Xbox head Phil Spencer recently appeared on the Talking Games With Reggie and Harold podcast with former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé and author/journalist Harold Goldberg.
In a question regarding the biggest challenge he's faced during his career, Spencer highlighted the period when he took on the Head of Xbox job in 2014 as a proud, but tough time:
"The most challenging for me is when I actually did take this job, and just the emotion of the team at that time, when I took the Head of Xbox job five [sic] years ago. And frankly, just from our product standpoint we were in a pretty tough spot both competitively as well as kind of the foundation that we had to build on. The team had lost trust in the leadership - not just individuals, I don't want to make it about people - it was really just the leadership capability and the commitment of the company to this category and our decision-making, and rebuilding that inside the company was important and takes time."
Spencer went on to talk about how he finds patience a challenge, admitting "you want things to fast-forward, you want to be able to fix things faster, you want to be able to launch things faster." And again, he referred back to the difficulties of managing through that difficult period when he took the job six years ago:
"I had people who were visibly emotional. They would come up - 'are we doing the wrong thing?' with tears in their eyes, because this is the kind of industry that we work in. That was a challenge. Again, going back, I wasn't really trained to manage through that, but getting the team back on the belief side, getting them to believe in themselves and where we were going was a good challenge, but it was definitely the biggest challenge I've had in my career."
What do make of Phil Spencer's comments? Give us your thoughts down below.
In Phil we trust.
I like Phil he comes across as a smart, articulate and at times humble guy and he certainly knows his stuff...I came late into the current gen of Xbox(had a 360 and OG Xbox on day one but was only earlier this year I got a one X)so I'm really looking forward to being there with Phil at the start of his first full gen in charge of xbox
Phil has seriously turned around things for Xbox. It was in a bad place after the X1 launched, and he helped make it a viable console.
I can't wait for a brand new generation with Phil... and us right from the start
Phil's the reason Xbox has a future. And a promising one at that.
"'are we doing the wrong thing?' with tears in their eyes"
if you're the kind of leader that can take people who are struggling to this degree, and turn the company around to where they believe in a vision and a future, then that says a lot about you, and a lot about the employees who believed in their work to care that much.
I'm so happy to support Xbox for how they have grown beyond the early years of the XB1 and where they are going in the future.
Xbox was a sinking ship when he took over and whilst it hasn't completely recovered from a sales standpoint I do feel that they are in a very strong position going into the next generation
IF some other guy took the lead and went wrong way xbox could have been gone by now.
I feel like Phil knew if he failed that the "failure of Xbox" would be pinned on him directly. He took a smart approach for the most part. They didnt build Rome in a day kind of thinking. If he can get their 1st party studios back on track. Release a killer Halo (5 was trash sorry. Mp was great though), release a killer FABLE and let the new acquisitions (Double Fine etc.) take some risks and create some new IPs they should be good. The online structure has basically always been sound, Gamepass is a great feature and the communication is pretty good. Killer games Phil. I think he knows this
If you’d have told me in early 2014 that the Xbox One would surpass 50m sales, I would have laughed. It’s not a juggernaut by any means, but Phil has done so much good and really turned the brand around. Xbox’s brightest days are ahead.
Hats of to Phil. He's done an incredible job of turning things around. The Back Compat program, Game Pass, Xbox One X - things have only moved from strength to strength.
However, the one thing Xbox is seriously lacking are great exclusives. When you look at the biggest and best games of the generation, quite a few of them are PlayStation only, games like Bloodborne, Uncharted 4, Horizon and God Of War to name but a few. Plus, there's the imminent arrival of The Last Of Us - Part 2 and Ghost Of Tsushima, both of which I'd wager will be up there with the generation's best.
Xbox simply hasn't been able compete with the sheer breadth and depth of Sony's line-up. Sure, no racer has been better than the Forza Horizon series this gen, but other than that I don't think there have been any genuine "system sellers" on Xbox One. Microsoft have got the Xbox brand back on track with Phil, so now they need to wow us with new IP, something totally original that can't be easily categorised as just another shooter or another racer, or revitalise existing brands in creative ways. They've got the studios now, they just need the games.
@TimG13 Hi there. "Microsoft have got the Xbox brand back on track with Phil, so now they need to wow us with new IP" This. So much this. It´s exactly what Xbox needs. Brand new IPs that are interesting and somewhat different from the established xbox franchises. This is why, as a gamer who loves games, I´m very interested in the PS5 reveal and Xbox first party titles reveal that is going to happen in the coming months. In these trying times, we need some good news. Cheers, stay safe and happy gaming to us all.
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