Spencer to me: "I love the Forza 5 and Halo stats...I love how many people played Psychonauts 2 vs. Psychonauts 1. "So, when I look at the teams, when Todd and I talk about Starfield, it's: 'How do we make sure this is the most-played Todd Howard game ever?'"
(Bear in mind Todd's team made Skyrim) He continued: "As a platform, I think we have a lot to do with that. Quality of the title is number one, no doubt about that...
"But that will be success for me for the individual games: Can we really make these games–can we allow them to reach more players than they've ever seen before? And I say that because I believe in the social impact of interactive entertainment."
Since we were talking in the wake of the Microsoft-buying-Activision announcement, I wondered: Meaning, make Call of Duty and World of Warcraft even more popular? Like, how??
Spencer: "Yeah, I want more people to be playing WoW in five years that are playing today. I want more people to be playing Call of Duty in five years, more people to be playing Candy Crush in five years, because we've made it more accessible to more people."
How can Todd's next game reach more people if you're skipping a key platform? I asked him this.
I asked about whether Microsoft's policies in general could really be as generous as he makes them sound, because there are catches, no?
"Well, that specific question of, 'Hey, there's only one place that I want to play games. And if that game doesn't end up on the one place that I want to play that has its own business requirements for me as a creator…those people can go play those games...
...They're just going to say, I'm choosing not to, because it's not on the one device that has its specific [trails off]. So I get that."
Phil's answer seems really strange, he completely dodges the question. It's a good question, btw. How is CoD and Bethesda going to reach a larger audience without being (potentially) on a huge platform that has significantly larger marketshare than Xbox?