On Monday, March 31, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced in an email to Microsoft employees that Phil Spencer, formerly Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Studios, has been promoted to take on the new role as “Head of Xbox”. With his promotion, Spencer will be combining the Xbox and Xbox Live development teams with the Microsoft Studios team. Spencer will now be leading the teams for Xbox, Xbox Live, Xbox Music and Xbox Video as one group. He will also be reporting to Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Operating Systems.
“Combining these teams will strengthen the connection between some of the world’s most innovative creators and those building the Xbox itself,” Spencer said in a statement posted on Xbox Wire. “I am incredibly proud of the talented Xbox employees around the world and believe, like they do, in the power of technology to bring games and entertainment to life across console, PC, tablet and mobile devices. It’s been a remarkable year for Xbox and I am honored to lead the team at this incredible time for Microsoft and the games industry.”
“You will hear much more as we head into E3, but we are at the beginning of an incredible new chapter for Xbox and I can’t wait for the days and years ahead. This is going to be fun,” he added.
Speaking with Kotaku, Spencer expressed his support for core gamers, saying that Microsoft’s gaming focus will be lead with the company’s Xbox One, and it will also be as thinking about Windows' other Microsoft platforms, making sure that “gaming shows up as a real catalyst for those platforms' growth as well.”
"Xbox One is our most important gaming asset to date. [We want to] make sure we're completely focused on that gaming customer, that core gaming fan," Spencer said. "Making sure of that, that's what I'm going to bring to this position is a focus on gaming for Xbox One. The entertainment features that we have on Xbox One are important, but those can't come at a cost for what we do for the core gamer."
Spencer also stated that PC will be a top priority for Microsoft, admitting that the company can do a better job at providing for the platform by applying experiences learned from the Xbox consoles.
“I've said publicly a few times that our focus on PC gaming is strong right now... Frankly, a key to me moving into Terry Myerson's team, who runs the platform software team for the whole company, is to make sure we have gaming in his leadership team, so when we're focused on Windows--the future of Windows, what we're doing with Windows Phone--that we think about the success that we've built with Xbox in gaming and make sure we learn from that.
The PC, obviously, is a top priority for us as a company. Gaming on PC is incredibly strong, but we as a platform company can do a better job in that ecosystem and those are conversations Terry and I are having almost daily about that focus."