Phil Spencer: The Gaming Industry Needs More Black Leaders

As a black guy working in IT (and the only black guy working at that office), Phil Spencer is not wrong.

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A lot of game industry hires is just nepotism.

It’d be nice to see. Sarah Bond is doing incredible work at Xbox and sometimes her work goes unsung among our praises for Uncle Phil and Matt Booty. So, shoutout to Sarah Bond and I’m excited to see MS get more diverse.

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That would be very welcoming because you can tell when certain projects aren’t made by black people or a people of colour. Would be cool if Microsoft can start pushing indie projects made by black creators. Also would be nice if they start working on this initiative internally

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Diversity got a lot better over the years at microsoft, just watch some Build coverage from 10 years ago. But still a lot of work to do, especially for the xbox division.

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Is there many black developers in general?
I always thought Microsoft was pretty good, with diversity, well with people we see in front of the camera at least :slight_smile:
I do hate that people on another site, have tried claiming Phil Spencer is a used car salesman, and trying to stir up drama.
It’s really quite sad.



Also I would love to see Rukizzal return to xbox, loved his hosting and community manager work he did for Killer Instinct :)!

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Same here and I wholeheartedly agree

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Huge shout out to Sarah Bond! She’s killing it!

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She really is, and she’s always felt as genuine and transparent to me in interviews as Phil. Xbox in general is a pretty damn diverse place compared to much of the industry (I’d say Microsoft in general is, and it’s better for it).

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Awesome article and I’m glad Phil acknowledged this.

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Phil really is one of the greats in the industry. He understands that gamers, and the people that bring gaming to the heights that it should be, aren’t just white dudes. New stories and experiences require new perspectives, and when the industry is better when those voices get a say in the creation process at the very least.

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Diversity in general is a problem on the whole. And it isn’t just African descent people but the others too ie Asian, South American etc.

There just isn’t many of them high up the chain.

Then again just look at Google and MS CEOs

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Completely agree, basically (and I say this as a white dude) white men are disproportionately represented in positions of power. Every other ethnicity has people of equal or greater capabilities to fit in those positions, they just didn’t have the systemic privilege that white dudes have in general. When we can destroy that system, a more equal society can prevail.

To your comment, it’s awesome seeing Satya at the top of Microsoft and even at the lab I work, our Director is from Southern India and it’s an incredible contrast to the rest of leadership, in a lot of beneficial ways.

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Personally, I’d love to see more game studios outside the current strongholds of North America, Europe and Japan.

I’m sure there are a lot of stories to be told within games, and I’m curious to see what a funded development studio in places like the Caribbean, South America, India and Africa (Nigeria/South Africa?) could come up with. If Netflix is any indication then the creative is there.

I’m sure there are plenty of reasons why this hasn’t happened yet (some obvious, some not?), but still, I remain curious.

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I’m sorry but comments like this usually come from a certain group that ignores the systemic racism inherent in countries like the USA that inherently provides the majority of white America with massive advantages over that of our BIPoC brothers and sisters. I, as a white dude, am and always have been for efforts to bolster those groups because they have so many roadblocks place in their way. Ignoring those aspects and the myriad of white people who’ve failed upwards because of inherent biases or who were able to receive better systems and education because of systemic racism is the only thing perpetuating a system that allows for those distinctions.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” - Edmund Burke.

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Diversity in itself is also a quality businesses should try to achieve. Their customers are diverse, their devs should be diversy to identify business opportunities and shortcomings better.

Also imagine you are in a typical software dev office where all workers are dudes. Then comes this genius woman who could really elevate the team, but she leaves after a couple of months because the environment is just unbearable and a different employer has a better diverse workforce. This wouldn’t have happened if recruiting would do their job. And this is not a fictive story, this happens in software development all the time.

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Sorry, I disagree.

Its bonkers that black people work in industries, but have no representation within the leadership of those industries, or sports even. Football in England is a great example. Loads of black players playing professional football, but not one black person in power within the FA or Premier League.

Looking at the games industry, I find it disappointing at the likes of Frontier and Playground Games hardly have any black (or non-white) developers, based on team photos and for Playground, the photos within their twitter feed when announcing new hires.

You say ‘Diversity hires for the sake of diversity hires are not good’ - how would companies know when they aren’t giving black people a chance? There’s a reason, as a black developer, I don’t mention the colour of my skin on my CV, because I’m sure half the interviews I’ve been to wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

And when someone else mentioned the topic of diversity in a recent Teams chat at my company, well, that chat ended, very quickly.

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Most none white countries are not interested in the gaming industry, that’s why we don’t see many none white developers.

India is, MS are working on bringing xCloud there:

There’s also loads of MVP Asian developers at MS and I’ve worked with some of them.

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And you’re intentionally ignoring all of the inherent bias that hiring staff have as well as all of the systemic racism faced be people of color to even be able to get a foot in the door.

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