You call those games comparable to Zelda or Horizon? They're not spending enough it seems. Microsoft's E3 stated play online in state of decay 2. Halo's single player was weak compared to multiplayer. Everyone knows it. Couch co-op was removed for more buyers of the game and graphics quality. MS pushes online more because it makes them money. Not single player games.

Ps camera is being used with VR. Move controllers are being used with VR. Kinect is in the trash bin. You're not helping your point. Just because you didn't like it doesn't mean MS shouldn't be making games for those that have it.

Notice how EA access is the only one offered on Xbox. Why not any other company like Square, Activision, UbiSoft, etc? They made a deal with EA because the original used game policy fell through that EA supported. Ask yourself why after 2 years, no one else has it on Xbox?

Why should Sony connect its online to the losing team that's only being nice because they are losing? PS4 has cross play with PC. PS now is not BC. It's a streaming service like PS VUE or Spotify. Nothing more. PS4 was already smaller. MS made theirs bigger to prevent RROD, the worst thing to happen to gaming.

Your shirt has no collar.

Death303d ago


Sony has also closed studios and severed ties with exclusive third party studios. Horizon is a great game appreciated by every PS4 fan, but passed up by 95% of them. Sony is the console leader, yet their first party offerings are lower than what we seen on PS3, PS2 and PS1. We do however have PSVue and PSNow like you mentioned which are streaming services, one of which cost $380 million. Why aren't you asking the same questions to Sony that you are Microsoft? I don't know where Microsofts Horizon is. I don't know where Sony's GT is and I've already played 2 Forza's and 2 Forza Horizons this gen. Where is Sony's Halo? How does an online game make more money than a game without an online component? You are aware online has a cost associated with it, right? Horizon's DLC is going to be free?

As for Move controllers and the PlayStation camera, these are the worst features of PSVR and one of the many reasons sales are so low. Tracking is horrible and the controllers very limited. It's dated/failed tech shoehorned into a new platform. The fact you have to reference Kinect to make it sound better should be your first hint it isn't very good.

Going back to Phil's actions, Recore and Quantum Break are two of Microsoft most recent releases and both new IP's. Coincidently if you don't ignore them both you will see new IP's outside of Halo, Gears, Forza and single player narratives.

Shadowlee303d ago (Edited 303d ago )

Agreed but it still extremly important and youre acting like no games are available or coming. Last i check only 2 (soon 3) of ps exclusive even sold over 5 mill. Less the 1/10 of its base are buying. only 5% to 10% But thats irrelevant to me. If you play playstation SOLELY fo exclusives and litterally nothing else then i have no argument for you. But if you use ANY feature including vr, play any multiplats especially if multiplats make up 75% of your collection then you and your argument is full of 💩 news flash sonys closed down many studios

State of decay didnt have mp. 2 feature mp that doesnt make it mp driven. I guess uc,tlou,gt,etc are mp driven lol.
Halo 1-3 arguably have the best campaigns in fps history and 4s campaign was liked more than its mp only 5 out of the entire series had a bad campaign but many say best mp as it currently stands. Annoying when a mf speak on games they never even played. Homie said sod is mp driven 😂

Hell ya those games are comparable the proof us in the pudding reviews, sales etc and these games are on a console with 50% less install base still hitting big.

Have no clue wtf youre talking about with ea access its a great value and its #1 fanbase console maker denied it (sony) thats messed up no defending it.

I dont blame sony for not doing crossplay from a business standpoint but from a gamer standpoint its a 💩y move like ea access denial. Nintendo, pc and xbox will enjoy it tho. Ps4 was actually longer but thinner and less narrow (not the ps4 pro tho)

Nose so far up sonys backside your nose turning brown 💩🤥 and youre right you are tge onky shadow cause you blend with the rest of the fanboy trolls like a shadow lol

UKmilitia303d ago

the in dustry is changing but there not listening very well.
horizon says hello,plus last of us,uncharted and manyu other games that are complete single player or huge focus on single player.
i love campaign games and always will.

trooper_303d ago

Get out of here with that.
He never implied the importance of single player. He was ranting on and on about multiplayer.

Maybe if Phil SpinMaster didnt have a questionable reputation, people would give him a chance.

rainslacker303d ago

Kind of like when all those publishers of gaming past went on about how people like MT or DLC to extend their experience, thus we got MT and DLC.

While its not out of the ordinary for industry execs to comment on trends and goings on, they don't usually do it twice within a two weeks time, nor do they downplay the current model to such a degree to make it seem like it's on the way out, or that the majority is moving towards different models. The only time they do this is when that's the track they want to take, because downplaying other things hopefully gets people on board with whatever plans they may have.

While at the present time it's probably a bit too soon to chastise MS for not delivering more SP games, it is worrysome that they don't feel they have as much impact, or they are too risky, and that they are keen on the more profitable side of service based games, because MS tends to chase the money, not the art or innovation. This is a company wide policy, and not just an issue with the Xbox division.

Markusb33303d ago

I read the interview and that's not what happened. I can't stand cliff b fro. The xbox days and that's not changed he is still clown. As for Phil everyone just swallow up the lies and BS and has such short memories. My view is he and the fan boys greenberg & Nelson should talk much less. I know marketing and Corp guys do talk BS but spencer is Bipolar.

XabiDaChosenOne302d ago

@Death Horizon has sold 3.4 million, the PS4 has sold 60million. 3.4 million out of 60 million is 17%. 17% Out of 100% is actually 83% of the fan base "passing up on" the game.

Secondly, their is no game in the history of consoles that has sold to over 30% of the user base with that big of a user base. You are full of s*#&!

MegamanXXX302d ago

@Apocalypse Shadow


302d ago
WickedLester302d ago

I do find it funny how often Phil manages to grab headlines by being "misquoted," "misunderstood," "taken out of context," etc. Ever stop to think maybe Phil needs to work on improving his communication skills or less?

302d ago
Death302d ago


10% of 60 million would be 6 million (60,000,000 x 10%). 5% of 60 million would be 3 million (half as much or 60,000,000 x 5%). If a game sells 3.4 million copies out of 60 million potential owners, that is just over 5.5%. I'm not sure if I am more impressed that you came up with 17% or that you had 6 people blindly agree without doing basic math first. Just so we are clear, 5% attach rate is fantastic and a feat not many games actually hit. Most games are lucky to hit 1 million in sales which is less than 2% which is also why we see studios close with those numbers.

+ Show (23) more repliesLast reply 302d ago
Sam Fisher303d ago

That picture makes him look like an alcoholic going into rehab.

Or is just me?

303d ago
7sonology302d ago (Edited 302d ago )


Raiden302d ago

No counter for this no counter for that, Phil, you are doing a great job, I'm just looking forward to next, you people have no sense, you want everything now, MS showcase 42 titles at E3, of which 22 or 20 is console/w10 exclusive, now what did Sony showcase 21titles and most of them were shown last year nothing new, now considering you people xbox/ps fan for the past year or more Xbox has no games, now almost all games shown are for release this year on the Xbox, they may not be big AAA but they are games none the less, people want new IP's well you better wait, look how long it took them to do HZD, just be patient, I'm sure that ill get disagree, but I been realistic games take time to make, do you think that Sony shows you all there up coming games, no they don't, even the one they show that gets released 2yrs later are unknown to the public, they don't need to show use anything, but they tease the public for 2yrs, I don't have anything against that, but MS doesn't need to do that, they don't need to share with they are doing.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 302d ago
EatCrow303d ago

Only misunderstood by those who want to misunderstand.
He said not all games 4k...what did people understand from that? All 4k.
He said BC is a good feature... People understood that it's a replacement to games
He said premium product... People understood normal console price point.
He said he will announce games once they're ready to be shown instead of too early... Come e3 people be like why no new announcements?

Seriously everything... All of it. Intentionally misunderstood.

dumahim303d ago

You either die a hero, or live long enough to become the villain.

-Foxtrot303d ago're right

Batman says he's going to rid Gotham of crime...he never does, just keeps saying he will. False hope and promises

Septic303d ago

At least he has good intentions. Shame the AAA profile is "about the size of a tangerine"

Chevalier302d ago

At least Batman gets sh!t done more often than not. Spencer does even less and has almost nothing to show for it.

303d ago Replies(1)
bluefox755303d ago

I don't blame Phil for most of the issues, I think most the the direction came from above him.

CaptainObvious878303d ago (Edited 303d ago )

Phil's stupid and/or misleading/outright lies from JUST the post E3 period. (And some of these are paraphrased)

"The future of single player gaming is uncertain"

"Scalebound was cancelled due to too much hype"

"We've just signed exclusives, these will take 2-3 to come" - facepalm

"The 1X is a True 4k machine" - Continues to show absolutely no major games at E3 running in 4k except Forza

"The 1X isn't even in the same league as the Pro"

"We don't hold content back from other platforms" - Continues to show several "console launch exclusives"

And those are just the ones off the top of my head from the last few days alone. Feel free to tell me the ones I've missed. There was a lot.

The BS, lies and deception coming from Phil is staggering. It's actually worse than the crap Mattrick was spewing back in 2013. Think about that for a moment.

And fanboys continue to defend him and say he's for the gamers and everything's alright. That he's doing his best and bringing the games. I can't even... I keep using that word, but it really is incomprehensible.

rainslacker303d ago

Mattrick was pretty upfront about the crap he wanted to deliver to the community. He didn't wrap it up in as much spin. Mattrick didn't care about looking like a prick, because he knew that trying to appease the hardcore gamer would be too much trouble, and to his credit, he actually gave a boost to the Xbox brand in the 2nd half of the generation by shifting focus to casuals. It's quite the stark contrast to this gen where the shift in the 2nd half seems to be focusing on the hardcore. I'm part of the hard core so i dont mind so much, but at the same time, a brand doesn't grow by only focusing on one segment. Maybe that's why they showed so many indie games....either that or MS just wanted to try and change perception by showing a bunch of timed exclusives which they could use to counter the biggest criticism lobbed at them the past couple years.

njulo303d ago

More like Jimmy in South Park!!

rainslacker303d ago

Funny, because every time they have to clarify, people say he's clear as crystal.

Now he's misunderstood?

I understand what he's saying. He's not that hard to understand. What he says isn't so complex that it's hard to figure out.

I will concede that people do misconstrue what he says too often, but he isn't misunderstood.

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Abash303d ago

Phil Spencer has made Xbox's first party content a mere shell of what it once was.

Septic303d ago

Really? Thought it was all Gears, Forza and Halo anyway? Like you know....weve been told all along ever since I've been on N4G.

RpgSama303d ago

There was a time early on the 360 life cycle when these franchises were still new, fresh and innovative, after that, they just stopped caring and regurgitate the same thing over and over for at least the last 7 to 8 years.

OtterX303d ago (Edited 303d ago )

I would love a new Kameo. Lost Odyssey. Blue Dragon. Where is that Microsoft who took more risks?

I mean, Sea of Thieves looks alright, but Skull and Bones kind of stole some of its thunder. I'll still get both bc I love the pirate theme.

I'm admittedly tiring of Halo and Gears. I have Gears 4 and have still barely played it. Forza though I love, even if they release a little too often.

I would love for them to get back on it, revitalize themselves to what they once were when they took more risks. That was a hell of a risk for Guerilla Games to jump from Killzone to Horizon Zero Dawn. "That takes balls. I like balls." -Team America World Police ;P

edit- not saying making sequels to the first mentioned games would be risk taking. I'd welcome them, but I'd also love to see some of their studios branch out and do something new outside of the indie scene.

_-EDMIX-_303d ago

Well of course it was just that but now all of those are on PC so there's even less reason to care about the system.

The few Partners they used to have in regards to side games like remedy are gone.

alstruck303d ago

I bought the 360 for mass effect, vesperia, and lost odyssey.. early 360 was amazing, then came kinect and its weird games...

bluefox755303d ago

Those franchises used to be very appealing.

RpgSama303d ago

@Alstruck exactly, I bought the 360 for games like Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Infinite Undiscovery, The Last Remnant, Tales of Vesperia, Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, Gears when it was a new franchise, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, Magna Carta 2, Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2, Fable 2, Fable 3 , Bioshock, some of those ended on the PS3 years down the road, compare that to the Xbox One sad line up

IHassounah303d ago

Okay, can you just agree that Phil Spencer isn't the best Xbox executive there is and was? seriously, the first party in the era of James Allard (Xbox 360 early years) contained more content than what we are given now. Hell, even at E3 2013, there were more exclusive games for the Xbox One than any time later and they were good to average exclusives.

I just seriously don't like where Phil is heading with the Xbox division and that is turning Xbox into a service, and it is clear that Nadella likes the idea of Steam and Netflix, so he wants to take advantage of said module.