Xbox boss Phil Spencer has acknowledged that Microsoft’s investment in the area of first-party games has not been consistent over the years. Speaking to Bloomberg, Spencer, who is known for his candid remarks, said Microsoft is open to acquiring studios and/or starting new ones as part of an effort to beef up the production of exclusives.
“We need to grow, and I look forward to doing that,” Spencer explained. “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.”
Microsoft has faced some level of criticism in the area of exclusives of late. In recent years, Microsoft shuttered esteemed developer Lionhead and canceled its Xbox One and PC game Fable Legends. Microsoft also canceled another exclusive, the dragon game Scalebound that was in development at Bayonetta studio Platinum Games.
Earlier this year, Spencer said the cancellation of Fable Legends and Scalebound may ultimately be a good thing because it will give Microsoft the ability and opportunity to “do some new and interesting things.” To do that, some tough choices had to be made.
“That meant we had to stop doing some other things in order to create room for that. And that’s just kind of the nature of running a business,” Spencer said. “One of the things that I wanted to do when I came into this job … one of the things was our first-party and how I thought about needing to–this is an unfair word, but I’ll say ‘rework’ our first-party. Regretfully, that meant certain things that we were doing, I thought we needed to do something different. It meant getting back to what I think is a core and building from that.”
Xbox executive Shannon Loftis, who is the general manager of the first-party games team, said recently that Microsoft’s lineup of exclusives for 2017 is solid. Not only that, but Loftis teased that Microsoft has more game announcements coming next year.
Microsoft’s new console, the Xbox One X, goes on sale in just a matter of hours, on November 7 worldwide. GameSpot’s Xbox One X review called the system a “more future-proof Xbox for 4K and HDR.”