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How Xbox fans inspired a fan-centric culture at Microsoft

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Wedzi

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Penned by Yusuf Mehdi so take the article as you will.

We're heading into one of my favorite times of the year. Over the next couple of months, we'll finalize our plans for our E3 2017 briefing. As rehearsals begin and we see all the major announcements come to life, there's an air of excitement and anticipation that fills the room that's built around one common feeling: ‘We can't wait to see how our fans are going to react'. That's why I love attending E3 every year. It's one of the opportunities I get to really interact with our fans, and experience the amazing energy and passion they bring to everything to do with Xbox and gaming. Xbox fans really are the standard by which we measure fan-centricity at Microsoft.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-xbox-fans-inspired-fan-centric-culture-microsoft-yusuf-mehdi

With Xbox now having their conference on Sunday and the rumors of Xbox Fan Fest being potentially a lot larger this year it'll be interesting to see what kind of conference Microsoft puts on this year.

More choice quotes:

My learning is that you cannot create fans, you have to earn them. As our team has embarked on the journey to build a fan-centric culture at Microsoft, I have learned so much about how to focus our efforts.

About the initial reveal.
With our initial announcement of Xbox One and our desire to deliver breakthroughs in gaming and entertainment, the team made a few key decisions regarding connectivity requirements and how games would be purchased that didn't land well with fans. While the intent was good – we imagined a new set of benefits such as easier roaming, family sharing and new ways to try and buy games, we didn't deliver what our fans wanted. We heard their feedback, and while it required great technical work, we changed Xbox One to work the same way as Xbox 360 for how our customers could play, share, lend, and resell games. This experience was such a powerful reminder that we must always do the right thing for our customers, and since we've made that commitment to our Xbox fans, we've never looked back.

About fan reaction.
In our own experience with Xbox, it was the E3 2015 announcement of Xbox Backwards Compatibility and Xbox Play Anywhere features that elicited some of the biggest cheers from our fans. You hope to get such cheers from a new release of a game like Halo, but to get this kind of reaction for Xbox Backwards Compatibility reminded me yet again how delivering on the things that your fans really value trumps all. In this case it wasn't a great new game that we wanted to sell, rather it was recognizing the value and investment our fans had made in their game library on the Xbox 360 and enabling them to bring it forward that was the delight.
 

Bsigg12

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Apr 9, 2012
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Conference is on Sunday morning.

A link to the LinkedIn post would be great as well.

Read it yesterday, it's nice to see Microsoft has finally recognized where they failed in 2012 and 2013 with the Xbox One and are making fan reactions/feesback a huge focus. Hopefully they keep building.

If I eye rolled any harder I'd be a Mass Effect Andromeda character.

This is a fucking awful post especially since the article isn't linked.
 

Wedzi

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Jan 19, 2016
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Conference is on Sunday morning.

A link to the LinkedIn post would be great as well.

Read it yesterday, it's nice to see Microsoft has finally recognized where they failed in 2012 and 2013 with the Xbox One and are making fan focus a huge focus. Hopefully they keep building.

Sorry about the link lol and yeah I mixed up MS and EA. It's going to be weird having three extra days of conferences before the show actually starts this year.
 

Stopdoor

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Dec 19, 2012
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Such amazing insights about "earning" fans, like "Do right", "Make exceptional products", "Create connection" (?), and "Surprise and delight customers". What a change this will inspire in Microsoft.
 

Maledict

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Maybe they should stop paying attention to some of their fans actually - it's does Microsoft absolutely no good inviting people like Crapgamer to their shows and events.

Speaking of lunatics, whatever happened to MrXMedia?
 

UraMallas

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Such amazing insights about "earning" fans, like "Do right", "Make exceptional products", "Create connection" (?), and "Surprise and delight customers". What a change this will inspire in Microsoft.

It's a LinkedIn article. The corporate speak, while annoying, is understandable. It's not an interview with Gamepro.
 

Crayon

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There is something to this. Look at how... "engaged" we are with phil spencer on here. and it's not just xbox fans. Like everyone get's in on it. Or aaron greenburg tweets or whatever. I've been critical of them for it sometimes because to me it seems like inciting fanboys but that's really just one way to look at it.

In a sense they sort of offer this unique thing. You be a fan and phil spencer will tweet you and chat with you.

It's been a partially formed thought for me so I find the article interesting. More than just pr puff.
 
May 16, 2012
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That was a good write-up. Yusuf and Microsoft have come a long way it seems. It wasn't too long ago when that man was on stage saying "TV, TV, TV." They've done a complete 180 on that and are now focusing on games, which is exactly what the fans want out of that console. Getting rid of Kinect was also a step in the right direction. They still have a lot of work to do in the first party department so that remains to be seen. Looking forward to seeing what they have in store for E3.
 

PdotMichael

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Feb 9, 2011
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Yeah, will never forget the excitement when the internet explorer was announced for Xbox a few years back.
 

Ushay

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Just finished reading it, wasn't expecting that kind of humility from Yousuf of all people. He always came off as a typical Exec type.

Interesting blog, nevertheless.
 

Wedzi

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Jan 19, 2016
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Maybe they should stop paying attention to some of their fans actually - it's does Microsoft absolutely no good inviting people like Crapgamer to their shows and events.

Speaking of lunatics, whatever happened to MrXMedia?

Are you telling me what Alex Jones is to Trump, Crapgamer/Timdog are to Phil Spencer?

Just imagining Phil watching Crapgamer, nodding his head, and tweeting right after lol (albeit not at 4:00am). Maybe that's where he got the Xbox One is the best Xbox generation line. "Just heard from a substantial source Xbox One is the greatest generation ever! WOW! Lying media and their fake review scores for Recore! Sad!"
 

UraMallas

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Are you telling me what Alex Jones is to Trump, Crapgamer/Timdog are to Phil Spencer?

Just imagining Phil watching Crapgamer, nodding his head, and tweeting right after lol (albeit not at 4:00am). Maybe that's where he got the Xbox One is the best Xbox generation line. "Just heard from a substantial source Xbox One is the greatest generation ever! WOW! Lying media and their fake review scores for Recore! Sad!"

OMG. I am going to run with this for a few weeks. I love it.
 
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Scorpio is an opportunity for Microsoft relaunch the Xbox One and reboot the entire Xbox brand, really. If they're smart they'll treat it as such and not just give it the mild push Sony gave the Pro.
 

ATOMICJORGE

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That's bullshit. Office fans get hype as fuck.

Word 4 Life!

 
Apr 1, 2013
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Maybe they should stop paying attention to some of their fans actually - it's does Microsoft absolutely no good inviting people like Crapgamer to their shows and events.

Speaking of lunatics, whatever happened to MrXMedia?

I was going to ask whether people like him or Tim Dog get invited to these kind of events. Those are the kind of fans (in the literal fanatic sense) who are damaging to the brand IMO.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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I was going to ask whether people like him or Tim Dog get invited to these kind of events. Those are the kind of fans (in the literal fanatic sense) who are damaging to the brand IMO.

The sad thing is I think the Xbox team knows and actively wants these people. Seamus Blackley was on a podcast with Timdogg just recently, current Xbox team members regularly pick out tweets from Timdogg and CrapGamer to respond to.

I think they problem is they know that these people represent a not insignificant portion of what the fanbase is actually like and therefore can't ignore them because of the harm it would do to the business.
 

LordRaptor

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Aug 20, 2015
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With E3 open to the public this year maybe they'll pull that oprah stunt again but with scorpios. Its not influence peddling journalists when its not journalists getting freebies!
 

jaybe00

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Apr 27, 2016
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More accurately, "how getting our ass handed to us by Sony made us actually listen to gamers and do some changes with limited investment"
 

Wedzi

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Jan 19, 2016
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Good read and he mentions the mistakes of 2013. You guys should read the entire post.

Went back and added some more quotes. The one about the reveal is important since Yusuf was front and center for it.
 

JlNX

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I was going to ask whether people like him or Tim Dog get invited to these kind of events. Those are the kind of fans (in the literal fanatic sense) who are damaging to the brand IMO.

If I remember correctly Phil blocked and condemned crapgamer and mooch. Still replies to Tim Dog who really isn't that bad at all and he is followed by a large group of the xbox audience. Actually I think Tim after one of the xbox "fans" got harassed in real life by some playstation "fans" started a lot of the hardcore playstation and xbox fans following and talking to each other in a friendly way. It's strange seeing kratos (giant playstation fanboy) and Tim dog talking together in a friendly manner. But no matter how much you may hate the views of a fan of your brand their criticism and feedback is just as valid as anyone else's.
 

sn00zer

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Scorpio and all further Xbox consoles will act as PCS and run any PC game. Since the system hardware is closed Pc developers will be able to give their games 'Xbox console' default video settibgs.

I am making this up but it's the only way I see them moving forward.
 
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