• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

How well do you believe Phil Spencer has handled Xbox from 2017-Present?

How well has Phil Spencer handled Xbox?

  • He has been handling it well

    Votes: 243 70.8%
  • He has been handling it poorly

    Votes: 100 29.2%

  • Total voters
    343

Mowcno

Member
In terms of the direction of the company he has done well. But the studios under him have been managed poorly. Other than the Forza studios they are yet to deliver consistent high quality titles and lot of their studios (not the newly acquired ones) need a serious restructuring.
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
I am shocked to see both Jim Ryan and Phil Spencer get such high approval ratings on gaf of all places. And why?
There are lots of biased people here. Some are worse than others at hiding it, and post laughing/empathy reactions instead of showing their ugly shill/fanboy ass in every post and catch a ban, but if you look closely you can see through it all quite easily. It affects everything when it comes to polls and general discussions. Goes for all platforms really. It is what it is.
Just try to be genuine and hopefully it’ll rub off so more stop acting like it’s all a competition.
 

Topher

Gold Member
Voted handled it well primarily due to the successful launch of Xbox Series. Game Pass is also a positive factor. But Xbox still needs more games. I'm hopeful going forward years will be more like 2021 and nothing like 2022 as far as first party games on Xbox. Starfield really needs to be a kickass game next year.
 

SenjutsuSage

Halo TV Series Promoter - Live from: Reach
No answer other than incredibly should be taken as an answer. Xbox now owns Doom and id Software. Xbox now owns Elder Scrolls, Fallout and Starfield and Bethesda Game Studios. Before even touching upon all else they now own from Bethesda, the fact that I can even say such a thing with the monster games Bethesda is known to drop is nothing short of extraordinary.

It's a literal industry game changer, even before factoring in Activision Blizzard.
 

Havoc2049

Member
He’s doing a better job then anyone that’s come before him.
As far as game content for the PC and Xbox, Ed Fries was the best and it's not even close. Phil hasn't even gotten to the level of J. Allard yet. Phil has some heavy hitters in the next 2-3 years, so he may rise to the greatness of Fries and Allard. Kudos to Phil for bringing Microsoft Flight Simulator and Age of Empires back.

Microsoft PC Games Division and Microsoft Game Studios under Fries:
MechWarrior 4, MechCommander 2, MechAssault/MA2, Midtown Madness Series, Flight Simulator '98-Flight Simulator X, StarLancer/Freelancer, Age of Empires/Age of Empires II, Project Gotham Racing/PGR 2, Links Golf '99-'04, Top Spin Tennis, Halo CE/Halo 2, RalliSport Challenge/RSC2, Forza Motorsport and Crimson Skies. He also brought Sega and Tecmo/Team Ninja on board for the launch of the Xbox.
 
Last edited:

DenchDeckard

Gold Member
Hes done everything right...but the most important part is an amazing catalogue of first party IP.

He's got till the end of this gen to deliver on that or he's done for me personally.
 

Pelta88

Member
I definitely know Quantum Break isn't is, because Remedy is not a part of XBox game studios.

Damn...

No we're going to let them have it because it's XBOX owns the publishing rights. I'm interested to see how my question gets answered. From memory, the last new AAA game XB released was QB. I’m hoping I'm wrong here and certain folk aren't calling me outside my name in order to side step the truth.
 
The HW seems to be fine since X One X. Boring boxes might be a bit boring (I like it actually), but they do their job and aren't huge like that white router tower of someone else. His problem is that almost all MS studios seem to not get their games done. Covid or not, it's just slow and MS is once again waiting for games.
Forza seems to be on track, Asobo was an awesome contract work to do FS for them, but all other studios are slow af, slower than many other studios in this anyway slow gen. Almost like they are all what Sony Japan was for Sony. Did Bethesda (incl id), Coalition and Initiative even deliver one game so far? Might have been the same individual problem even if some would not have been acquired, but I guess this management change and big dollar signs might have triggered some feature creep and some think they have to overdeliver now, can take their time, since Ms is paying, instead of just delivering small evolutions? And getting towards proper next gen titles in the process.
 

TurnOneYeti

Member
He's doing great. In terms of market cap, MS is twice as large as Sony and four times larger than Nintendo. If MS thought someone else could do better in the role, he wouldn't be there. There isn't a shortage of extremely talented executives who would kill to work for the second largest tech company in the world.

largest-tech-companies-by-market-cap
 
Last edited:

Hendrick's

Member
Damn...

No we're going to let them have it because it's XBOX owns the publishing rights. I'm interested to see how my question gets answered. From memory, the last new AAA game XB released was QB. I’m hoping I'm wrong here and certain folk aren't calling me outside my name in order to side step the truth.
If you mean new IP, then Sea of Thieves in 2020 unless you count Grounded. Also Ori.
 
Last edited:

Eimran

Member
I've always been a Playstation gamer but I feel he did surprisingly well. It also didn't look easy after the Mess Don 'TV' Mattrick left.

He strongly focused on the gamepass system (even though I prefer physical)
I deeply respect his dedication towards backwards compability

These two factors indirectly also benefited PS gamers since Sony is now forced to go in the same direction.

What I think he could have done better. Exclusive AAA games. With the lack of new interesting IP's and them coming to PC as well. I see no reason to buy an Xbox. Never had a 360 until I bought one last year but I Remember those being the glory days with one good IP after another.
 

Pelta88

Member
If you mean new IP, then Sea of Thieves in 2020 unless you count Grounded. Also Ori.

I asked about new AAA ip. SOT by Rare's own admission is not a AAA game?

Let me @ both Team Andromeda Team Andromeda and Kiraly Kiraly directly since they called me a troll for saying that the last new AAA game I can remember was QB back in 2016. A full 6 years and 5 months ago.

It seems they're trying to detract because I haven't seen them counter my point yet. The silence here is deafening.
 
Last edited:
Not a fan personally

A lot of talk. It seems the subscription service is his saving grace.

As a Xbox guy I look at what has been put out and look at what other platforms are doing, its borderline night and day at times.

Launching without any significant content and relying on your older games playing better as a major narrative to launch your new console says a lot. This year again, not impressed particularly that showcase a few months ago. I don’t think I’ve seen that many first person games at one briefing but that’s more personal taste.

One decent year in Flight Simulator, Psychonauts , Halo and people are smug at the likes of me for doing what I actually want them to do in the first place.

For me the best Xbox was pre Kinect despite RROD. I felt they were more exciting with games and UI features/updates and have never been the same since.

Owning one since launch, Series X to me feels like Xbox One X 1.5.

Each to their own, he’s not for me.
 
I asked about new AAA ip. SOT by Rare's own admission is not a AAA game?

Let me @ both Team Andromeda Team Andromeda and Kiraly Kiraly directly since they called me a troll for saying that the last new AAA game I can remember was QB back in 2016. A full 6 years and 5 months ago.

It seems they're trying to detract because I haven't seen them counter my point yet. The silence here is deafening.
SOT is AAA. 200 people worked on it for 4 years or so.
 
This year? It’s like people forgot how bad the Xbox one gen was…. It’s been like this for years.

Back in 2020 just before Xbox Series X launch I said in a thread that Xbox needs to look into moving on from Phil because he just can’t get the job done and everyone bashed my take but here we are almost 2 year in and it’s still the same thing, just look at how Halo infinite has turned out and the lack of games these Xbox series consoles have had.

But like they say … “next year will be better”
I mean 2021 was good for me, I didn’t have an Xbox one
 
I’m beginning to think it’s like a football team - I can’t blame the manager every time for the poor performance it’s the culture. And the culture at xbox is way too fuckin slow, same with Sony, but Xbox is worse. At least Sony has insomniac who seems to be the only studio that can get anything done in a reasonable time these days that’s high quality
 

Flutta

My tears. Exclusive to gamepass. Forever.
I dont remember a singel game from the time he became the head of Xbox that made me go wow.

What i do remember is him promsing alot year after year with nothing show for.

Well at least he made it easier to rent games 🤷‍♂️
 
I dont remember a singel game from the time he became the head of Xbox that made me go wow.

What i do remember is him promsing alot year after year with nothing show for.

Well at least he made it easier to rent games 🤷‍♂️

I was impressed with Horizon 5 visually, thought it was nice , I got bored quickly tho, different location same game. I like the look of Hellblade 2 and hope to see more at this years VGAs.

The rest, yeah, I can’t remember the last time I saw something from them that got me truly excited. Playground working on Fable may do that.
 

Neo_GAF

Drunken Prophet
he did a great job, but i agree, game exclusive wise, there is not much on the horizon.
i think in general, it is not cool anymore having exclusive deals and i seriously dunno why.

having the best games does also not do a good job: wii u.
despite having great games, the console did not sell well.

iam baffled to see the xbox one turning the tides and even better seeing the xsx selling better then sony.
 
Phil is good cop and a competent guy. Good cop has had some luck but can't really demand anything from third parties and second/first party because they would be empty threats.

Like the time he threatened his relationship Activision, then bought it. His threats mean spending more money to solve a problem. I'd love to be a problem for him.

He spends more money because of that, his only way of negotiating is giving more money, puts up with more delays and is like the father who's like "okay what am I gonna do" with all the shit his kids do. On top of it he behaves like a socialite with adopted kids and wants to adopt even more kids. Only that they're problematic rich kids the kids he's adopting.

If this was the sound of music he'd be Von Trap and need to hire Julie Andrews to sort his shit out. He needs bad cops.
 
Last edited:

Umbasaborne

Member
So far, its been a lot of talk. But some things that have bern great have been the hardware, and the excellent back compat, but they habe struggled to actually release new games
 

Pelta88

Member
SOT is AAA. 200 people worked on it for 4 years or so.

When SOT released with Zero content and received a big backlash, Rare stated it wasn't a AAA game to begin with. I'm not trying to dismiss that the game has improved since launch, but lets not be disingenuous with our statements.

Or do you not remember the release of SOT?
 
Last edited:

Ozzie666

Member
Hardware delivered, probably amazing, close to best you could expect. Great design, models and direction of attacking the Market. Some big acquisitions under his tenure. All that is great, but the games aren't in the same realm as the hardware. Too many studios, too little output. Yes it's coming, eventually. But we need to see these games when released to make a good judgement.

Overall Xbox seems to be healthier, despite what has happened to Master Chief. When/if the games come and if they are good, watch out. Game Pass is all the rage and functioning extremely well for them.
 
When SOT released with Zero content and received a big backlash, Rare stated it wasn't a AAA game to begin with.
Doubt, do you have a source?
I'm not trying to dismiss that the game has improved since launch, but lets not be disingenuous with our statements.

Or do you not remember the release of SOT?
No I don't, I played SOT the first time in 2021. But it's an AAA game by definition when 200 people worked on it over 4 years. What else would it be?
 

Beechos

Member
Even if ms 1st parties cant get their shit together. The bethesda acquistion will more than enough make up for it. You also have the activsion stuff coming too. Im not worried about ms 1st party output.
Once its bethesda/activsion turn in the batting order to release their next scheduled games there might be too many games . In the meantime theres more than enough games from 3rd parties to play.
 

JackMcGunns

Member
I mean, he's taken steps to fix their main problem which is lack of games.

But until we start seeing some of the fruits of those investments Xbox has been kinda shit as far as releasing new AAA games goes.


This right here in a nutshell.

The consensus is that Phil is doing a good job in fixing everything that was broken, but not doing a good job to others becuase "where'z da fruit?"
 

CeeJay

Member
I love the two pronged approach with the S and X.

Console hardware under Spencer has been on point. Build quality; perfect. Noise profile; silent under any load. Heat; minimal.

User interface; fantastic. Customisable, easy to use, easy on the eye.

Games; not great. At all. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is their highest quality exclusive in that time IMO (I’ve not even played it yet, just basing that on Blind Forest). I’d say Ori is on par with the best Nintendo and Sony games. It’s a banger. Gears 5 multiplayer I enjoyed. Good game to be honest. I’m a platformer nut but Psychonauts 2 missed the mark for me. Halo Infinite, absolute joke. Forza Horizon 5 is fun to dick about in.

Game Pass has been good for me. It is great, but I wouldn’t pay £10.99 a month for it. For as long as I can renew for 3 years at £121 (or below) I probably will.

2022 is an absolute disaster.

If I had to score him out of 10 for the last 4 years I’d give him a 10/10 for overall strategic vision, hardware build quality, acquisitions and services but probably a 4/10 for released games. Considering The Initiative, InXile, Ninja Theory, Obsidian and Undead Labs have been on board since 2018 they really should have a smooth release schedule by now and have a lot more to show for it.
To be fair, 4 years since 2018 is only just about at the lower end of the scale for a full dev cycle of an average AA AAA (non sequel). Each studio they bought had a new game on the cusp of release as well meaning their next game was a full cycle away from release. They have all expanded and increased the budget of their games so we are still in the early days for them as a part of the bigger Xbox Studios picture. I know it's the old "just wait until..." territory but with the current line up of studios they can pretty much afford for half of the entire games in production to be cancelled and still have way more content coming out than they did pre 2018. 2022 be damned though!
 

TheGecko

Banned
I was a 360 guy then that joke xb one came out and I moved over to PS4. I then got a PS5 and hated it and especially the controller.

I now have an X in my living room and an S in my retro room. I love what they're doing with the brand so far.
 
Last edited:

CeeJay

Member
Last edited:

levyjl1988

Member
Xbox needs more iconic IPs.

Forza is great but the time limited expiring DLC is a turn off and never got me interested in playing it, it’s pretty but shallow in time investing unless you are a hardcore car enthusiast.

Halo is a dumpster fire at the moment and terribly handled.
MCC is excellent because it was being constantly worked upon until it is in an excellent state, being on steam, less bugs, etc.
But Halo Infinite and Halo TV series just sucks.
FOMO, Challenges that dictates how players play, no ranking oat launch diminished any possibility of growth from the beginning. 343i really fucked this up.

Banjo Kazooie isn’t being touched and was promoted well by Nintendo.

Yeah, okay but not on epic hype levels of interest.
 

Matsuchezz

Member
Xbox sucks I just recently bought a series X. And what a piece of crap user interface. It is bloated, unintuitive and what a drag was to configure it the first time. It sucked. We got game pass ultimate for six months. And the catalogue is trash. The best deal in gaming is cheap and full of cheap games. It looked like a sale bin. Phil “next year” Spencer is a let down. Luckily the xbox is for my brother mostly. He likes MS crap.
 

yurinka

Member
I think he did a better job than the people who was there before him and that since he's there they do a superb work in terms of PR: they know how to spin anything to make them sound good.

I think he also did with their MS Gaming division (formerly known as Xbox) what it's best for this corporation: to move their gaming from Xbox to PC and mobile slowly to don't alienate their fans and after noticing they can't compete against Nitendo and Sony selling consoles and games, to give a twist to their business model to see if they can be market leader in other areas where MS as corporation is also focused and interested: subscriptions and cloud. In this case game subs to rent games instead of buying them and cloud gaming: their own version PlayStation Now or Netflix.

I think he also did a good job refocusing the XBO and later the Series gen, and making strong investments to solve one of the issues they had when compared to Nintendo or Sony: they had a way smaller number of top tier gamedev teams and iconic gaming IPs.

Having said that, I think their bold move of including all their games day one on PC and GP, plus many indies and from time to time some big 3rd party AAA multiplatform, plus to give all the options to get free months of GP or almost free I think it's a good idea to make it grow fast during the early years and it's a long term investment, but also think that it's very unprofitable and that will make even harder to recoup the money from the big acquisitions etc. and I don't see how they will adress it in the long term.

I think that the strategy of growing by big acquisitions is limited, and works now but won't work some years in the future one MS and the other big players will have already aquired the big 3rd party players. In fact, MS already bought the biggest 3rd party player so the other ones they may buy in the future (with Valve as exception, but I assume regulators won't allow MS, Sony or Tencent buy Steam) will have a smaller effect.

I also think that most people around the world won't have capable (not data capped) internet connections to play regularly and with a good enough quality in cloud gaming specially in phones until let's say 10 years from now or maybe more. And that yes, there are supposed to be 3B players but only under 500M, probaly under 300M are interested on the type of games GP includes.

Most players, way over 2B are from mobile and are interested on casual games instead. And well, only a portion of the players interested on the type of games interested on GP are interested on paying on subscription because they mostly only play F2P games. So being very optimistic I think GP could reach a top of 100M subs after many years and big acquisitions, but being realistic I think they'll struggle to pass the 50M mark.

I think Phil did a great job and made many steps in the good direction but I still don't see their end game with their current strategy, I don't see how they plan to turn their gaming business into something profitable. I'm worried that if continues being an unprofitable money sink where they keep investing dozens and dozens of billions they could axe the gaming division.

Regarding their gamedev teams, they now have a lot but still have long periods of times without big 1st party releases. I assume they'll fix it over time, and (as I though last year or the year before) I think next year they will start having minimum a somewhat important 1st party (or 3rd party exclusive) or two per quarter on average or something like that.

I think they have room to improve regarding how they do organize their yearly roadmap of releases, managing to get great 1st party (or 3rd party exclusive) games across the year and every year to ensure their fans have a steady amount of great stuff since to have a few cool indies every month in GP isn't enough for many people. But I'm optimistic with this, I think all they need is time and they'll solve it as all these acquired teams start development their first projects inside MS, then their release date could be included in a more organized roadmap schedule.

Once they achieve that, I think they'll have to figure out a way to achieve periodically the release of iconic, superselling new IPs as Sony does. Because MS has some IPs from themselves like Halo or Forza and acquired more like Minecraft, CoD but over time people will get bored of them so new ones will be needed to replace them. But again, I think they'll achieve it over time.
 
Last edited:

CeeJay

Member
Really well? Uh no. Xbox gamers are throwing fits about 343 and Halo, membership concerns and how series x isn’t that better than the one.
Huh?

Xbox One was less powerful that PS4 and Series X is more powerful than PS5 which makes Xbox the biggest improver. Or are you just disillusioned with the diminishing returns we are generally getting with all gaming hardware these days?
 

Gudji

Member
Barely any great games since he got promoted to Xbox boss with the forza series being the exception (he was already head of xbox studios before that so yikes). The only good thing he brought into the table was gamepass and even that is lackluster for the price they ask for. He managed to release a new generation console with the same UI and controller with very minor updates while the competition offered a proper next-gen experience.

TLDR: taking into account all the backup he got from the MS boss which the previous heads didn't get, I'd say poorly.
 

Kiraly

Member
Xbox sucks I just recently bought a series X. And what a piece of crap user interface. It is bloated, unintuitive and what a drag was to configure it the first time. It sucked. We got game pass ultimate for six months. And the catalogue is trash. The best deal in gaming is cheap and full of cheap games. It looked like a sale bin. Phil “next year” Spencer is a let down. Luckily the xbox is for my brother mostly. He likes MS crap.
Maybe your big brother will allow you to play on his Xbox more after you finish your homework.
 
Top Bottom