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Phil Spencer on the future of the Xbox: exclusives, singles and new franchises



There is very little time left before the release of the next generation consoles from Microsoft, and in this regard, Gamereactor decided to interview Phil Spencer – the head of Microsoft’s gaming division and managing the Xbox brand. The questions, of course, concerned the future of the Xbox Series X and S, new releases and the company’s global plans for the game console market. For example, Phil Spencer was asked about Microsoft’s sharp desire to acquire studios – before, the company had not so many large developers in its asset, while over the past few years the list has significantly expanded. It turned out that Spencer had plans to buy the studio for a long time.

He acknowledged that during the Xbox 360 and early years of the Xbox One, the company did not invest in its own studios, thereby losing the race in the market to its direct competitor Sony. Now Microsoft has enough studios to develop unique content, but the head of the Xbox sees in the production of exclusives more a marketing tool than an effective sales tool. In his opinion, both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S will be sold out immediately after the start of sales, so one or more exclusives will not affect the overall picture at all. Although, of course, in the long term, such franchises play into the hands of companies – with this Spencer agrees.

Also in an interview, Phil said that Microsoft has not yet bought the publisher ZeniMax, and with it all the major studios (Bethesda, id Software, Arkane Studios, and so on). At the moment, a standard acquisition procedure is underway, the formal elements of which will drag on until the beginning of 2021. It is for this reason that the head of Xbox cannot talk about the plans of the above-mentioned studios, since now they have not yet become the property of the gaming division of Microsoft. A very strange statement, because literally ten days ago, Phil Spencer spoke very openly about plans for games from ZeniMax studios.

Along with this, Phil Spencer said that he really likes studios that boldly develop new franchises, create unique stories and worlds. In all internal Microsoft studios, no one tells anyone what games to create, but developers are actively encouraged to create something unique. Moreover, to expand the arsenal of unique games in Game Pass, the company will buy several more studios in the foreseeable future. Based on this, we can conclude that Spencer has learned his mistakes with Xbox – now the emphasis will be on exclusives, single games and unique franchises created by enthusiasts. This is how Sony works.

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