Microsoft Studios chief Phil Spencer takes over Xbox division

Phil Spencer, Microsoft's new Xbox chief

Microsoft has tapped Phil Spencer the new Head of Xbox. In his new role, Spencer will oversee all Xbox-related projects, including Microsoft Studios, along with Xbox Live, Music, and Video. A 25-year Microsoft veteran, Spencer has led Microsoft Game Studios since 2008. Spencer says he will use what he has learned, particularly over the last year with the launch of the Xbox One, to build a great team around the Xbox brand. According to his post on Xbox Wire:

This past year has been a growth experience both for me and for the entire Xbox team. We’ve taken feedback, made our products better and renewed our focus on what is most important, our customer. Our mission is to build a world-class team, work hard to meet the high expectations of a passionate fan base, create the best games and entertainment and drive technical innovation. As we continue forward, this renewed focus and mission will be a foundational part of how I lead the Xbox program.

Do you think Phil Spencer is a good choice to head up the Xbox division? Let us know below in the comments.

Source: Xbox Wire


Reader comments

Microsoft Studios chief Phil Spencer takes over Xbox division


They seem to b doing the opposite by shutting down AOEO this Summer, and they completely abandoned development more than a year ago.

They also been promising WSOP Full House for over a year for the PC, but since the promise in Jan 2013 still nothing, just more empty promises.

It's not possible to screw up more than Microoft has screwed up with PC gaming; this pretty much all started with the assholes that shut down Ensemble and fired so many talented PC game developers, MS should rot in hell for this.


Yeah AOE and AOM were really good for their time AOE III I didn't like admittedly, however this new guy looks like just as big of a douche as Dan Matrix the man responsible for my ignoring this console generation.

Interesting... It says that Phil will oversee all Xbox related projects...
Will someone please add WPXBL to this guys list of duties❔

Really? So record breaking sales = sinking ship? Not sure what planet you are on, but despite some bad PR, Xbox is doing extremely well.

Eventually, anyone that considers themselves gamers will own both anyway. I bought my One day one, and will buy PS4 later this year. Who gives 2 $h*tz who sold more the first 4 months? They're BOTH selling extremely well.

I don't think MSFT justification for the botched launch is going to be: "we're the 2nd choice of gamers".

all people on this website are from a different planet altogether who beleive MS is the only God and everything else is piece of $hit... so you have to expect these comments...


ok well, that may be, and who's fault is that? microsoft. hence my remark about this new executive taking on what may very well be a dommed ship.

we've all heard it, the rummors that xbox will be sold off. a business that is doing great doesn't have this sort of cloud over it.

Yeah, we've been hearing Microsoft as a whole is a doomed ship for the past decade already. So what else is new.

That's just another f**k up from Microsoft. Xbox one is expected to start selling in many markets almost a year after PS4!

In the world of competition. Yes, I realize the Zune HD was the best selling zune, compared to other zunes. The fact the XB1 beat the 360, which by all measures was helped by

1) being cheaper

2) being out a year earlier

is great. Except off course that the XB1 isn't competing against the 360, it is competing against the PS4 which:

1) it is cheaper

2) has sold more.

just facts.

Itr is not destroying the ONE but it may be leading in sales but why not, its available in more countries so it should. Your comment is typical Fanboism.

LOL,  SONY fanbois are everywhere!  If memory serves me, didnt the PS3 outsell the 360 in the beginning as well?  And I believe the 360 has since BLOWN the PS3 out of the race for most popular console....so meh....in the end the XBO will do the same thing! 

I also agree, most gamers will have more than one console, I believe this was the case with the PS3 & 360 since, at the time, it was cheaper to buy a PS3 with its blu-ray player than it was to buy a stand alone BLU-RAY player! So considering how much of an impact that truely had on the PS3 sales compared to these two NEW consoles, it wouldnt surprise me at all if less people have buy both consoles than before!

In any event, I think the company that comes back to support their devices as being a true MEDIA EXTENDER so you once again may watch your owned content like you can today with both the 360 and PS3, may gain a huge advantage!

I own an XB1 and I'm just facing reality. Sony is winning and that doesn't make anybody who admits to that fact a Sony fanboy.

Yup, just be sure to mention ALL of the facts. Like the number of countries each console has been released in and how close sales numbers actually are for ps4 vs xb1.

even if sony has more countries, this speaks to their better strategy over MSFT's. Listen you can argue that sony sells more because they are in more places and this isn't MSFT fault. Yes this IS microsoft's fault because they should be there too.

I don't understand why you're being so defensive. I'm not arguing with you, nor am I discussing fault. Even though there are experiences MS wants with Kinect and want the system to work in other regions as far as voice goes (a problem Sony doesn't really have), they should definitely speed up and release the console in additional regions. All I asked is that, since you're bringing up facts, you state all of the facts.

Just because one is selling more doesn't mean the other is a sinking ship. A "botched" release would be opening in nearly every market and not having enough units (PS4). Xbox One released in 13 and now 14 with Japan compared to PS4 in 35+ and we are in close second. Sure PS is "winning", but only for now it seems.

Microsoft made more money from the Xbox than Sony did from the Playstation, so your point of "it's a doomed ship" is pretty ridiculous, no matter how many times you (wrongly) claim "its the reality"

"past success does not guarantee future resuls". the PS4 is changing the outcome and it seems sony will be on top this time in both profit and volume. yes, great that MSFT made some money. But they better start keeping up or it ill be sony that makes with most of it this time around.

That's a very silly way of looking at things. Only fanboys' look at pieces of plastic, metal and silicon and imagine "winning" against another, similar "thing." Why does it matter to you unless the X1 doesn't get the games you want? I'll eventually own both for the exclusives on each console. Im more than happy with my Xbox One.

For the record, the Xbox One is selling very well and will only grow more competitive.

It's good they're successful with PS4 because at the rate they have jettisoned businesses and employees, they're looking more and more like a "doomed ship". Maybe they'll not actually sink but just turn from a ship to a dinghy.

360 came out way before the ps3, not sure how the ps3 would have sold more initially. That being said, while Xbox did dominate the US, the ps3 actually led in global sales.

Interesting point there. By facts you are correct, currently Sony has sold (and is selling) more PS4's then the Xbox One. However, when did the number of units sold for ANY consumer product based on the competition, dictate its eventual outcome? I ask this question, based on a slew of evidence that works against this notion; that Sony has this console race/war already locked up. Take a look at something like Toyota. They sell more Camry's than any other midsize sedan out. Would that make the like of Kia's Optima sedan, dead in the water? Or to take your example, a sinking Titanic? Their numbers are GREATLY behind that of their competition, yet still they continue to strive and manufacturer vehicles. Maybe the auto industry, isn't the greatest example (if your not a car guy like me), but apply that same train of thought to any product that's being outsold by another product. Coke to Pepsi. Mcdonalds to Burger King. KFC to Popeyes. Windows to Mac. Should all these devices, products just close their doors because a certain competitor has sold more units? That's a ridiculous line of thought. Its more ridiculous when we apply it to a console "war". Never in the history of videogames has the numbers mattered (maybe for Sega, but they had bigger issues). Nintendo isn't selling Wii U, they barely sold GameCubes, but their still here. Successful too. Microsoft messing up their launch, has hurt some initial enthusiasm for their console, but that is subsiding. The games are what matter. I own every console out and the XBox One and Wii U see most of the action. But, for another person it could be the opposite and another could not like any console all together. Point is, you can stare at numbers and say, "Look, look! The PS4 just moved another 500,000 units, Xbox is DONE!" You would have missed the whole point of longevity. Even if Sony stretched they gap to 10 million units this year and 7 years from now both consoles are at, 30 million to 40 million, units sold, we are gonna sit around and exclaim Xbox having lost a generation? Of what? Money, revenue is flowing in. Of all the companies MS is in much better position than Sony. Both Sony and MS will succeed and there will be no clear cut "winner". People are still arguing about whether the PS3 sold more than the 360 and its been 8 YEARS! Put it to rest and enjoy your system. None of this matters, your chasing empty dreams. If you would rather have a console or product with more numbers associated with it, then by all means go buy a PS2 (it has the highest numbers), then you can brag about how your console gas sold over 100 million units.

Sinking ship? Which company is experiencing layoffs and people leaving left and right? Oh, that would be Sony. Get off your fan boy horse. The sales aren't that much apart. Plus it seems now the real value would be the Xbox at $449 including the Kinect and a game. Price that out for a ps4 it would be roughly $530?

So Phil brah, please fix the Xbox music app, give it every feature Zune had and allow personal collection storage to Onedrive and hit submit, kthx.

It's just one of those "can't put my finger on it" things. He might be a great guy,he might not, I don't know, I've never met him. 

I don't see how you can, in one breath, claim to not like someone. Then in the next admit you don't know him and that he might be a great guy. The logic just doesn't compute

Excellent choice. Whitten was older, with more of a technological background, where Spencer has been with the games division from the start. We will see more exclusive games and content, UI more accessible to gaming, and just a better general sense of Xbox and gaming. Both the CEO (in his company letter) and Spencer noted gaming as the core focus. Until now, "games and entertainment" has been the Xbox slogan. Hopefully this new title means actual change. Love Xbox One, hungry for more games.

Yup. Closed pretty much all the first party developer studios. When they realized they needed a killer app for Xbox One and had no one left to make one they broke out the checkbook to lock up Titanfall.

no but he has to live with those bad decisions:

1) underpowered hardware with a messy ES-RAM bottleneck as opposed to the clean PS4 architecture.

2) perception that the XB1 isn't an full HD capable console.

3) basically needs to play a defensive game to win gamers back after sony's fantastic PR completely outsmarted redmond.

I suppose the good news, if any, is that 4K gaming will push for new consoles faster than otherwise would have happened, and this allows the XB1 to go away into history faster and for this new executive to fix Don's console: by killing it.

Don't forget all the microtransactions. Mattrick had them on his mind. He had even tried buying Zynga and left the company to go there. The Xbox One launch games were gross with trying to spend more money in aF2P model even though we paid full price for them.

If there is one head of XBL that I sorely miss, it's Shane Kim. I'm not surprised that Spencer has been chosen and I wish him well. I wonder if Sony/Atari honcho Phil Harrison will take Spencer's old role. I will admit it: I never knew Phil Harrison joined Microsoft.

Microsoft Games Studios, as it was known then, was better under Shane Kim. Lately, Microsoft Studios has been more interested in shuttering their first-part developers and pushing sequels to the handful of hits they have.

First things first Mr. Spencer.  Make a VR headset to compete with Occulus.  Make it so that the kinect tracks the device and can be used as an audio controller when you have the device attached.  Everyone will be scrambling for games, you can too.  I would put in virtual vacations with it so that people can see places from around the world in the comfort of their own living room. 


Glad there's an Xbox head honcho again but I haven't been impressed with Microsoft Studios under Spencer.