Industry Personality of the Year: Phil Spencer

Well, now this year is almost through, and we can look back on how Spencer has been doing with greater clarity and accuracy- and indeed, he has lived up to his billing. Spencer is the savior that the Xbox brand needed, the one who has brought back a much needed focus to the Xbox One, the one who has, yes, been saying all the right things, but more importantly, doing all the right things too. Under Phil Spencer, the Xbox One has seen a major price drop, aggressive bundles, a refocusing of the Xbox One and its UI on the gaming experience, announcements of anticipated new games including new IPs, and major gamer friendly initiatives. Under Phil Spencer, the Xbox One has begun its path to recovery- right now, the console finds itself in the kind of stage that the PS3 found itself in after a disastrous few years early last generation.

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Herbalistic2110d ago

I like Phil being as the guy is a gamer himself along with taking time out his day to interact with the community

PeaSFor2110d ago (Edited 2110d ago )

well, it was to be expected since ALL the Gamingbolt "articles" are from hardcore Xbox nutt hugger, i bet they would even find a way to praise Don Mattrick.

nX2110d ago

The funny thing is that people hated Spencer before he became president. He's still the sleazy guy with the punchable face, he just made some progress in terms of arrogance and stupid statements.

-Foxtrot2110d ago (Edited 2110d ago )

" the one who has brought back a much needed focus to the Xbox One "

Oh come on...Microsoft did, the higher ups in the main branch who decide all the big decisions for all the divisions under them. Phil was just a conduit for these big suits to put in place the changes they had brought in after the old plans blew up in their face during the Xbox One reveal.

If anything Microsoft in general should be thanked for turning the Xbox around not just one guy. I really think people to understand how American businesses like Microsoft work. I still laugh at the fact people thought Don Mattrick was the main person responsible for the Xbox Ones original vision, despite being the head a big product from Microsoft would not be dictated in it's overall plan/vision/goal by one man, especially if it's a brand new product Microsoft in general are investing in. The guys above decided where they wanted it to go and Don put that idea in place, it failed, they were dragged into a shit storm and Don was the scapegoat. From here they now needed someone who wasn't a suit like Don which people would listen to, someone who gamers thought was more trust worthy and likeable...enter the only guy at Microsoft like that, Phil Spencer.

If they chose anyone else, even another suit the Xbox One would be on the exact same course as it is today with the same deals and games announced. What you don't do after a PR nightmare like the Xbox One reveal is get a new guy who, in normal circumstances, would never get to be the Head of Xbox (not for years to come anyway if he worked his way up there) and go "Yeah we trust you to make ALLLLLL the right decisions, we won't get involved". It's like saying Mark Cerny had complete control over the PS4s development without a single drop of input from Sonys higher ups.

If anyone has to be praised for the Xbox Ones new, gamer focused path it's Microsoft in general, they should be praised for corruting their wrongs and putting into effect a new, consumer friendly, vision . If a Puppet master puts on a great show who do you praise the puppets or the puppet master who was pulling the actual strings?

Why o why2110d ago (Edited 2110d ago )

Despite what you're saying, you have to admit this guy is way more likable. Ms chose him to be the new face of thier revised direction NOT the brain. He is not an innocent, as he was part of the misinformation machine that preceeded the reversal of so many policies. Despite that, Good luck to him and glad ms chose him instead of a greenberg or sticking with mattrick but ultimately its the higher ups that are making the changes. Phils influence on what happens is still an unknown

freshslicepizza2110d ago

imagine working for a company where everyone hates or dislikes the manager. one person can change the whole image and feel at a company. this is why microsoft is enjoying a whole new feel there thanks to the ceo that replaced ballmer. which means that one guy can change the whole atmosphere.

phil is the main guy representing xbox. he is the person who can green light projects and cancel them. so yes more than one person behind the scenes does deserve credit do not mistake the importance of a good leader.

slate912109d ago (Edited 2109d ago )

"I really think people to understand how American businesses like Microsoft work."

No, Foxtrot you dont understand how American Corporations work. Let me enlighten you.

A corporation has investors, CEOs, and people in charge of different divisions.

Now there is a reason these people get to lead certain divisions and that is because they get positive results from their work.

Don mattrick was the leading charge in the change of direction for Xbox with Kinect. Microsoft saw the sales of Kinect (10 million) and were very pleased. These kind of results please the higher ups at Microsoft and they allow Mattrick to keep his job and have even more freedom for his vision.
That freedom was used in the creation of the Xbox One. If it isnt broke (sales, kinect, casual interest) dont fix it, right?
Wrong, it WAS broken and trying to release a bull$hit machine/vision next to a goliath PS4 cost them big. Internet/customer backlash, humiliation in interviews, and terrible 180s that had to be made with reversing policies.
The Xbox One announcement will go down in history as the worst announcement in video game history.
So, now that Microsoft can see that good ol' Don might not be good for their gaming division, they ex him out to try and get new ideas and blood flowing.
Microsoft Execs: *Looks at Phil* "You know what didnt work, we need a new direction as a gaming figure. You've been with our company since 1989 (!!), get us the results we need to stay relevant in the game industry."
Phil heads a new direction with his leadership and heard fans' cries and feedback and responded accordingly. Xbox is no longer the laughing stock it was 2 years ago.


Again, this is how corporations work. Phil was head of the gaming division while Don was head of Xbox. He had to follow Don's lead and vision and support the leader of Xbox, you know, if he still wanted to receive a salary, pay his bills, feed his children, and pay for their schools.

DLConspiracy2109d ago (Edited 2109d ago )

There is a reason Matrick was fired. He lead them (as a leader) in the wrong direction.

Phil has pushed for things that the company (MS) pushes back against him on. He's made them listen and worked well with the team of people to bring back the image.

Sure, it's Microsoft as a whole in the end but he's the leader of the xbox division. Give credit where credits due. No reason at all to take away from the guys hard work. Even a voice of reason is good leadership. Which is why he always says I was at the table when the ideas were put down for xbox one.

-Foxtrot2109d ago (Edited 2109d ago )

He lead them in that direction because the big suits upstairs were happy for it to happen because it's what they wanted.

When it came to the Xbox One they knew DRM and the like would benefit them the most money wise so they wanted Don to present that vision to us, the gaming audience but instead of accepting it we protested about it which meant their new plan blew up in their face

They then learnt the error of their ways and started to become consumer friendly

The majority of stuff Phil has pushed for is stuff well thought out by the main Microsoft heads.

DLConspiracy2109d ago (Edited 2109d ago )


That's not exactly true though. You think the head of a corporation deals with every single nuance of business? Sure, they may OK everything by signing their name, and dealing with the HUGE decisions but it's also up to the people like Phil Spencer to come up with ideas and lead everyone underneath him then report to his bosses. It's not like Phil just sits in a glass display and then is turned on when he needs to speak at some event. He's not a robot or some slacker. That's like saying Yoshida doesn't have any input on what happens with PS.

Not sure why you are going on and on about this. Yes, corporations are made up of thousands of people. Those people manage each other and come up with ideas so the top of the corporate pyramid doesn't always have to.

TheCommentator2109d ago (Edited 2109d ago )

To add to what DLC Conspiracy said, governments all have figure heads like President Obama. They also have groups like the House and Senate that help define things within the organization. It is the President, however, that soaks up most of the spotlight when speaking in public on behalf of said organization.

rainslacker2109d ago

While I think you are right, that it's not just Spencer who did all the good stuff, you can't deny given his position that he has considerable influence on the direction that MS takes going forward. I mean, he's the one that probably knows what MS has to do, and it's kind of up to him to prove it to the execs, and show them that MS typical approach of, "it'll sell because we're MS" just isn't going to work.

Phil's a likable guy. It's a good start for MS to take the gamer in charge approach which was there with the Xbox division early on before the corporate suits took over. Sony has been fairly successful at having corporate suits who are also pretty big gamers, so I'd imagine it will work out for MS as well in the long run because being a gamer doesn't mean you aren't good at business. I'm sure Phil has to give up on some projects he is passionate about due to business concerns just like everyone else in the industry has to.

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Rookie_Monster2110d ago (Edited 2110d ago )

:'D. Well deserved, Phil. Tears of joy for this victory.

You gave us BC for the games we already owned, a New xbox experience dashboard, windows 10 integration with streaming, 2 free X360 BC games per month since November, X360 BC digital titles added to new AAA games like FO4 and Gears Ultimate absolutely free, gave us the best lineup in Xbox history, and continue to answer every feedbacks, questions and concerns with your fans on Twitter.

Truly, the person of the year for gaming in 2015.

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