Phil Spencer Regrets “Sugar-Coating” Xbox One Controversy
In an interview with Spike TV’s Geoff Keighely at SXSW yesterday, Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios, discussed a few of his and Microsoft’s missteps with the Xbox One launch and press events. While he regrets his previous falters, he reiterates that the core goal was to”…really delight consumers and build a great product that millions and millions of people would love.”
“I look at last summer and that wasn’t a highpoint for me, coming out of the announcement of Xbox One and E3, where I thought our messaging around what we believed in was confused.”
Spencer is most likely referring to the extreme backlash that drenched the Xbox One reveal in negativity. Fans did not take kindly to an always-online console that did not allow for trading in games or borrowing games from a friend. Spencer and his team only seemed to be continually making the situation worse with bad press and bad damage control, but Microsoft has since turned the tables and made the Xbox One a mild success.
“I learned a ton last summer as leader of our groups about being true to your core vision about what a product is, not being confusing, and frankly, when you’re going to say something to a consumer that might put them off, it’s better to just be direct and honest, rather than trying to sugar-coat something that might be controversial.
“I’d rather deal with the controversy of what we’re doing, and have an above-table conversation about that topic, rather than trying to sugar-coat it with some other news. And again, my interactions over the last six months, and I really think the interactions of [Xbox chief marketing and strategy officer Yusuf Mehdi] and [Xbox corporate vice president Marc Whitten] and other members of the leadership team – we’re meaning to build on what we learned last summer, and just build on who we are as people.”
You can see highlights of the full interview in the video below.
Has Phil Spencer made up for the many faults of the companies’ past, or is he just trying to save face? Let us know in the comments.