Xbox’s Sarah Bond dishes on Starfield, Game Pass and what to expect in 2023 — and beyond

CNN: “There might not have been a proper E3 this year, but sitting in the Novo Theater in Los Angeles earlier this month as big cheers erupted for two hours’ worth of big game reveals and deep dives, the spirit of gaming’s biggest annual convention was alive and well. The Xbox Games Showcase 2023 was a statement for the Seattle games maker, one that felt especially vital at a time when the brand is facing criticism for a dearth of quality first-party titles; the kind that Sony has with The Last of Us, or Nintendo’s new Zelda game that’s currently dominating the lives of anyone with a Switch.

Following Microsoft’s big summer gaming event, I had the chance to sit down with Sarah Bond, Head of Xbox Creator experience and one of the key leaders bringing the green brand into the future. Here’s everything I learned, including the big Xbox launches to expect this year, new updates on Game Pass, the company’s push toward diversifying gaming and, yes, how the brand plans to bounce back from its rockier moments in 2023.”

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jznrpg163d ago (Edited 163d ago )

Diversifying gaming by making games exclusive to the least desirable console. No thanks

DOMination-163d ago

The game was going to originally be a PS5 exclusive. Something tells me you and several hundred other users here wouldn't have had any issues with that.

shinoff2183163d ago

It would've been ps5 TIMED EXCLUSIVE. You guys are leaving out a huge keyword on purpose to make it look worse

It's adorable

Sonic1881163d ago (Edited 163d ago )

You mean a time exclusive right? I don't think Starfield would have stayed on Playstation forever

4Sh0w163d ago (Edited 163d ago )

"No thanks"= because your a ps loyalists who only thinks ps should have exclusives, real gamers know different and welcome the competition. Personally as someone who prefers Xbox over ps I hope Microsoft does everything they can to continue growing their portfolio and competing with Sony.

shinoff2183163d ago

Why do you guys always always try to shun ps cause of some 3rd party exclusives ,I'm pretty sure Nintendo and Microsoft also have 3rd party exclusives. Hell Microsoft made a killing on 360 due to 3rd party exclusives and rrod. Lately though even still having some 3rd party exclusives it's not as many but you guys with gamepass have been conditioned to not buy games and to play what given monthly. The numbers are out there and ms has said as much themselves. But to hat on Sony for having 3rd party exclusives like they are the only ones doing it is just fking ridiculous. Makes the ones doing it look dumb. Atleast acknowledge it

4Sh0w163d ago

"Why do you guys always always try to shun ps cause of some 3rd party exclusives"

Huh? Link where I "shun" ps because of 3rd party exclusives? Hell nah don't even try to flip the narrative on me I *always say it's business IN RESPONSE to the constant double standard that ps guys apply to Xbox whenever they buy deals, studios or publishers. Microsoft is richer so they can go bigger but you are either against buying exclusives or you're not. lol, thanks to the FTC trial its been recently revealed Sony tried to get Starfield exclusive, now lie to me & tell me ps fans wouldn't have applauded if Sony would have been successful?

So stop trying to re-write history by & large majority of Xfans mostly recognize Sony has every right to make whatever deal they can to push their console *even if we don't like it BUT we only point it out because ps fans swear the world is on fire when Microsoft does it. Hypocrites.

PhillyDillyDee163d ago

C’mon man. Xbox needs SOMETHING besides gears, halo, and forza. Otherwise why would anyone buy an xbox at all right?

wiz7191163d ago

@Shinoff the fact they even tried that timed exclusive BS after they already had 2 that was already timed they was getting greedy .. it’s Sony fault Starfield isn’t coming to their platform , MS offered a better deal by outright buying the whole studio ..

ken2813162d ago

You ever thought they was thinking about making it a timed exclusive to PS5 because they would only have to work on 1 platform? Maybe they was having trouble with the series s and running into a parity issue like the team that’s working on boulders gate.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 162d ago
Bathyj163d ago

I can't stand this woman on stage. She has the cringe-worthy body language of a resident evil 1 NPC. She needs to put her hands in her pockets and talk as little as possible.

DOMination-163d ago

Come on dude, presenting on stage isn't her job AT ALL. Yeah she is a bit awkward but she's also probably suffering from major anxiety. Unless you're prepared to go on and present a showcase yourself that will be watched by millions, you shouldn't really criticise.

She's actually doing pretty well in her normal day job so far. Lets judge her on that.

Bathyj163d ago (Edited 163d ago )

Then get someone that can. Why make someone do something theyre terrible at?

And I would be prepared to do that so I'll continue to criticise if I like.

anast163d ago

A saleswoman selling things...nice

DeusFever163d ago (Edited 163d ago )

Just a friendly reminder that Microsoft said in court that Xbox lost the console wars and that for the last 20 years didn’t have good enough exclusives to compete with Sony and Nintendo. I’m sure this will turn things around.

4Sh0w163d ago (Edited 163d ago )

Yes Phil said they lost the console war.

lol, and yet very next day the sun still rose. I nor ps fans got any richer because Phil made such a *shocking admission. Microsoft still owns Bethesda, Starfield still exclusive, Gamepass is still the best deal in gaming, albeit $1 more expensive, ps5 is still selling no more less since Phil's *shocking admission, Microsoft is still a trillion $ company looking to buy more, like AKB, etc, etc, etc lmfao I know that statement really pumps up the console warriors but can you tell me what changed for either company or the end user? Bingo!---->NOTHING in fact if I didnt know any better judging by the comments I read on sonyn4g, ps guys seem more afraid than ever of little old 3rd place Microsoft. Why? they lost, so what could they possibly be afraid of???

163d ago
Ps5conehead163d ago

Why be afraid my ps5 has plenty of games to play. If I want to play star field I will on my pc . You are rude and annoying.

Auron163d ago

Why dont they just call her the head of xbox already?🙄... she had more screen time and dialog than Phil Spencer... all he did was introduce a black Series S.. Pathetic.

Show all comments (23)

The best games of 2023, picked by the NPR staff

2023 broke video game industry records, both in the quantity and quality of acclaimed, financially successful games. NPR staff and contributors bring you their favorites.


Phil Spencer: Game Pass is Profitable, Spends Over $1 Billion to Add 3rd-Party Content to Game Pass

"We have a service that is financially viable, meaning it makes money, in Game Pass," said Spencer.

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gold_drake22h ago

without actual numbers ,its easy to say anything really.

if they spend over a billion dollars for content, how profitable is it really.

Obscure_Observer13h ago

"without actual numbers ,its easy to say anything really."

We´re talking about the same company that almost 10 years ago wanted the Xbox brand dead and gone with all of Bill Gates´s blessings!

If Gamepass wasn´t profitable by now, MS would have it shut down already! Think!

Kornholic2h ago(Edited 2h ago)

Have you THOUGHT about how much money MS uses to acquire and keep all the games on Gamepass? Then think about the relatively low number of Game Pass subscribers and the amount of money they bring in every month.

There is no chance that Game Pass is actually profitable. It is a market disruption tool which a giant megacorporation like MS can afford to use in perpetuity if needed.

Mr_cheese2h ago(Edited 2h ago)

I'm just going to say it. Unless they're fudging the numbers, gamepass isn't profitable.

There is 0 chance that xbox as a whole is profitable with the money they've been chucking at publishers and developers.

It's the long game for them

Plague-Doctor272h ago(Edited 2h ago)


MS can't lie about stuff like this. If they say GamePass is profitable then it is. The only real overhead is licensing fees and marketing. All the infrastructure is basically accounted for as part of being a digital storefront so they can probably put all those costs in a different bucket. Even if it is profitable by $1 they arent lying

Obscure_Observer1h ago


"There is no chance that Game Pass is actually profitable."

Seriously dude, how old are you? In what world are you living???

Phil Spencer is the CEO of Gaming in one of the most valuable and important companies in the freaking world!

There´s no f* way he would go out and lie about a MS product or service been profitable without incurring in SERIOUS financial crimes, genius! You have absolutely NO idea of the repercussions and consequences of such acts! Period!

Just because *you* d