GameSpot: Phil Spencer Is Exactly Who You Think He Is

harSon

Member
Oct 30, 2017
3,047
This doesn't happen to anyone other than Xbox/Phil. Like at best Reggie had some fun memes and there is/was no one at Playstation with even remotely the same status as Phil. Jack Tretton sure as well wasn't that well liked for much of his tenure and the rest are probably all just as nice as Phil.
You're going to sit here with a straight face and suggest that people like Shuhei Yoshida, Kaz Hirai, Iwata before his passing, Mark Cerny, Reggie before his retirement, etc. aren't propped up by their respective company's consumers? This stuff has been happening forever. It's been a while since Microsoft has had someone genuinely likable within this roll, but the same thing happened with Peter Moore. Yes, a lot of the time it gets a bit ridiculous, as is the case with gaming fandom in general, but most of the time it's in good fun.
 

the_id

Member
Oct 25, 2017
409
I really didn't know much about him apart from his Microsoft E3 conferences which I always made me feel he came across as fake. But now i realise its because of the scrip and artificial nature of that conference. Reading this, this guy comes across as genuine about games in general and sure hope Microsoft listens to what he says.
 

Temascos

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,395
I'm always a bit cautious when it comes to powerful executives in any industry, but Phil Spencer has struck me as a pretty legit guy who at least cares about the success of his team. While he's been at Xbox for a long time, the shift to becoming the big guy in charge of it has been much better for the company than someone like Don Mattrick. There's been a gradual change in the culture of Xbox and while we won't see the fruits of it for the rest of this generation, next generation is sure to be a better one for them as they become more focused but also allowing teams to operate in their own way.

Spencer needed to turn around Xbox, and he's laid the groundwork to do exactly that. It's no small task and while I'm not an Xbox fan usually I hope they do well :)
 

Ricky Ricardo

Member
Oct 26, 2017
587
Atlanta, GA
So much salt in this thread
Every single Phil Spencer thread can be broken down like this:

Phil is a fake and a fraud who speaks and doesn't deliver.
Phil is a cool dude and I'm glad he's leading Xbox.
Phil was responsible for Xbox's 1st party output between 20XX and 20XX and all those games have sucked!
Phil's made good progress in mending the Xbox brand, but he still has some distance to cover.
Phil Spencer fans are such cringe-inducing sheep.
PR man gonna PR!
Phil's done an OK job, but since there's no God of War (2018) analog on Xbox, it's all meaningless to me.
Phil killed my grandmother and ran over both my feet. I hope he burns in hell.

At this point, we need a bingo card.
 

Theorry

Member
Oct 27, 2017
19,644
I really didn't know much about him apart from his Microsoft E3 conferences which I always made me feel he came across as fake. But now i realise its because of the scrip and artificial nature of that conference. Reading this, this guy comes across as genuine about games in general and sure hope Microsoft listens to what he says.
I recommend watching the Giantbomb interviews with him at every E3. Its always a great watch for a hour about Xbox but also gaming in general.
 

jviggy43

Member
Oct 28, 2017
13,464
There's a difference in value between a drive by statement suggesting that good moves by Xbox are simply "Microsoft doing their job," and an in-depth exposé detailing the person whose potentially steering a division currently in the gutters back to relevancy. The latter is legitimately interesting, news worthy, and not overtly obvious given that Xbox has been an underachieving afterthought for sometime now - whereas the former objectively goes without saying.
We entirely agree.
 

Aaron D.

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,611
I recommend watching the Giantbomb interviews with him at every E3. Its always a great watch for a hour about Xbox but also gaming in general.
Yeah, Jeff & Phil have a really good chemistry where they both bring relaxed attitudes coupled with decades of industry knowledge to the table.

It's quite entertaining in a, "two guys hanging out shootin' the s**t" and pretty informative on top of that.

Disappointing to see, 'Positive dude with positive message.' being met with cynicism and jeers though. With seemingly every industry story being toxic af (loot boxes, crunch, GG, harassment, etc.), you'd think an actual positive one would be a welcome change of pace.

But I guess system warz gonna system warz.
 

Spyder_Monkey

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,021
You're going to sit here with a straight face and suggest that people like Shuhei Yoshida, Kaz Hirai, Iwata before his passing, Mark Cerny, Reggie before his retirement, etc. aren't propped up by their respective company's consumers? This stuff has been happening forever. It's been a while since Microsoft has had someone genuinely likable within this roll, but the same thing happened with Peter Moore. Yes, a lot of the time it gets a bit ridiculous, as is the case with gaming fandom in general, but most of the time it's in good fun.
And at least in the case of Mark Cerny he was directly involved with the PS4? How many people even know who was the lead on the Xbox One or the BC program? There's so many people who've turned Xbox around why aren't they given more of the time of day?

And that basically underlines my problem. There's so many people who have been doing a great job at Xbox but no one knows who they are because the focus is on Phil and because of that you can see why Phil will be called a "cult of personality". And that's how he's treated differently, he's the only person at Xbox who anybody either knows of and by extension we treat that person as the sole person running the company which is objectively untrue. There's nothing wrong with Phil, but we don't talk about other companies like one man is behind it all.
 

JDSpades

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,503
And at least in the case of Mark Cerny he was directly involved with the PS4? How many people even know who was the lead on the Xbox One or the BC program? There's so many people who've turned Xbox around why aren't they given more of the time of day?

And that basically underlines my problem. There's so many people who have been doing a great job at Xbox but no one knows who they are because the focus is on Phil and because of that you can see why Phil will be called a "cult of personality". And that's how he's treated differently, he's the only person at Xbox who anybody either knows of and by extension we treat that person as the sole person running the company which is objectively untrue. There's nothing wrong with Phil, but we don't talk about other companies like one man is behind it all.
How many people do you think worked in the PS4 besides Cerny? How many can you name?
 

Yerffej

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,838
Every once in awhile this place reminds me of the old place. This is one of those times.
 

Spyder_Monkey

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,021
Come on, Cerny is like, the sole person who gets credit for designing the PS4 and PS5.

Do you think anyone on this site really, truly believes Phil is the only person in a leadership position at Xbox?
Considering that all the media coverage and discussion on Xbox comes back to Phil to the eyes of many he might as well be and that's the problem.
 

Akronis

Lizard Daddy
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,560
yeah, it's like people are just flabbergasted at the existence of a positive threads and it's up to everyone to justify its existence. it's super obnoxious.
I've noticed that this place is just an absolute negativity vacuum and it's really hard to browse reading this shit day after day
 

Verchod

Member
Oct 27, 2017
110
I don't care what he's like really. I do know I buy less games on Xbox than I did 17 years ago.
 
Jun 22, 2018
1,084
Nice write up. I really like reading these deep dives into people who lead this industry.

Phil Spencer sounds like a genuinely great guy who is legitimately trying to build a very gamer friendly brand. I appreciate that.
 

Aaron D.

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,611
I've noticed that this place is just an absolute negativity vacuum and it's really hard to browse reading this shit day after day
There's a lot of good going on here, but yeah I tend to agree.

I make liberal use of the Ignore Thread function myself. I've got enough stress in my life outside these boards where I don't need to compound it while perusing hobbyist forums.
 

mazi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
22,268
Considering that all the media coverage and discussion on Xbox comes back to Phil to the eyes of many he might as well be and that's the problem.
there is no problem. any sensible person knows the person who's the face of a project or company isn't literally the only person who's making everything happen. it's not practical or realistic to have everyone involved to give interviews tho, that's just how it works in every industry.
 

harSon

Member
Oct 30, 2017
3,047
And at least in the case of Mark Cerny he was directly involved with the PS4? How many people even know who was the lead on the Xbox One or the BC program? There's so many people who've turned Xbox around why aren't they given more of the time of day?

And that basically underlines my problem. There's so many people who have been doing a great job at Xbox but no one knows who they are because the focus is on Phil and because of that you can see why Phil will be called a "cult of personality". And that's how he's treated differently, he's the only person at Xbox who anybody either knows of and by extension we treat that person as the sole person running the company which is objectively untrue. There's nothing wrong with Phil, but we don't talk about other companies like one man is behind it all.
Mark Cerny is an outlier though. It's not common for your console architect to be a forward facing game developer as well, so putting him in front of the camera and on stage is a unique opportunity that most platform holders don't have. He's clearly not the only person responsible for making Sony's hardware what it is today, but he's consistently pushed as the X-factor. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just a byproduct of marketing and PR since he's intimately involved and good at talking about it.

As for Microsoft, since Xbox One X, Microsoft has routinely been giving a voice to the people behind its hardware (Xbox One X and the Next Generation Xbox) and software (Backwards Compatibility) at its Press Conferences. It has been a core of their presentations for sometime now.

It's not like Phil Spencer is the only person being pushed, I seem to recall someone named Matt Booty at Microsoft being pushed into the limelight.
 

Servbot24

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
17,982
What a solid bro. He's really one of us. *high five*

(I like him just fine... just need to finally see some payoff in the form of actual video games :P)
 

Akronis

Lizard Daddy
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,560
There's a lot of good going on here, but yeah I tend to agree.

I make liberal use of the Ignore Thread function myself. I've got enough stress in my life outside these boards where I don't need to compound it while perusing hobbyist forums.
it's just the level of snark and condescending attitudes on here that gets me sometimes, I just want some of these threads to not devolve into shit like platform warring
 

Kyoufu

Member
Oct 26, 2017
10,328
Not paying attention to Xbox lately have you?
Well, Xbox is still lacking in games so not sure what you mean.

Was there an indication that it wasn't?

A PS Exec said "Are you pulling it?"

Phil said: "No"
"People like playing it on PlayStation"

It's worded to make it sound like a good guy Phil kind of decision rather than the obvious business decision. Shrug.

Don't worry, I think Phil Spencer is awesome too.
 

SilverX

Member
Jan 21, 2018
2,786
.... Are you serious? Nearly every major game (Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Call of Duty, etc.) had timed exclusive content on Xbox 360. In some cases, like with Tomb Raider Underworld, the DLC was permanently exclusive and the PS3 version was left incomplete.

Then there were a ton of third party games that released a year or more later on PS3, but I'm not sure how many publishers were open about timed exclusivity deals for games during that period out of fear of it harming sales. I know that even when Tales of Vesperia got a PS3 version later on, it was inexplicably never localized despite there being a vocal demand.

But MS definitely went wild paying to secure content away from PlayStation, timed or completely. Hell the timed GTA DLC was $50 million alone.
 

MP!

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,650
Las Vegas
For his part, Schafer was initially skeptical of the acquisition. Firstly, it wasn't something that he'd been thinking about. Secondly, he was worried about potentially putting Double Fine's identity at risk. "Like, do we all change our emails to Microsoft emails and paint all the walls green?" he told me. What ultimately changed his mind was a phone call to the folks at Ninja Theory, who told him that Microsoft's insistence on letting first-party studios just keep doing what they wanted with minimal interference was true. "They said, ‘We are still who we are. They're letting us make the kind of games we want to make.' And that was a huge thing for me. I could see how it makes sense--it makes sense not to have them convert us to making Forza DLC or something."
this is a pretty big deal...
For a while it seemed like Microsoft was interfering with every project and messing it up... .. if this is true then maybe the acquisitions will pay off for them and work out in the end.
They need it. haha
 

Browser

Member
Apr 13, 2019
251
Yeah I dont really like articles that try to romanticize executives, any executives, but videogame, music and movie execs more so. They must love these tings, sure, but they dont get to that level by being fans. For most, becoming fans of the art comes later. They need to be business oriented first. If you get to love the product you are selling, hey, great. Im so glad Myamoto never became CEO of Nintendo or anything like that, for example.