Since Don Mattrick left Microsoft in 2013 to join Zynga, there has been a leadership void in the Xbox division. That all changed today, new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced in an email to employees that Phil Spencer, former Vice President of Microsoft Game Studios, will now be the head of Xbox. His role will combine the Xbox and Xbox Live development teams as well as Microsoft Games Studios under one banner. Phil will lead the Xbox, Xbox Live, Xbox Music and Xbox Video teams, and Microsoft Studios.
In a letter to Xbox fans on Xbox Wire, Spencer wrote “Combining these teams will strengthen the connection between some of the world’s most innovative creators and those building the Xbox itself. I am incredibly proud of the talented Xbox employees around the world and believe, like they do, in the power of technology to bring games and entertainment to life across console, PC, tablet and mobile devices. It’s been a remarkable year for Xbox and I am honored to lead the team at this incredible time for Microsoft and the games industry.”
Spencer is a well respected member of Microsoft, being with the company for over 25 years. He was named General Manager of Microsoft Games Studios, and has only ascended from there. During that time, and especially during this period of doubt and negative public opinion toward Xbox, Spencer has been seen as someone who understands what gamers actually want. In an interview today with GameInformer, Spencer said “My goal, first and foremost, is to make sure that everybody understands that Xbox is a gaming brand and it’s going to be gaming first.”
The unificiation of the divisions will allow Microsoft to have a “tight feedback loop”, between gamers, the Xbox team at Microsoft and the developers. Laughing, Spencer told Polygon that the biggest request from gamers is to release a new Shenume game. While that may not be in the plans, he did emphasis the incredibly strong lineup Microsoft is teasing for E3, as well as some form of development from Japan. Could this be Microsoft’s rumored Platinum Games exclusive? We don’t know, but I’m sure we’ll find out in the future.
In the mean time, we here at The League of Mediocre Gamers want to wish Phil Spencer all the best in this new leadership position. He is one of the best men for the job.
by, Bobby Marquardt