Xbox’s Phil Spencer: “High quality and diverse first party is what Xbox deserves”

Reviews for Sony’s God of War came out yesterday and, to little surprise, the game was met with critical acclaim and currently sits at a 95 on Metacritic based on over eighty reviews. It’s been hailed as one of this generation’s greatest games, and it left Xbox fans wondering… where’s theirs?

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Heelix248d ago (Edited 248d ago )

"Our hardware took time, our service/platform/BC took time and continuing to grow our 1P will take time. A high quality and diverse 1P (yes, with SP) built the right way is our goal and what our customers deserve. We can have similar results to what we've seen in hw and platform."

I'm curious to see what's in store though.
Maybe more info @E3
I want Xbox to continue to do well and improve.

AspiringProGenji248d ago

Here the issue with MS:

“our service/platform/BC took time and continuing to grow our 1P will take time.”

Service/4K/BC first, 1st party games last. They got their priorities twisted. Without 1st party content there’s nothing to show off the capabilities of your platform’s features.

Phils once said “you don’t need studios to make good games.” I’m glad that has caught up with him. Next is his downplaying of SP games...

-Foxtrot248d ago (Edited 248d ago )

Phil says a lot of things lets be honest and never really delivers. I'm basing it purely off experience now and because I'm someone who learns from past experiences. You can do the same old "bu bu but you really hate Phil Spencer" crap but seriously what do you expect at this rate, he's doing nothing for Microsoft to help them. That's not worthy of praise regardless of the company.

How many times are we honestly going to go through this cheap talk, it's been like 4 years now and he's said on two separate times about how first party games are coming but "they take time" and "we don't want to announce things too early". In the end it's just BS talk to sting people along, then in a few years he'll say the same thing. Rinse and repeat.

These kind of articles always come up mostly when Nintendo or Sony are releasing a big game which has done well in reviews. It comes across like "Shit...first party single player games have done it again, all eyes are on us, lets say something quick"

I mean lets be honest every time he does say something it's what people want to hear...then you pause for a second and think "hang on a cotton picking minute, if you actually believe this then why haven't you done it?"

RpgSama248d ago

“our service/platform/BC took time and continuing to grow our 1P will take time"

They've been in the home videogame console business since November 15, 2001, but I guess they need more time to grow their 1P /S

Eldyraen248d ago

You realize they’re listed that way based on what is “done” or at least well received (online service) first and then what is next on the roster?

I agree the games should be first, but Xbox arguably has the better online service still, Game Pass and Play Anywhere are both incredible, etc. Full BC going forward for both One games and older 360/OG One games will be fantastic on next gen systems as well.

Now they basically have the one thing they need most to really work on: the games. Which sadly they should have worked on much sooner as well. So they better nail that between now and next gen as X proves they can nail the hardware but they need to support it and their services with the games that we deserve.

Im also hoping e3 proves their point on going back to first party focus somewhat, even if most probably won’t be ready for a while. Or good second/third but exclusive even (as Fable reboot is rumored to be by Horizon’s second team—they’re not owned by MS but very close ties).

stokedAF248d ago

You really don’t need studios to make good games. They have worked very well as a publisher in the past. The beginning of the 360 had amazing 3rd party exclusives. The problem is that they don’t have first or 3rd party exclusives anymore lol.

fewDankMemes248d ago

Microsoft's stance has always been with providing the best "service" possible, so yes, the back compat, game pass, ea access, subscriptions, foundations for multiplayer centric games are going to come first before single player games. You don't necessarily NEED sp right away to be successful, just like Nintendo doesn't need powerful hardware to be successful. MS is not in last place yet, they're just sort of in a yellow zone. Not green but not red. Theyre coming to a point where yes they do need some strong single player games, but why is Steam so successful? What exclusive PC game has come out in the last 5 years that was a wildly successful single player story driven game? Like I said, companies can thrive off of the things MS has been trying to do, but they have a long way to go, and in the console territory they need those strong sp games.

however that's Sony's territory and they are almost untouchable at it because they have the best studios under their belt for it. It will be quite interesting to see their next move come E3.

blitz0623248d ago (Edited 248d ago )

1st Party games were never a priority with MS. Phil is just spouting this nonsense to appease people. Their one and only priority is to transition Xbox to a software service platform that is found in every home. They're trying to be the Netflix of video games

Aceman18248d ago

I'm tired of Phil's double talk, and until they can actually back up the BS he spews I ain't buying what he says and I definitely not jumping back in on that console.

M$ is put up or shut up time this E3 if you want my $$$$$ again.

neutralgamer1992248d ago


phil is the king of PR people right before E3 him and major nelson will talk a big game

what we do know at this year's E3 sony will have:

days gone
the last of us 2 demo
death stranding gameplay
kingdom hearts 3
possibily a new title similar to dark souls/blood borne
sucker punche's new IP(which has been in development for over 4 years)
yakuza kiwame 2

we could get a trailer for shenmue 3
we could get a blockbuster announcement of another PS classic remake by bluepoint

for ms to have a decent chance at a E3 where their brand could gain some momentum they have to bring their A++++++ game otherwise sony is going for the mortal kombat style finisher

Bobafret248d ago

They listened way too much to the internet chatter about the power differences between Xbox One and Ps4, and bet largely on that. This is why they are in this calamity. If you are constantly reacting to your opponent then you have already lost.

darthv72248d ago

@genji, you make it seem like MS has to do the same thing the others do but in fact they do not. Therefore you don't know if their priorities are twisted. You say that based on comparing them to the others and, while I get that reasoning, you must also consider they are doing things how they want to do them.

It may not jive with how we want them, and it will come back to bite them in the ass, but it is their decisions to make.

TheCommentator248d ago

"Next is his downplaying of SP games..."

Next is try reading his tweet, where Phil specifically highlighted the need for single player experiences:

rainslacker248d ago


Except Phil is legitimizing the fact that people's complaints are valid, and they don't have any real response except to say that it takes time. This isn't some kind of assumption, it's an admittance by Spencer that they don't have what they know people seem to want. That they dicked around when they had something to offer, and spent years promoting things that weren't important.

If he believes that the Xbox player base "deserves" these kinds of things, then he should deliver them, not deliver things that they aren't actually asking for. BC, Play Anywhere, X1X, GaaS. None of these things were things people were asking for in droves. They were, and always have, asked for games. Even when MS had them, they still wanted more. It's only in the last couple years that people have become content with MS output.

Phil's been saying for years that he wanted more of these things for Xbox. 3 years later, and he's still only promising, and still only delivering on things that his predecessors started. Is it really that hard to just give a taste of what they're working on if they are really working on something. Pride of not announcing too early isn't a good enough excuse anymore....and the notion that people wanted them to wait until closer to release wasn't even something their fan base was really asking for either.

MS is great at delivering on things no one really asks for. But all spencer seems capable of doing is talking about the things that people actually do want.

Dlacy13g248d ago

Xbox has to deliver some kind of solid road-map for 1st party / exclusive games at E3. They need both games announced for this 2nd half of year and for 2019 that are beyond just the expected sequels to Gears, Forza and Halo. I think many of the bets MS laid over the past years didn't pan out or just flat out got canned and that really took a toll on their current road-map. MS was forced to really double down on services and hardware because they knew there was a big hole in their software road-map coming with the delays & cancellations they made. That is poor management, and yes Phil needs to own it but also do something about it and show its more than lip service now. E3 really feels like a make or break moment for MS with this generation. And I mean that not in a "they can still win this gen" (they can't / won't win it...its Sony's) but in a way of "they can finish strong this gen" if gamer's can see a brighter future for games to what has been there the past year and a half or so for first party/exclusive games.

blackblades248d ago

Phils once said “you don’t need studios to make good games.” Wow! he really said that

UltraNova248d ago

Gotta love the timing on these "comments"...

LordJamar248d ago

100% positive thats out pf context.

bouzebbal248d ago

We just got the PR moment of the weekend..
Tomorrow everything back to normal.

GrubsterBeater247d ago

It seems almost as though XBox fans defending MS at every turn, while pretending to be content with MS' s game offering just to not deal with "I told you so's" from Sony fans has bit them in the ass. MS keeps seeing XBox fans praising all these draconian policies, PR, "single player games aren't important", etc., and not Spencer is like "cool, this is what they want, and they are happy with what we are giving them, so let's keep up with GaaS, Forzas, etc.

While I'm not saying it's the reason this is all happening, it does lead one to wonder if all the blind loyalty, pretending to be happy with the lack of games, etc, is a factor in why they are continuing down this off route for gaming.

IamTylerDurden1247d ago (Edited 247d ago )

And Phil's downplaying and criticism of sp games is coming back to bite him. Since his comments games like Horizon, BotW, Super Mario Odyssey, SotC, and now God of War have done exceptionally well. Yakuza 6 hits this month, Detroit in May, and everyone is hyped over Spider-man. Phil miscalculated when he dismissed sp games. Just look how Sony's sp game God of War is a bout to dismantle Xbox's GaaS game Sea of Thieves.

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RpgSama248d ago (Edited 248d ago )

He always says the right things, is the follow through with what he says that's the issue, MS has been in the home console business since 2001, how much more time do they need?

Rachel_Alucard248d ago

Theyve had plenty of time they just minimize risks like crazy. Anything that doesn't pull Halo or Gears numbers never gets a sequel or gets forgotten. They drop good IPs like flies and never invest in well received games, only if they sell well. Crimson skies, voodoo vince, mechassault, and many, many others are stuck in the forgotten realm of IPs MS ditched once the 360 released. They've turned almost every IP they have ownership over into a service game rather then a one off single player experience with no bull like Shadow of the Colossus or God of War because thats not profitable for them. They've failed to see the repricussions of their actions and now nobody wants to be associated with them. Consumer and developer alike.

OmnislashVer36248d ago (Edited 248d ago )

Eh, Xbox can't build a studio or nurture an IP. Lionshead, Mistwalker, and Platinum all had new or continuing IPs that got cancelled. Let's be honest, if Scalebound didn't look like the MC was comprised of Mountain Dew, Doritos, Vaping, and Dubstep it could have been the next Drakengard for instance. That was something worth investing in big-time, if MS would have just changed a few parameters- EVEN if it went to X2 it could have been an awesome game.

248d ago
fiveby9248d ago

I am surely a Playstation fan and owner. I also own an X1. My first Xbox ever. I also hope MS improves though. I don't think it serves the gaming world well if they were to exit. Not that I think they are planning an exit. I think the opposite. Although perhaps another company would fill that void if they did. But looking at MS it sometimes feels like they are so risk averse that they make creative decisions based on financial metrics alone. Phil's comment on SP games being risky and less profitable was enlightening. Why can't MS and other's do both? SP games with great stories provide a 'soul' for the product. They create emotional attachments to a product and thus brand loyalty. MP games are less apt to provide that connection. Perhaps MP GaaS offerings make more money but they don't drive brand loyalty as much. MS can and should do better. I'd only change Phil's comments to 'High quality and a diverse first party is what Xbox FANS deserve'. It's the fans who deserve it. They're making strides but XBox still feels a bit soulless.

Rachel_Alucard247d ago (Edited 247d ago )


And that happens when Japanese developers don't make games for it. They failed in the Japanese market from the get go so 3 things occurred.

1. Japanese developers don't make games for it since Japanese people aren't buying it
2. Western players who like japanese games don't buy it since all those games they want are on Playstation and switch
3. The only audience left playing on the Xbox are western players who either do not like Japanese games or are indifferent or biased. Anyone who's positive towards those games would've just bought a PlayStation anyway.

Failing that market set off a chain of events that affects more then just sales in the region.

OmnislashVer36246d ago (Edited 246d ago )


It's stuff that nobody wanted in the game. And MH isn't selling on Xbox because PS owners have no incentive to buy one! It requires more than a single game, and a trio like Scalebound, Mistwalker, and Fable is a good start to get some of the RPG fanatics from PlayStation...

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crazyCoconuts248d ago

I'm with @Foxtrot. Timing of these articles is so transparent. PR at it's finest...

lelo2play248d ago

Phil Spencer is all talk... but very little to show for.

SuperSonic91248d ago

Like Sol Badguy said " All Show But No Go.

Kryptix248d ago

Everything takes time, but it takes more when you mismanage and fail to optimize.

"We can have similar results to what we've seen in hw and platform"

He's blatantly saying that they can, but they haven't even started doing it yet which is a shame for those who waited for the Xbox One X and have to wait for more, or may I say more E3s, the true long running joke.

Bruh248d ago

You won't see sh*t, if anything maybe for next-generation, but for Xbox, this cycle is done and they're only gonna try and wrap up their franchises for existing story lines and push for next-gen soon.

spwittbold248d ago

To say Phil has done nothing for Xbox is shortsighted. Sure, he hasn't quite delivered in the manner most of us want, in terms of 1P - and I too am getting tired of all the promises. However, from where Xbox was, he has thus far: 1) Moved focus away from Xbox being a "media center," with Kinect and the TV integration garbage 2) Driven the Play Anywhere - PC or Xbox if you have them, which is great for me and I'm sure alot of others 3) The BC is pretty god damn sweet - this is the one thing Sony is annoying AF on....Microsoft is updating last gen games - for free - to look famazing which is an A+ instead of "remastering," and then "reselling" them to us when we a

generic-user-name248d ago

I feel like anyone would have done a better job than Mattrick, Phil is all talk. If backwards compatibility putting xbox exclusives on PC is all he has done, then he hasn't done much.

CP_Company248d ago

BC is matrick baby and not spencers. So i don't understand why someone trying to mislead public and give a credit to a wrong man.

RandoCommenter248d ago

Microsoft’s in desperation mode that is the ONLY reason they’re being consumer friendly. Don’t forget that. While Sony is on top & they’re still cranking out AAA single player games left & right. I have both XBone & PS4. XBone literally just sits in my trunk/coffee table until I have a hankering to play Dead Space from last gen or Quantum Break. Microsoft continues to deliver way too rarely. It’s very disappointing.

shuvam09248d ago (Edited 248d ago )

I don't understand his statement...
The hardware was stellar from the very beginning (from OG XBox to XB1X, barring XB1), so were their services/platform/BC...
What time taking process is he talking about???
If I know right, their priorities have gone backward since inception...
OG XBox and the 360 had some amazing exclusives...
They faltered from the beginning with XB1...
And with the push for Cloud and GaaS, it's hard to believe him going back to the roots...
They are going the MS way rather than going the XBox way...
With Nadella at the helm, he would rather use XBox to push the Windows ecosystem rather than reviving the XBox brand...

Don't get me wrong...
I want to see a healthy competition between all the hardware manufactures...
It's just that I don't see the signs from MS yet, nor am I expecting it to change in a positive way...


Games presented at E3 are going to be years off. I'm sorry, but MS just might be done....

I'm pretty pissed at my X purchase as of right now. Especially since sea of thieves is sick joke!! I was really looking to something big with that game....

TheKingKratos247d ago (Edited 247d ago )

Phill, shut the f up please
You are all talk and nothing else

IGiveHugs2NakedWomen247d ago (Edited 247d ago )

Phil needs to stop talking about high quality games and start making them. Unfortunately, I don't think the suits are going to allow Microsoft's remaining studios to have creative freedom like Sony does with their developers. I just think they have the ability to do so much better only if the suits would allow Spencer to run Xbox gaming without interference.

butchertroll247d ago

We believe in Phil, right?

Let's see what Phil said....
Microsoft investing $1 billion into games on Xbox One
"Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer told OXM Rare is returning to one of its older franchises (Killer Instinct, anyone?) and Black Tusk Studios is hard at work on Microsoft's next big franchise. Lift London is working on smaller cloud-based games, while Microsoft Studios Osaka has a project under way - something Don Mattrick says will illustrate how Microsoft is "committed" to Japan. Finally, Press Play and Twisted Pixel are in Microsoft's bullpen, working on "weird, unique" games for Xbox Live."

Xbox boss would rather invest in first-party exclusives than Street Fighter V

At E3, Phil Spencer wants to focus on first-party and exclusive Xbox games

"I really focussed on our first-party investment, and you see it showing up in 2015 and 2016."

"I’m sure Last Guardian, when it ships this year, will be great, but I just look at the lineup and the quantity and the quality that our team’s been shipping and I feel really good about that."

Phil Spencer: "Microsoft is committed to growing first-party Xbox content and studios"

Let's play a game : Phil says.....a lot of things.

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Nyxus248d ago (Edited 248d ago )

Sounds good, but the way he talks about it makes it sound as if it's still a ways off...

RpgSama248d ago

They're always about the future when talking about games, Phil Spencer makes it sound as if this wasn't the third Microsoft console generation, but their first foray into consoles, they have been in this business since November 15, 2001, how much more time do they need?

S2Killinit248d ago

Thats all i hear from MS, verbage, no game news comes out, just vague or broad statements and adjectives (“huge, big” etc.) but no game news. Why not talk about a game youre working on right now?

Eldyraen248d ago

Unfortunately. Fable rumor is likely 1-2 off even if it’s real. If the Horizon second team is true since they’re still hiring key positions there. So hopefully they can get a couple out before next gen but probably not many new ones yet.

NeoGamer232248d ago

Yes, it is probably at least 2019.

Sony has been developing the new GoW since 2014. That is after the story and idea. So, probably started in 2013.

Phil spent the first two years to 2016 cleaning up crap. So assuming 4 years in devt is what it takes for a 95+ metacritic SP game. We are looking at 2019 at the earliest and more likely 2020.

KickSpinFilter248d ago

But that's probably the end of this generation in 2020 or at least for Sony. 2013 is when they both launched, I'm sorry but by this time there should be an overflow of well scored exclusive games. That's just not the case with MS. Ya at the start of a console life you expect it to be a little barren as developers are ramping up with final console specs. (excluding Switch).

kneon248d ago

That's 4 years only if you already have a studio capable of that level of quality, getting a studio to that level can take a decade or more. Most never get there.

Bruh248d ago

People at this point really don't understand that Microsoft gives NO SH*TS about this generation anymore? For this company the most important part is the bottom line and as they know they lost, for them its about trying to just earn some good user base love ( B.C, other software related features) and pushing into next gen

LordJamar248d ago

So what if it is? Just get angry like the rest call him a lier and get a sony box

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AizenSosuke248d ago

Sounds good but please deliver and please follow your word if not that's a bunch of BS.

fiveby9248d ago

We shall see what MS promises and what they deliver. I’d be happy to see them bolster their offering with some new / strong first party produced games but that takes years to cultivate. GaaS can’t be your only strategy. A platform holder needs a diverse robust games lineup. At this point it’s Sony who has done the best overall job. MS needs to step up or they’ll risk slowly fading away. I think their customers have been more than patient.

AspiringProGenji248d ago (Edited 248d ago )

That’s the problem witb Xbox: talk talk talk, then always asking for more time when things don’t end up well. What happened to the 1 billion investment in games? The cloud?

SuperSaiyanGod41248d ago

I think time is not the issue, it's more being confident in your new IP and not throwing in the towel after it's first outing because of bad sales, u build on it and make it even better in the next outing and the fanbase starts to grow with each outing.

Rude-ro248d ago

That is kind of Microsoft’s delima..
Not a bash, but every ip they bought a studio for, and now they do not work there. Not all obviously, but all their risk ips from yore.
They rely on what they will spend money on per marketing. So if it failed in sales, they no longer see the desire to spend money on both the game and the marketing.
They need to become a gaming company and stop focusing on what they can market.

KickSpinFilter248d ago

First good example of cloud computing is the ocean in Sea of Thief's (no matter what you think of the game)

AspiringProGenji248d ago

And there’s barely anything to do in that ocean. Gues that tech isn’t anything game changing then

badz149248d ago

in 2013 they said...

and 3 years later...

now, even 50mil is looking very distant for them before next gen starts, hopefully, in 2020

Bhai247d ago

Oh the cloudy dreams... the delusions hahaha ... that shows how disconnected and distant the whole xb team is from gaming reality :O

TheNextGeneration248d ago

He’s right in the sense that they have delivered on other fronts and they’re beating Sony in some of those areas but Sony has run away with the games race and its time Microsoft turn talk into action, show us the games!!

xX-oldboy-Xx248d ago

But they assured their fanbase that they had invested heavily into xbox exclusive 1st and 2nd party. When will the yearly rhetoric without results be enough for xbox owners, xbox owners are a resilient, loyal and faithful bunch.

The_Jackel248d ago

dont forget to add dumb as fuck too.... for obvious reasons in your comment

AlphaCentyros248d ago

I used to be a 360 fan though. Really glad I realised MS lost their passion for high quality games a long time ago. Switching to PS was the best decision I ever made.

LordJamar248d ago

Not every one is a angry fanboy intent on selling there console cause "no games"

Pastemaniak248d ago

Yeah, how ironic that "Sony has run away with the games race" in a games business. In this moment, Xbox has the same personality than a Nvidia Shield. It's more obvious every day that they're just hardware manufacturers.

Seafort248d ago

Microsoft aren't hardware manufacturers at all though. They have always been a software development studio but not with games but corporate programs like Office or Windows Server and still are to this day. That's where they make most of their money.

The Xbox division is just a small part of what Microsoft is. They don't seem to have any passion for making games for their console or want to invest in it in case it fails. They've always had one foot out the door so they can run at the first chance of failure.

It's coming to the stage where MS needs to put up or get out of the games industry as they are not investing in their console and the customer will lose out in the long run with their dithering and lack of commitment.

It's been 17 years since they first got involved in the console industry and what do they have to show for it? Hardly any first party studios and no real top tier games apart from Forza. Gears and Halo is going down the drain and wasn't even theirs in the first place. They just bought the IP from 2nd/3rd party studios.

Coming back to the PC was a mistake as well. We didn't ask them to return and produce a lacklustre games platform with Windows Store as it's an Xbox and app store really. Just retrofitted to include PC games.

Microsoft needs to decide where they want to invest and do it. Stop with the half hearted commitments and shut down parts of the company that isn't working out. If that is Xbox then so be it then at least their customers know where they priorities lie.

KickSpinFilter248d ago

I think MS might be in for a unpleasant surprise next gen. If Sony comes out with PS4 BC at the start of the PS5 in 2020, at $449.99 or less, with TLOU2 compatible to both PS4 & PS5 on one disk at launch MS might see them self in second place again. But if Sony comes in all cocky at $500, no BC and no Major exclusives at launch might look really different landscape. MS is pretty much were Sony was 2 years left of this gen, what cha gonna do? Hold all major games back till launch of XB2 or win some kudos by launching an Epic IP's near the end of XB1 to pay forward to the new gen.

DarkZane248d ago

Yeah, that won't matter. The 360 launched a year earlier and $100 cheaper and it didn't matter. If the 360, which was Microsoft at their best, couldn't beat the PS3, which was Sony at their worst, it's pretty obvious Microsoft is never gonna win no matter what they do.

Even if everything you just said happens, the PS5 will still win by a huge margin. Microsoft simply doesn't have the resources to compete here. Their console only has appeal in the US and limited appeal in UK, while Sony and Nintendo have worldwide appeal. Microsoft are literally fighting a war that they can't win even if they have every advantages.

Chevalier248d ago

Forget 2nd place. With Nintendo around its more like 3rd place. Customers don't care about generations. Nintendo is set to destroy Xbox NOW.

LordJamar248d ago

Highly doubt ps5 will be 500$