Xbox critics have regularly argued that Xbox doesn’t have enough games, and Microsoft’s own CEO of gaming appears to be in agreement. Speaking to IGN in a new interview on the heels of last week’s Developer Direct showcase, Phil Spencer mentioned that Xbox could have had a better 2022, taking blame for what was evidently a lack of great and steady releases on Xbox last year. That said, the executive teased that 2023 should be much better thanks to the availability of highly anticipated titles that include Starfield, Bethesda’s upcoming space-faring RPG.
From an IGN interview:
IGN: How much pressure was Xbox under to establish positive momentum for 2023 coming off 2022, where there weren’t a lot of releases?
Phil Spencer: I think it’s a little different internally, because we obviously know that we have a Developer Direct, we know what content we’re building, we know already what we’re we’re going to be doing in June in our showcase. But our commitment to our fans is that we need to have a steady release of great games that people can play on our platform, and we didn’t do enough of that in 2022, there’s no doubt. And fundamentally, that’s on me. I’m the head of the business.
The commitment we have to our customers to continue to deliver great games is something that I take seriously, the teams take seriously, and 2022 was too light on games. So we’re excited about getting to roll into 2023, have the Developer Direct. I felt really good about the games that we were showing. And then also knowing that Starfield is a game that we’d be able to highlight in its own show and then just start off 2023 with good momentum, and like you said, I think we needed that.
Elsewhere in the interview, Spencer touched on 343 Industries, which remains “critically important to the success” of Halo despite Microsoft having laid of what has reported to have been a significant number of its employees.
What we’re doing now is we want to make sure that leadership team is set up with the flexibility to build the plan that they need to go build. And Halo will remain critically important to what Xbox is doing, and 343 is critically important to the success of Halo.
In terms of support studios and other things, that’s just part of development and having other partners help us. But the heart and soul of Halo is with 343 and the team that’s there, and I have the utmost confidence in the team that’s there and leading and the plan that they have going forward.