At the Behest of Chief Executive Phil Spencer, Microsoft Will Shift Gears
After years of sidelining first-party video game development, Microsoft Corp is going to refocus efforts on making Xbox exclusive games. The company will do so by creating new development studios or acquiring existing ones, said Phil Spencer. This marks a major shift, considering Microsoft’s track record in recent memory. Because of their hardware focus, canceling first-party game development, and closing studios, the Xbox One has lost sales to the competition.
“We need to grow, and I look forward to doing that,” Spencer said. “Our ability to go create content has to be one of our strengths. We haven’t always invested at the same level. We’ve gone through ups and downs in the investment.”
In the past, Xbox has had no problem wowing fans with their first-party development and innovation. Gears of War and Halo are household names. Several E3’s later and the Xbox One lacks its latest killer franchise. This is probably due to the fact that, as Spencer said, Microsoft has scaled back in the software department. Fortunately, Spencer now reports to CEO Satya Nadella and sits with the rest of senior leadership.
So what does this change of direction ultimately mean? It means Microsoft will start paying more attention to games sales, subscription revenue, and look to expand Xbox Live. And, most importantly, it means we’ll see more first-party games created in the future. As Nadella mentioned, this means “fundamentally rethinking” how the company measures “progress.” Hence, Xbox could see much-needed backing to put it on par with Sony and Nintendo’s software divisions.
The Xbox One X, due for release tomorrow, is expected to increase Microsoft’s revenue this year and the next. From here on, however, it looks like Xbox will be presenting more on the software side. Therefore, expect more news on exclusives, Xbox Live, and new services going forward.