Phil Spencer on exclusivity, monetisation and game development

Some very interesting answers from Phil, these are taken from which are from the article.

Phil Spencer: “So, with the (Xbox Game Pass) growth that we are seeing, I expect we will constantly be in this mode of bringing more creators into the fold.”

“I think what is missing from our portfolio is casual content with a broad appeal. We obviously have Minecraft and we have some other franchises. But when I think about expanding the creative palette that our teams have, I think that is critically important.”

“Teams that can build new franchises, tell new stories, those are always sought after. That’s why I’m excited about projects like Starfield and the next Compulsion game because I like teams that think about new creations.”

Phil states that from all the first-party studio’s currently unannounced games, he’s most excited about the new projects by The Initiative and Compulsion Games. On Compulsion: “Looking at what they’re gonna do next, I love their ability to create new worlds and unique settings.”

“I think the diversity of online multiplayer & single-player, we have to support diversity. If anything I’d like to see more single-player games from our first-party, just because that over time we’ve kind of grown organically to be more multiplayer-driven as an organization.”

The thought of having tons of new IP is really exciting to me, I think they’re going for a shotgun approach of old and new which is going to cater to everyone. I feel like if any of these XGS teams want to pick up an old IP and have a really cool idea on a new game and they go and show Phil/Booty that they’d get the greenlight.

MS now has a crap ton of IP new and old they have access too and any of these studios can tap into them which excites me massively! and all of them going into bloody Game Pass day 1 is nuts.


Absolutely great interview. Recommend everyone to read through it fully.

Makes me more excited than ever about the future of xbox.


So hyped for the future of Xbox

1 Like

Yeah the interview is superb. Loved reading this. He knows what he’s talking about and what he’s doing and the future for Xbox is insanely promising.

And again, it really truly should let people and sites shut up about whether Bethesda games come to other platforms too. He even explains why he can’t go say things like this but when you really read what he says about supporting other platforms its crystal clear that it’s all in the Xbox Ecosystem.


A great interview, which once again shows they are all in on gaming and Game Pass. Love his quote, though it’s a little cheeky and not entirely factual, about not needing more first party launch games. Lol.


Yeah this is just great news for Xbox. If they’re seeing growth on the scale that Phil implies and they have full support from Satya, I think we’re going to be seeing acquisitions on small and large scales for years to come. Bring on my acquisition want list :wink:


There has never been a better time to be part of the Xbox ecosystem.

Great interview.

This really got me:

“In terms of what I want long term. I want those amazing studious to create the best games they ever created. That’s when Todd and I sat down and had a discussion. Todd and I have known each other for years and years, and we talked about this partnership. We looked each other in the eyes and we said, ‘okay, what are we really gonna do here?’ And he said, ‘I wanna build the best games that I’ve ever built and I want the support of Microsoft to be able to do that.’ And I say the same thing about the studios at Arkane and id Software and Machine Games. I want them to do the most amazing work and support them in doing that.”


The turn around from 2013 is insane it’s like a totally different company, it is thanks to Satya and Phil & co. MS is actually serious about Xbox now and you can tell. Imagine going back in a time machine to 2013 and saying to everyone Xbox is giving away all their exclusives for $10 a month, you can now stream your games to your phone and Xbox games on PC, Xbox bought Bethesda and Xbox bought a bunch of new studios. People would call you nuts and there’s no way that would happen in a million years but here we are.

The future of Xbox is BRIGHT which is only a good thing for gaming, all 3 console gaming companies are going to thrive and it’s only a bloody good thing for all of us.



Absolutely, I remember seeing so many threads on Reddit and the purple Era about how much Phil is overrated, and I’d always argue til I was blue in the face (with plenty of examples) of why he deserves the praise. Satya definitely deserves equal praise because we wouldn’t be where we are without he and Phil, it’s really that simple.

Yeah, Phil’s transparency is so welcome in an era where the opposite is the status quo, and his passion and love for Xbox and gaming is even more welcome.


Don’t forget the entire Xbox team too! they’ve all done amazing. This is all their hard work paying off and is a good showcase of why you never give up. After 2013 and most of this entire generation it would’ve been really easy to just give up but they pulled through and kept their head down and now look where we are, talk about saving a sinking ship haha.


Oh absolutely, I don’t operate in a world of zero-sum games where because one is propped up another is taken down. All that to say, I think Matt Booty and everyone at Xbox is instrumental. I just know how much the leadership steers a ship’s direction, and it’s clear that those two put the faith in their people to bring that vision to a reality.

1 Like

Phil and the Xbox leadership team are making all the right decisions. And they told us years ago what they would do with hardware, services and 1st party software and then they executed their plans.

The coming Xbox years will be hard for all haters and doubters.

1 Like

“First of all, I would like to say that we haven’t acquired ZeniMax. We have announced our intention to acquire ZeniMax. It is going through regulatory approval and we don’t see any issues there. We expect early in 2021 the deal will close. But I say that because I want people to know, I’m not sitting down with Todd Howard and Robert Altman and planning their future. Because I’m currently not allowed to do that, that would be illegal. Your question is completely inbound, but I get a lot of questions right now: “is this game exclusive? Is this game exclusive?” And right now, that is not my job in regards to ZeniMax. My job is not to sit down and go through their portfolio and dictate what happens.”

This doesn’t sound like they have a whole lot of control right now. What happens if Bethesda announces new games on PS5 before the deal closes? MS hands would be tied.

Can a Banjo game be that causal E-rated game that Phil said Xbox/Gamepass needs?

1 Like

TBH i wouldn’t worry about this

1 Like



It kinda surprised me because they actively talked about platforms before. Pete Hines said the games will go wherever Phil decides they will go. So that statement above is probably just to cover their asses?

I think he doesn’t want to answer this question directly bc

  1. Avoid any premature backlash

  2. Don’t say anything that may impact/block the transaction when passes by regulatory review

Everyone at Zenimax knows they are gonna become part of Microsoft, maybe they will hold any game announcements for after the deal is approved

or if they annouce before, it’s gonna be Xbox/PC only. Don’t worry


Very interesting interview. Spencer comes off well, humble and respectful of the industry and his competitors. Of course, the entire rest of the internet is too busy losing their minds at this one sentence:

“So, with the growth that we are seeing, I expect we will constantly be in this mode of bringing more creators into the fold.”

And wailing about how the consolidation-based future we’re heading into would never have happened without the Zenimax acquisition :roll_eyes: I’m sure Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Tencent wouldn’t have thought of acquiring a publisher that’s trying to get sold.

To get back on topic, the turnaround that Xbox is undergoing is really something to behold. Kinda wondering if it’ll be used as a case study in business classes.

Yeah, I still think the amount of microscopic inspection that Phil/Zenimax are getting about where games are going is absolutely ridiculous, and shows a clear bias. When did Sony and Insomniac have to answer that same question ad nauseam? It didn’t, nor did it happen when Nintendo purchased Monolith, or any of the acquisitions either publisher completed. I think, as far as what’s legally possible, Phil has been very clear that the games will be and stay in the Xbox ecosystem. Why that question is asked every single interview over the past month is absurd.