Xbox’s Phil Spencer Clarifies Statement on Releasing First-Party Games on Other Platforms

An article on the Wall Street Journal prompted many to believe that Microsoft might publish more games on PS4, but Phil Spencer just slammed on the brakes.

on November 6, 2017 1:08 PM

Microsoft already publishes Minecraft on multiple platforms, including Sony’s PS4, Nintendo’s Switch and mobile handsets. That being said, Minecraft was a special case, as its multiplatform nature was already established before the house of Xbox acquired Mojang.

Yet, an interview with Xbox Division Head and Executive Vice President of Games Phil Spencer published earlier today on the Wall Street Journal seemed to imply that the same model could be applied to future games.

“Microsoft in September promoted Xbox chief Phil Spencer to executive vice president, reporting directly to Chief Executive Satya Nadella rather than Windows chief Terry Myerson.

In an interview, Mr. Spencer said his new role is designed, in part, to give him more latitude to reach gamers on any device, rather than using “gaming to make Windows more successful.”

That means, one day, more Microsoft first-party games could appear on other platforms, he said, such as Apple Inc.’s iPhones or perhaps even Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 4, as its building game “Minecraft” does.

Mr. Spencer acknowledged console sales are important, but said Microsoft is more focused on growing game software and services. He said the company measures the success of its gaming business by revealing the number of people who use its online service Xbox Live, for example.”

While many interpreted the statement as an opening to the idea of seeing Microsoft’s first-party games on PS4, the wording and punctuation are odd. In particular, it’s not certain whether the mention of Sony’s console comes directly from Spencer himself, or it’s a misleading interpretation of his words by the WSJ’s reporter.

That being said, Spencer made sure to clarify the statement on Twitter.

It appears that Spencer was simply talking about Minecraft, and at the moment there are no plans to extend that model to further games. It remains to be seen whether Spencer was talking hypothetically about a possible far-future scenario, or his statement was simply misinterpreted or misreported by the Wall Street Journal.

That being said, there you have it. If you want to play Halo, you’re still going to need an Xbox One or a PC.

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.