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It's Time To Stop Giving Xbox Boss Phil Spencer A Pass

Under his leadership, many have lost their jobs and fewer games have made it out the door.

purple10147d ago

people should call for his resignation, he has literally flushed xbox down the toilet.
another 3 studios closed today, thats it now, get out

RNTody47d ago (Edited 47d ago )

Well purple101 you'd have to convince Observer and the other Xbox faithful that these studio closures and the fallout from the acquisitions is a bad thing and a sign of what's to come, and I don't think you're going to do that.

Nobody has managed that feat.

Redgrave47d ago

Obscure and Zeref have been summoned to the floor to give their account of these proceedings.

VenomUK47d ago

I 100% blame 'nice guy Phil' for the death of Xbox. The thing to realise is the Xbox Series S & X are performing WORST in console sales and game sales than the much criticised Xbox One - how can this be?

His two big mistakes were 1-not developing enough exclusives and 2 - always trying to beat PlayStation. If he made more exclusives over his decade reign and not tried to 'win' then classic Xbox would still be here in a profitable third place. Instead he tried a series of different projects to win and he ended up ultimately destroying Xbox by changing its relationship with its most loyal customers. What did he do?

* Phil spent a decade only release new iterations of Halo, Forza and Gears and not investing in creating new first party studios and IP. He mishandled Scalebound and shutdown Lionhead Studios.

* Phil tried Mixer, a streaming channel that could be used to promote Xbox dominance with free giveaways...

* Phil tried to create a streaming service that he regarded as too superior to consider PlayStation and Nintendo as competitors! But would instead compete with Netflix and Google...

* But his worst mistake was Xbox Game Pass - a multi billion dollar investment that could only work if completely dominated the worldwide gaming market - but it didn't. Instead it changed the culture of Xbox gamers so they resented spending on third party games as they were now trained to expect everything for free. Now all the games Microsoft had invested so much in were not only NOT making money from other platforms, as ever, but they were now NOT EVEN making money from Xbox customers.

If Phil Spencer had just concentrated on making new games and not non-stop gimmicks to beat PlayStation, I genuinely believe the Xbox would be an attractive platform with regular exclusives like Halo but with others too that would give it its distinct identity and maintain a profitable existence. Phil's been in charge for over a decade, the blame lays at his feet.

ChiefofLoliPolice46d ago

Oh you and I both know that's never gonna happen. Some people you can't convince them there is a fire even if their own hair is burning. Denial is a powerful thing.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 46d ago
amazinglover47d ago

Last MS financial results for FY24 Q2 which is the company's sales data through Dec. 31, 2023. According to the earnings, gaming revenue is up 49% year-over-year.

That doesn't sound like he flushing it down the toilet and that also makes very unlikely he loses his job any time soon.

crazyCoconuts47d ago

Revenue up due to acquisition... Spending 10s of billions for new companies of course revenue is up. They don't tell us profits but they wouldn't be shutting down these divisions if they were in the black. Pretty sure they're shifting so radically because their current state has been an abject failure

Scissorman47d ago

This is 100% due to Activision Blizzard. If that deal had not gone through, Xbox revenue would be flat, which means a game like Starfield failed to move the needle.

rlow147d ago

@crazyCoconuts
While I agree that Phil and team have gone back on their word. Especially the last six years of promises.

But I disagree on your logic about the revenue.
They bought the companies to boost their gaming division revenue. In that regard they were very successful. They are owned by MS so your point is moot.

Lightning7747d ago

They made all that money and still doing studio shutdowns...

It's bottomless pit of money MS wants. There's no amount of money MS can make to save their own studios. They're doing it out greed and general incompetence. Calling Phil's head won't mean anything or do anything for MS. They'll still destroy regardless.

Chevalier47d ago

Damn idiots don't know how to read revenue reports. Revenue was due to folding in Activision Blizzard Revenue. They were up 61% due to Activision Blizzard with 62% increase. So they only went up 1% over last year. But idiots going to be idiots thinking Spencer is helping Xbox right now. Lol

Markusb3346d ago

this is due to Activision and not their general output of quality titles,

amazinglover41d ago

@Chevalier of course thats due to Activision Blizzard GUESS WHO OWNS THEM? It doesn't matter what that was due to its still growth for that division.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 41d ago
Jingsing47d ago (Edited 47d ago )

It is funny that it was him finally touching Bethesda that was the straw that finally broke the camels back. They should have been calling for this years ago.

Markusb3346d ago

im sure this is good for gamers, didnt Phil say that about scalebound ?

JackBNimble46d ago

You obviously don't know what literally means but ya , all console bosses need to accept accountability for their actions.

Christopher46d ago

So, Phil gets canned. Do people really think that the person to replace him won't kowtow to those above him? Like his replacement won't look at spreadsheets to find things to remove and ignore the human element and accomplishments behind those numbers?

No matter whether Phil is there or not, the problem isn't just Phil. It's the corporate culture and how they prioritize numbers over anything else. Stop acting like getting rid of Phil will get rid of the issue. It won't.

lodossrage42d ago

See, what you said right there is the same EXACT point I made the day he replaced Don Mattrick.

I'm not saying Mattrick was great or anything. But he was part of the corporate structure, just like Phil Spencer. He was the fall guy even though Spencer was part of the bad decisions as well.

It's how MS is run and their structure that's the real issue. It didn't help that other CEO's across the industry said things like "they finally have the right people in place" when Phil took over (like John Riccitiello).

But don't worry, we all know that some people believe what they want, so when Phil leaves,, gets fired, or steps down, everyone will act like things are going to change (as usual).

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 41d ago
Tacoboto47d ago

Phil needs to go. His time is over. When you oversee layoff after layoff after studio closure after studio closure, it's impossible to keep going forward and have people - employees and fans alike - trust you in any way.

Especially after HiFi Rush hit their metrics. I guess we know what to expect for Ninja Theory next once Hellblade is out, and Machine Games once Indiana's out & Todd Howard focuses back on ES6.

Lightning7747d ago (Edited 47d ago )

Ninja Theory won't last after HB2. Because it won't hit some impossible metric in order to be a success at MS.

Expect NT to be gone in a years time also. Where the hells the advertising for Hellblade 2? Another MS issue they do to themselves bunch of clowns.

Tacoboto47d ago

Their first-announced Series game going out like this. Their marketing so far has just been a daily tweet or two the last week.

And now this will overshadow everything up till and through its release. Maybe Ninja Theory will get the same dignity as Tango and bow out with a better PS5 port.

Chevalier47d ago

Hellblade 2 out in 2 weeks and no one will even remember it by the beginning of June

RaidenBlack46d ago (Edited 46d ago )

Unrelated but since there's a shortage of devs to make Fallout content ... MS could've asked Tango or Austin or both to make a new Fallout game (doesn't have to be a full-blown RPG) ... fans would've gobbled it up after watching Prime's FO season 2 ... and it would've been a nice experiment to check the feasibility of having Fallout venture into non-RPG genres (like it was done before during Interplay days).
This is what I would've guessed/suggested from past statements from Xbox & co., that you can experiment with new ideas (using new or existing IPs) at current Xbox ecosystem.
But ... after axing Tango & Austin ... don't know if Xbox is still open to such experimentations.

Chevalier47d ago (Edited 47d ago )

Just watch Outer World's 2 also be dead on arrival without Playstation and Nintendo gamers buying that game you can expect Gamepass to kill that IP too. Ditto for making that contract to exclude Playstation gamers from getting Indiana Jones too. Remember how Tomb Raider sales were on Playstation after the 1 year exclusivity? Expect even worse for Indiana Jones too

mastershredder47d ago

It's not just Phil (Phil is just the dumb kid taking the money) and Kotaku is NOT the voice to listen to as shi7 sites like Kotaku helped contribute to modern gaming toxicity and disinformation. Kotaku staff = Much like Phil, and yes need to go.

Moegooner47d ago

MS has been posting record profits, you think they give a crap about games and gamers? Think again.