Phil Spencer has been recently appointed as the new head of Microsoft’s Xbox Division, but apparently he isn’t done learning, and he learns from quite a few different sources, including his PS4 and Electronic Arts Chief Operating Officer (who happens to be his former boss at Microsoft) Peter Moore, as he explained during an interview on Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb’s podcast.
I love Forza. I’m playing some things, I don’t mind saying, on my PlayStation 4. […] Last of Us… You know like Resogun, I’ve gone back to playing it, and I really try to look what they’re doing, how theyr system is working… because I learn from a ton of different places, and for me it’s an important part of what we’re doing… Strider… Yeah… but right now a lot of my time is spent on fall games.
(before someone jumps at Spencer’s throat, The Last of Us was suggested by Hryb and Spencer just confirmed that he’s playing it. He wasn’t implying he’s playing it on PS4)
He then continued by talking about how he observes Peter Moore, learning from his way to deal with customers and with different situations:
Peter was really interesting when he came into Microsoft, and he brought a different point of view from his time both at Rebook and at Sega and just an external perspective on what we needed to do as a company, as our product, and he’s great at that. And I learned a ton just by watching how he engages with the fans, customers… listens to them, whether he’s doing something to kind of apologize for something that happened or to accelerate something that’s going on or just to applaud something that’s going on. and I take a lot away from my time inside of Peter’s organization and I think he’s been a real good friend of mine and something, like I said, I learn from him even today.
Spencer also talked about the relationship with those that work at competing companies, bringing PlayStation’s VP of Publisher and Developer Relations Adam Boyes as an example.
I was at GDC, and Adam Boyes and I were at the Mojang party and you know, we were having a conversation… It was good. We kinda jab at each other in the press every once in a while, but I think all of us understand that in the art form that we’re in, making great games is really the goal. And if all of us are performing well, we’re just raising the bar generation after generation, year after year, and that’s a good thing for people in this industry.
Interestingly enough, traces of that conversation have been immortalized on Boyes’ and Spencer’s Twitter Accounts as well:
Boyes: Had a great chat with @XboxP3 tonight about games & our industry. What’s awesome about #GDC is it’s about developers & enjoying what we do.
Spencer: Exactly right. Was great to catch up and talk games. But, don’t think I’m ever going to let my request to the t-shirt die…
If you’re wondering about the T-shirt mentioned by Spencer, he worn several T-shirts with logos of indie developers at E3, and Boyes threw a jab at him by sporting a shirt of his own with the “Token Indie Logo” lettering at Gamescom. Spencer replied by saying that he was going to get one of those shirts, and Boyes promised to provide one. That shirt has become a running joke between the two since. Apparently it still hasn’t been delivered.
It’s always nice to hear how those that actually work on our favorite consoles relate with each other in a friendly and mutually respectful way. One thing is for sure: quite a few of our readers and commenters could stand to learn a lot from them. Yes, you know who you are.
(Picture courtesy of Kotaku)