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Xbox Boss on Microsoft's fight with the quality of the game and efforts to improve the game



E3 2019 It's time for the biggest show of the year. We have articles, videos, podcasts, and maybe even GIF or two.

Whatever the strengths of the Xbox platform, it has long lagged behind Nintendo and Sony in terms of home, exclusive video games. In his story there were accents and even some ominous games from the past, like last year but the Xbox One era was rough. There were remarkable refusals, disappointing sequels and games that were not delivered, considering how long the fans were expecting.

In recent years there have been hints of an impending turnaround. While Nintendo and Sony have become the game of the year, Legend of Zelda: Wild Breath Super Mario Odyssey Horizon: Zero Dawn and God of War Microsoft delayed its development cycle for Halo Games (and possibly Forza) as well) and nurtured unusual exclusions like Zombie Adventure Strategy State of Day 2 and multiplayer pirate game Sea Of Thieves with long, game-improving support. She also built and bought gaming studios, announcing five such additions last E3, two more in the autumn and adding long-lasting indie-double finesse to the mix this month.

With all this, I spent some time in E3 last week I'm asking Xbox boss Phil Spencer for the platform games. Following is the last part of my E3 interview with Spencer, where we approach the topic from several angles and discuss the conditions for the people who make these games. You can read the two previous parts of the interview here and here.

This is the first year without a new Forza that I can remember. Why? Phil Spencer, Xbox: One of the good things I loved [the E3 2019 Xbox briefing] – at least they would have been more in my head than they would have been in public … were the things that did not we showed up. I think that for the 14 first parties, 12 are shipping next year. We really were able to focus on what is coming now, which I think is great. And then I think about the studio: where was the Initiative? Where is [ Forza Motorsport studio ] Do you have 10? Where was the second Playground team?

It was nice – and this was not always the case with our first party where we had the opportunity not to show everything all the time. In the case of Forza I want the team, just like we did 343 [Industries]. We gave them time – we did what, four Halos in four years – we gave them an opportunity to really think and have creative influence when they started. Tilt 10 is similar. I want to give them time to consider their plans. I love what they do with Motorsport but you should be able to listen to your studios when they need time and want to focus on more stuff. And since you have more content, you can do so.

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Totilo: In 2007, when you were the head of the gaming portfolio, younger Spencer told Stephen Tottillo, it is important to choose games that matter. We will focus on fewer games and make sure these games are stars when they come out. "For a long time, I really looked at the first part of Microsoft and I saw a consistently high level of quality and, frankly, I feel over the last few years it has dropped a bit. I'm looking at the operations on the first sides of all the platforms and I see many rivals in the Nintendo and Sony game and I would say, no doubt, looking at you the last few years, Forza Horizon ] stands out, but not so Crackdown Not so much Halo 5 – which I think many people think the campaign is weaker than others. Gears 4 was solid but was not honest "the best Gears ever."

So you have a good taste in games, you play a lot of games, I do not know if you see it the way I see it, but do you see that there was a challenge in terms of creating I think the quality of the first party is very important, so I'm totally with you there. We have arrived at our first party, where the number of games and studios we actually had and invested put much pressure on everything we did. And it became harder to manage a portfolio when it needed everything at all times to hit the date it had chosen three years ago at a very high level of quality.

The support that we have been Entering us now and over the last few years has allowed us to invest in our first party, to add eight new studios and really create a place for us to focus on quality. I feel good about what Rod [Fergusson] has done [in Gears Coalition studio] what did Bonnie Halo studio 343 Industries] made with Turn 10, and what Elena [Chiang] did with Minecraft .

Tottillo: You are talking about what you know where you go with games I have not played yet …

Spencer: Yes, even and in the past, Rod was building a studio with the Coalition and Bonnie, spending his time Main Collection on a computer. It's not about whether all the studios are great or not. I think what I see now with Matt Booty is the first party and the number of studios we have and the number of games in development is: I do not think I have to declare things at the wrong time to win some rating somewhere. I feel like I can give teams the time they need to get the right creative positions to build the game they want to build. And when things take longer, we can afford to make sure we give the time to things.

The other thing I would add as [Xbox subscription service] Game Pass continues to grow, this is an interesting way to look at all of my dynamics: "What does it mean to engage customers with this game?" is a good example. At the start I read all the same reviews as everyone else was, "Where is the other half of the game?" But I would also say that this is a game where what is today would not be what it is if we had just waited another year and kept it for itself. This is a game that is literally created with community feedback and how you handle it through the traditional lens of how people think about what gameplay launcher is interesting for all of us. “/>

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Totilo: There is a lot of talk and we've done a lot of work reports in video games and what game developers are going to make a good game. What are your expectations from the people who work under you and make games as to the extent to which they need or should not crawl, what is it fair to ask your employees … do you have instructions?

Spencer: Yes. Yesterday, it was my 31st anniversary at Microsoft when I first came in as a trainee. The reason I say is that we want to create an environment in which people can have a career, which means they feel fulfilled and rewarded with the work they do that has career development. But the balance of work-life balance is crucial, and I would use this word because I do not know if there is an equation: Okay, are you the moment you are, and you are waiting at that time? But when you think about the number of hours people work when you think of a sustainable career, in which I say, "I see how I do it for 20 years," we spend a lot of time studying the culture we have in an organization. Because not only how many hours I work. It's, 'Do I feel I'm working in an environment where I can be real I? Where can I do my best job? "All of these things are critical.

We are a very verbal group. We communicate a tone with ourselves, sometimes communication comes out and people wonder what's going on. But I love the fact that we have communication with ourselves about what it means to work there and work in our environment? So, with Matt and all studio executives, we are very focused on creating a sustainable environment so people feel as if they are investing in the company. What they are returning, feel they get a good return from it, and that we create a sustainable workload that they can wear for years and years. Spencer: Do you know I was asked for this and I always answer and I feel stupid Do you think it would be useful if the game developers in the way I answer, but honestly I do not have – I am not any kind of expert on an alliance. I've been working at Microsoft since I was 20 years old. So I do not know. I do not hear that inside. But I'm honest. When I'm with my teams, that …

Totoly: Can not you hear the desire?

Spencer: No. The things I get are: I, I want to make sure I can do my best work here. I want to make sure I have the right tools. I want to make sure that I have a suitable working environment. I want to make sure I have more space. "These are the things we work on. And I see it. You report this. Other people report this.

Totyllo: Yes, you do not want the story Kitaku for one of your studios, right? Spencer: Ami ..

Tottillo: We Have not Planned

Spencer: that this is an easy way to do it. And I think we have the environment we can. And this is not a conversation that I hear inside our halls. And as I said, I do not claim to be an expert in what it means to work in a union … so if you ask me: "Do I think that will make things better or not?" I do not know frankly.

I feel the things we focus on make us a great place to work – we do monthly questions and answers where I face the whole organization and people can ask for something – these open forums of communication really look critical for us, building the right culture for our teams internally. We always listen to what we can do to make our teams more productive.

Tottillo: Want to tell people all the exciting

] Spencer: [laughs] I love that Fable came to [Xbox One backwards compatibility]. I want to make sure that when we talk about future things, whether or not Fable or not, the team feels very solid about what they are doing. I'll go back to … I can go through my warriors. Marvel MMO. Anyone remind us to announce Marvel's MMO? We did not even have a team that signed MMO.

Totilo: Whoops.

Xbox PR rep: We do not have to list the list

Spencer: [laughs] I'm honest. Performing a studio organization and ensuring that we are talking about games at the right time when we know what we are trying to create – I do not comment specifically on ; it's about everything in the portfolio – that we know what we're trying to build, that we have good visibility about the quality we're shooting on, and some idea of ​​when it comes out.

I know they call me to be too conservative and keep too much back. But something I love in our show [at E3] was 60 games and the first party games – I can tell you when everyone has been delivered, and I can play these games, most of them here, and I can move them and make promises . And yes, Halo is one of those games, but Halo is somewhat spiritual in its association with the Xbox and the fact that they come out simultaneously [as the new Xbox Scarlett] to emphasize. And I love that people are interested in the franchises we had in the past.


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