Phil Spencer Talks About Giving First-Party Teams Extra Time to Make Quality Games
Xbox Head Phil Spencer speaks on the future of first-party Xbox and how the studios are benefiting from each other.
For the entirety of the Xbox One’s life cycle, one of the most common criticisms of Microsoft has been the lack of first-party games. Even for the ones that did exist were seen as underwhelming. In a new interview with Kotaku, Phil Spencer talks about the direction he and the rest of the Xbox team are moving forward with first-party games.
Kotaku asks Spencer how Xbox is going to make quality games again especially because in recent years a lot of the Game of the Year contenders have been first-party games from Sony or Nintendo. Spencer replies about how different things are now with the acquisition of eight new studios in the past two years after the recent acquisition of Double Fine.
“…it became more difficult to manage a portfolio when you kind of needed everything at any point to hit the date that it had picked three years ahead of time at the very high level of quality.
The support that we’re getting now and we’ve had over the last couple of years has allowed us to invest in our first-party, adding eight new studios and really create room for us to focus on quality.”
Later in the interview, Spencer spoke on how with there being so many games in development now through first-party studios they can give teams the time they need to make the game they want.
“I think what I see now with Matt Booty running first party and the number of studios that we have and the number of games in development is: I don’t feel that I need to announce things at a wrong time in order to win some rating system somewhere.
I feel like I can give teams the time they need in order to get the right creative positions in place so they’re building the game that they want to build. And when things require more time, we can afford to make sure that we’re giving things the right amount of time.”
Another important topic that Spencer discussed was, naturally, Xbox Game Pass. It is already a huge success and now the service is on PC. But he discusses specifically Sea of Thieves and how he sees the game as a success due to its launch on Game Pass and how the service helped the game for the better.
“At launch, and I read all the same feedback everybody else did, was: ‘Where’s the other half of the game?’ But I would also say it’s a game where what it is today wouldn’t be what it is if we had just waited another year and kept it to ourselves.”
As an Xbox gamer primarily myself, it is exciting to know that Phil is allowing their teams to take as much time as they need to make their games how they envisioned it. Xbox was criticized at E3 for announcing a lot of first-party games but hardly any of them are coming out this year. This is the first year that there isn’t even a new Forza title coming out since the beginning of the Xbox One’s launch. Seeing these changes being made brings me more hope and more excitement for what Xbox is going to bring to the next generation of consoles.
Regardless of your opinion of Xbox this generation, there is no doubt that the platform is moving in the right direction and it will interesting to see what they have in store for us next year with Project Scarlett.