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Microsoft Closes Numerous Bethesda Studios including Tango Gameworks (Hi-fi Rush) and Arkane Austin (Prey, Redfall)

3-days ban | Dismissive rhetoric, disingenuous comparison
How this would be worse then what is now is beyond me, but okay. Btw. are these problems not exclusive for teams and studios Microsoft bought in the last couple of years, with 343 Industries and Turn 10 was it the same. And with Perfect Dark and Playgrounds Fable there are two more examples of this.

It is not some "Microsoft/Spencer wants to give them freedom!"-BS, it is just bad management after all. Exactly as it was with Redfall. Spin it like u will.
Redfall, Turn 10, and 343 are completely different situations.

The current Phil Spencer hate is the most immature and unrealistic nonsense I have ever seen in the video game industry. It's worse than console warring or game gate and people are showing their true colors.

People think you just need to be a good manager and every game will turn out perfectly and that the gigantic Xbox company just needs a good leader and Bob's your uncle.

It's extremely difficult to run a games business, there are countless companies that litter the ground, including giants like Google, or legends like Sega. This is a brutal industry where only a slight handful make it. Nintendo and Sony have deep expertise running for decades and have franchises to rely on. Xbox managed to penetrate the business and build one of the best consoles ever with the Xbox 360. It was a miracle.

But the Xbox One essentially destroyed Xbox. We don't know 5% of the issues Spencer and his team face, and the amount of armchair generals right now that are sitting on twitter and boards, pretending they understand the situation, "it's just a manager issue", is completely absurd. I shouldn't have to say that.

Tell me, what would you do with Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin? how would you plan to make money off those studios?
 
The current Phil Spencer hate is the most immature and unrealistic nonsense I have ever seen in the video game industry. It's worse than console warring or game gate and people are showing their true colors.

It’s not any more immature than the hate any other CEO gets for laying off thousands of developers and closing multiple game studios. If anything the games media is still handling Phil Spencer with kid gloves

Microsoft is in a lot better of a position financially then Embracer and they are essentially walking the same road
 
Former PR manager at Microsoft, Brad Hilderman

Yeah this corroborates that opinion piece I posted earlier. The ABK deal was massive and now games such as Hi-Fi Rush are no longer good enough considering the opportunity cost. Xbox brings in more revenue than Windows now, I believe, so of course Microsoft themselves will be watching closely now. You’re stuck between a rock and a hard place with COD.
 
It’s not any more immature than the hate any other CEO gets for laying off thousands of developers and closing multiple game studios. If anything the games media is still handling phil spencer with kid gloves

Microsoft is in a lot better of a position financially then Embracer and they are essentially walking the same road

For reference, many vocal people in the industry advocated for Iwata to be fire over the failure of the Wii U even after he and management took a haircut.

And people told Jim Ryan not to let the door hit him on the way out after Sony did their layoffs and studio closures since everyone blamed him for the failed GAAS.
 
Redfall, Turn 10, and 343 are completely different situations.

The current Phil Spencer hate is the most immature and unrealistic nonsense I have ever seen in the video game industry. It's worse than console warring or game gate and people are showing their true colors.

People think you just need to be a good manager and every game will turn out perfectly and that the gigantic Xbox company just needs a good leader and Bob's your uncle.

It's extremely difficult to run a games business, there are countless companies that litter the ground, including giants like Google, or legends like Sega. This is a brutal industry where only a slight handful make it. Nintendo and Sony have deep expertise running for decades and have franchises to rely on. Xbox managed to penetrate the business and build one of the best consoles ever with the Xbox 360. It was a miracle.

But the Xbox One essentially destroyed Xbox. We don't know 5% of the issues Spencer and his team face, and the amount of armchair generals right now that are sitting on twitter and boards, pretending they understand the situation, "it's just a manager issue", is completely absurd. I shouldn't have to say that.

Tell me, what would you do with Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin? how would you plan to make money off those studios?
Phil Spencer gets plenty of praise when things are going well for Xbox. He should also get the blame when his strategies don't pay off. Since starting the acquisition spree in 2018, Spencer has spoken on numerous occasions about the hands-off approach Xbox takes to management. However, it's clear that Spencer and his team don't know what to do when a game starts running into problems. That type of management is supposed to be part of the first-party pipeline. At the end of the day, the blame should fall on his shoulders.

Also, Nate Drake mentioned on Resetera that HiFi Rush was profitable, so I would make money off that studio by simply getting them to develop a sequel to HiFi Rush and releasing it everywhere. As for Arkane Austin, it was reported that they pitched a return to the Dishonored universe. I believe that could have performed quite well with a multiplat release, especially on Steam.
 
Capcom should be making lots of calls, I think the Tango team would be a good fit based on library.
 
For reference, many vocal people in the industry advocated for Iwata to be fire over the failure of the Wii U even after he and management took a haircut.

And people told Jim Ryan not to let the door hit him on the way out after Sony did their layoffs and studio closures since everyone blamed him for the failed GAAS.
Yeah, people forget it now because after Iwata's death he became deified. But when he lived he was incredibly controversial for the blue ocean strategy and Wii U bomb.
 
It’s not any more immature than the hate any other CEO gets for laying off thousands of developers and closing multiple game studios. If anything the games media is still handling Phil Spencer with kid gloves

Microsoft is in a lot better of a position financially then Embracer and they are essentially walking the same road

If you are gonna criticize specific layoffs, you have to first judge the situation that led to it. Most of the layoffs aren't happening for fun, it's to make the sure the entire bulk doesn't go down. The problem lately is not CEOs who "want" to lay people off, it's a business that is too expensive and takes too long to build products for, so when products fail, you have to change or die.

It means nothing what financial position Microsoft is in, they have budgets and plans, like anyone else, and need to conform to those plans to be viable long-term. It feels like people expect Microsoft to throw a few hundred million left and right to keep producing games that won't make them any money.

Phil Spencer gets plenty of praise when things are going well for Xbox. He should also get the blame when his strategies don't pay off. Since starting the acquisition spree in 2018, Spencer has spoken on numerous occasions about the hands-off approach Xbox takes to management. However, it's clear that Spencer and his team don't know what to do when a game starts running into problems. That type of management is supposed to be part of the first-party pipeline. At the end of the day, the blame should fall on his shoulders.

Also, Nate Drake mentioned on Resetera that HiFi Rush was profitable, so I would make money off that studio by simply getting them to develop a sequel to HiFi Rush and releasing it everywhere. As for Arkane Austin, it was reported that they pitched a return to the Dishonored universe. I believe that could have performed quite well with a multiplat release, especially on Steam.

Phil Spencer has been a punching bag for a while, ever since that Redfall interview last year. Exactly what and how the hands-off approach is and how it works, is beyond us. I agree that something is clearly wrong, and Xbox seems to have been too nice for too long.

The blame is falling on his shoulders, but there is a difference between blame and hate, and right now, it's hate. In general, social media criticism leads to widespread hate and attacks. It happened with Todd Howard too. The same people who claim that they care about the workers are the same people trying to kick dead horses for fun.

People say things on internet boards all the time, it's not worth stating. Even if some random bloke was right, making money and being lucrative is a different thing. Hi-Fi Rush is not a lucrative game, and games like Dishonore or Prey is a no-go. They are too expensive and have struggled too much to bet on.

You need something new and fresh with potential. This is a serious business, you eat what you kill. You don't play games with vast budgets that take 4-5 years to bear fruit.

Actually yes, you need to be a good manager, let's not forget that Phil has been the head of Xbox for 10 years now.

If the situation is tough, being a good manager means nothing. You can be as good as a captain as you want, but if you are on the Titanic you are still going down.
 
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Nintendo prioritizes the organic growth of its developers and franchises while Microsoft buys everything. For example, Epic Games sold the Gears of War series to Microsoft because it was too costly to maintain. Now, look at where Epic Games is today with Fortnite and where the Gears of War franchise stands.

Sony spent 3.7 billion $ to buy Bungie, but what are they getting for that? Destiny 2 is past its peak and there's no guarantee that Marathon will succeed. On the other hand, Helldivers 2 is a big success despite its "low" development costs.
Destiny 2 is still a highly played shooter, and the upcoming expansions look promising. Anyway to make a final judgment on Bungie acquisition I would wait until next year when Marathon comes out. If Marathon is a hit, Bungie's purchase will be worth every penny spent, at the end Sony spent ~4 billion not 70 bilion. If not, and Marathon won't hit the mark, then it will be a bad purchase
 
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If you are gonna criticize specific layoffs, you have to first judge the situation that led to it. Most of the layoffs aren't happening for fun, it's to make the sure the entire bulk doesn't go down. The problem lately is not CEOs who "want" to lay people off, it's a business that is too expensive and takes too long to build products for, so when products fail, you have to change or die.

It means nothing what financial position Microsoft is in, they have budgets and plans, like anyone else, and need to conform to those plans to be viable long-term. It feels like people expect Microsoft to throw a few hundred million left and right to keep producing games that won't make them any money.



Phil Spencer has been a punching bag for a while, ever since that Redfall interview last year. Exactly what and how the hands-off approach is and how it works, is beyond us. I agree that something is clearly wrong, and Xbox seems to have been too nice for too long.

The blame is falling on his shoulders, but there is a difference between blame and hate, and right now, it's hate. In general, social media criticism leads to widespread hate and attacks. It happened with Todd Howard too. The same people who claim that they care about the workers are the same people trying to kick dead horses for fun.

People say things on internet boards all the time, it's not worth stating. Even if some random bloke was right, making money and being lucrative is a different thing. Hi-Fi Rush is not a lucrative game, and games like Dishonore or Prey is a no-go. They are too expensive and have struggled too much to bet on.

You need something new and fresh with potential. This is a serious business, you eat what you kill. You don't play games with vast budgets that take 4-5 years to bear fruit.



If the situation is tough, being a good manager means nothing. You can be as good as a captain as you want, but if you are on the Titanic you are still going down.
Phil Spencer is the public face for an incompetent and ghoulish business. He chose to be out in public with his nice-guy gamer persona and his t-shirts.

That cuts both ways... take the adulation from publishing Ori on Switch but also take the heat when the organization he is paid handsomely to lead ghoulishly and incompetently lays off thousands of people while hurting its own business position.

If he didn't want the heat, he should have adopted the persona of Mr. Furukawa, a reserved and serious business figure who only speaks at quarterly/annual shareholder earnings meetings and about specific product planning matters that could affect investment information.

Finally, let's broaden this. Phil Spencer and Xbox wanted to bankrupt SIE and Nintendo by forcing them to lose money competing with Microsoft on the unsustainable Gamepass business model. Then, pick their assets and IP up for pennies on the dollar in bankruptcy. Then monopolize the industry. That was the plan. That's who Phil Spencer is. He wanted to initiate a race to the bottom so SIE and Nintendo would go bankrupt so Microsoft could buy them. That's Phil Spencer. He owns every bit of it. Don't feel sorry for him. He's an incompetent ghoulish vulture capitalist. Nothing more.
 
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If the situation is tough, being a good manager means nothing. You can be as good as a captain as you want, but if you are on the Titanic you are still going down.
I love this analogy because it's so fitting.

The Xbox console business was thought to be unsinkable due to Microsoft's deep pockets, but they didn't see the iceberg in front of them until it was too late. And Tango Gameworks is Leonardo DiCaprio who doesn't survive in this.
 
For example, let's reverse this. Capcom back during the 360-era was in real trouble, now look at them. Who is to say the same couldn't happen to Beth if they remained independent? Which is why you shouldn’t use 'What Ifs'

Worth noting that Capcom released waaaaay more games then Bethesda till date and huge amount of released games were hits. Bethesda on the other hand didn't. Starfield really didn't do anything for Bethesda, so back to square one
 
Former PR manager at Microsoft, Brad Hilderman


And let it be known, as we saw with the senior engineer in the prior page, loads of people at MSFT told Phil how crazy, reckless and nonsensical the Gamepass model would be and Phil still doubled down, tripled down and leveraged $80B of acquisitions on it.

FKs10xPXsAk3rm3.png
 
The current Phil Spencer hate is the most immature and unrealistic nonsense I have ever seen in the video game industry. It's worse than console warring or game gate and people are showing their true colors.

Phil Spencer has been a punching bag for a while, ever since that Redfall interview last year. Exactly what and how the hands-off approach is and how it works, is beyond us. I agree that something is clearly wrong, and Xbox seems to have been too nice for too long.

Hate is deserved for one little thing - he literally lied to its fanbase ( include in that hat also a his vocal followers on Twitter) Constantly. For years.

And let it be known, as we saw with the senior engineer in the prior page, loads of people at MSFT told Phil how crazy, reckless and nonsensical the Gamepass model would be and Phil still doubled down, tripled down and leveraged $80B of acquisitions on it.

FKs10xPXsAk3rm3.png

In addition to that :

The biggest paradox with Game Pass is that basically every game that launches on the service badly misses its sales goals. Makes sense though, why pay full price to buy a game when you can play it for "free" as part of your subscription?

This is accounted for somewhat by attributing portions of revenue to top-performing Game Pass games every month, but there are factors working against games.

We had heard specific nonsense how GP is increasing sales of games ( for very, very small number of titles, 1% maybe, but 99% of them aren't).

 
We had heard specific nonsense how GP is increasing sales of games ( for very, very small number of titles, 1% maybe, but 99% of them aren't).
You realize things can change right? Pointing to a statement from 6 years ago to say that they are lying feels disingenuous.

That's like me say "Sony said 10 GAAS games by 2025 and they didn't deliver" LIARSSS!!!!

Plans change, data changes, that doesn't make statements at the time lies.
 
We had heard specific nonsense how GP is increasing sales of games ( for very, very small number of titles, 1% maybe, but 99% of them aren't).

Well this was 2018 when Gamepass was waaay smaller in terms of number of subs, it's entirely possible Gamepass was a good marketing tool when it was a niche service back in 2018, but is now a source on software sales cannibalism when it is significantly more popular.
 
I disagree on that Game Pass being the cost driver. Like as we observe with the TV streaming services, it can be viable as long as you don't demolish your other methods of profiting off your properties. The real cost sink is the inability of Microsoft to put out quality content that would either hold up their brands (i.e. Paramount with Star Trek and Nickelodeon) or make Microsoft into a boutique publisher (HBO/Apple). The failures of Microsoft put a cap on the number of consoles they sell and the number of subscribers they could achieve with Game Pass. In a world without Game Pass, games like Recore or Tell Me Why or Redfall are not going to be selling a whole lot after launch and 3/4s of their output the past 10 years has been that. Microsoft either needed an output of 10+ games a year or the best brand management, creating mini Fortnites of their own that convinces people to actually buy Xboxes.
 
Well this was 2018 when Gamepass was waaay smaller in terms of number of subs, it's entirely possible Gamepass was a good marketing tool when it was a niche service back in 2018, but is now a source on software sales cannibalism when it is significantly more popular.
Also keep in mind that COVID did not happen at the time. By and large, the world has changed.

But GP do sell more games, the problem is that it does not apply to the first party games at launch. It does allow third party to play games in GP and then buy them in the third party store. Similarly how double dipping works.

Microsoft either needed an output of 10+ games a year or the best brand management, creating mini Fortnites of their own that convinces people to actually buy Xboxes.
"Fortnite" require luck essentially. Nobody knows which next game will take off. And when.
 
Honestly I think it’s quite clear Spencer was trying to make Xbox work. It wasn’t working. My fault with him is he allowed release schedules to basically fall away. The Zenimax purchase was supposed to be the solution here. It hasn’t really delivered and Microsoft has clearly decided to but Activision with an aim of changing their entire strategy.

The big issue for Gamepass has been that they don’t have a frequent release schedule and Series hasn’t performed. Both of these for me come down to output. Running GAAS alongside Gamepass was maybe an economical thing but it doesn’t work as studios are tied up.

PC hasn’t taken off; Series isn’t selling - Gamepass was likely seen as a way of driving hardware and it hasn’t work. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t played a role - Series sales would be far lower without it.
 
But GP do sell more games, the problem is that it does not apply to the first party games at launch. It does allow third party to play games in GP and then buy them in the third party store. Similarly how double dipping works.
You realize things can change right? Pointing to a statement from 6 years ago to say that they are lying feels disingenuous.

That's like me say "Sony said 10 GAAS games by 2025 and they didn't deliver" LIARSSS!!!!

Plans change, data changes, that doesn't make statements at the time lies.

Lying about other stuff, not Gamepass specific.

Well this was 2018 when Gamepass was waaay smaller in terms of number of subs, it's entirely possible Gamepass was a good marketing tool when it was a niche service back in 2018, but is now a source on software sales cannibalism when it is significantly more popular.

It doesn't sell more games. Gears 5 from.... 2019 ( just 10 months from that article) was the first very big sign what will happen going forward back then.
 



Yum M.Watanabe was the Cinematics Director For TEW1 and 2 , denying rumors that Mikami had taken most of Tango Staff with him to his new Studio Kamuy

More reaction from Tango staff.



My time at Tango Games felt like dancing the tango on a tightrope, but I ended up falling off! haha! Nonetheless, it left an unforgettable mark on my journey. While I mourn the closures of @TangoGameworks and @ArkaneStudios Austin, I'm determined to spread positivity. The industry still sees layoffs and studio closures. Enough already! Let's create an environment where all artists can thrive! Please reach out to @unseentokyo.
 
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The current Phil Spencer hate is the most immature and unrealistic nonsense I have ever seen in the video game industry. It's worse than console warring or game gate and people are showing their true colors.
Saying criticism of a multimillionaire CEO is worse than GamerGate is telling on yourself, lol.
 
The current Phil Spencer hate is the most immature and unrealistic nonsense I have ever seen in the video game industry. It's worse than console warring or game gate and people are showing their true colors.

Imagine comparing literal bigoted hate attacks on people to us criticizing the poor poor millionaire for doing a poor job and affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers.
 
These are the same people who would believe Xbox is wildly successful after they acquired ABK, as if Phil Spencer played any role in ABK's success.

The parasocial relationships Xbox execs have with their fans is beyond cringe. It's becoming more and more clear these people are mediocre with no real vision, and are only great at telling their fans what they want to hear.
 
Redfall, Turn 10, and 343 are completely different situations.

The current Phil Spencer hate is the most immature and unrealistic nonsense I have ever seen in the video game industry. It's worse than console warring or game gate and people are showing their true colors.

People think you just need to be a good manager and every game will turn out perfectly and that the gigantic Xbox company just needs a good leader and Bob's your uncle.

It's extremely difficult to run a games business, there are countless companies that litter the ground, including giants like Google, or legends like Sega. This is a brutal industry where only a slight handful make it. Nintendo and Sony have deep expertise running for decades and have franchises to rely on. Xbox managed to penetrate the business and build one of the best consoles ever with the Xbox 360. It was a miracle.

But the Xbox One essentially destroyed Xbox. We don't know 5% of the issues Spencer and his team face, and the amount of armchair generals right now that are sitting on twitter and boards, pretending they understand the situation, "it's just a manager issue", is completely absurd. I shouldn't have to say that.

Tell me, what would you do with Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin? how would you plan to make money off those studios?

Phil Spencer needs to take personal accountability for the mismanagement and inefficiencies caused by the reckless over-expansion that has occurred under his watch these past few years.

Instead, it's easier to push the fallout for his mistakes onto the thousands of poor staff who just got unceremoniously axed at Xbox Game Studios this year, despite Microsoft's warchest of $80 billion in free cash that could have easily invested in their talent over a long-term growth horizon instead.

I personally think these layoffs over the past few months have been egregious enough to where Phil should either resign or be fired as Head of Xbox. It's a tremendously bad look for him to act so flippantly with staff who just released a critical darling, award-winning AA game that was a "break out hit" according to Microsoft themselves:



This impulsive, reactionary, and erratic decision making that abruptly course corrected is certainly not exclusive to Microsoft and is unfortunately endemic across Big Tech, but that doesn't make it any less damning to Spencer's legacy.
 
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Redfall, Turn 10, and 343 are completely different situations.

The current Phil Spencer hate is the most immature and unrealistic nonsense I have ever seen in the video game industry. It's worse than console warring or game gate and people are showing their true colors.

People think you just need to be a good manager and every game will turn out perfectly and that the gigantic Xbox company just needs a good leader and Bob's your uncle.

It's extremely difficult to run a games business, there are countless companies that litter the ground, including giants like Google, or legends like Sega. This is a brutal industry where only a slight handful make it. Nintendo and Sony have deep expertise running for decades and have franchises to rely on. Xbox managed to penetrate the business and build one of the best consoles ever with the Xbox 360. It was a miracle.

But the Xbox One essentially destroyed Xbox. We don't know 5% of the issues Spencer and his team face, and the amount of armchair generals right now that are sitting on twitter and boards, pretending they understand the situation, "it's just a manager issue", is completely absurd. I shouldn't have to say that.

Tell me, what would you do with Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin? how would you plan to make money off those studios?
Sure, its an incredibly hard industry, but they also made some clear as water mistakes and babying them like "oh, anybody wouldve made that mistake" is just wrong. Per their admission, they didnt provide Redfall the support it needed because they were focused on Starfield, and the game came out and the studio was shut down. What is that, if not bad management? Hell, the reasons given for Tangos closure arent even related to the economics of the studio. Theyre a smaller studio that gets paid in yens, probably one of the cheapest studios in their slate. The reason given for their closure is that Matt Booty felt they were spread too thin and couldnt handle all of the studios. Then they picked Tango because they actually shipped a game. Its indefensible.
 
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Sure, its an incredibly hard industry, but they also made some clear as water mistakes and babying them like "oh, anybody wouldve made that mistake" is just wrong. Per their admission, they didnt provide Redfall the support it needed because they were focused on Starfield, and the game came out and the studio was shut down. What is that, if not bad management? Hell, the reasons given for Tangos closure arent even related to the economics of the studio. Theyre a smaller studio that gets paid in yens, probably one of the cheapest studios in their slate. The reason given for their closure is that *Matt Booty felt they were spread too thin and couldnt handle all of the studios*. Its indefensible.
Was Tango paid in yen?? Cause if that's true and Xbox didn't take measures to ensure exchange rates wouldnt mess with payment then thatjust make things even worse potentially.
 
Redfall, Turn 10, and 343 are completely different situations.

The current Phil Spencer hate is the most immature and unrealistic nonsense I have ever seen in the video game industry. It's worse than console warring or game gate and people are showing their true colors.

People think you just need to be a good manager and every game will turn out perfectly and that the gigantic Xbox company just needs a good leader and Bob's your uncle.

It's extremely difficult to run a games business, there are countless companies that litter the ground, including giants like Google, or legends like Sega. This is a brutal industry where only a slight handful make it. Nintendo and Sony have deep expertise running for decades and have franchises to rely on. Xbox managed to penetrate the business and build one of the best consoles ever with the Xbox 360. It was a miracle.

But the Xbox One essentially destroyed Xbox. We don't know 5% of the issues Spencer and his team face, and the amount of armchair generals right now that are sitting on twitter and boards, pretending they understand the situation, "it's just a manager issue", is completely absurd. I shouldn't have to say that.

Tell me, what would you do with Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin? how would you plan to make money off those studios?

Give me a break, this entire post basically equates to "Boo hoo, the multi-millionaire Xbox executive has it hard too!" Or are you Mike Ybarra?

Phil is the one steering the ship and has been for the past decade, he is the one that chose to aggressively pursue M&A and spent upwards of 80 billion dollars all under the guise of 'so we can compete.' Please try and explain to me, objectively, how a TRILLION DOLLAR COMPANY like Microsoft has problems competing with a BILLION dollar company like Sony? This is literally David and Goliath.

The whole point of Game Pass which Phil has stated in interviews is having an ecosystem where the successes of the big hitters helps funds smaller games. Apparently, like most of which Phil Spencer has stated, that was a lie.
 
A Reminder of a Certain Pattern



2014:- Windows Phone in third place- Microsoft buys Nokia

2015: - Big layoffs- Cancels hardware

2017: - Windows Phone is abandoned

2023:- Xbox in third place- Microsoft buys Activision

2024:- Big layoffs- Closes studios
 
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Watching the interview with Sarah, I guess the decision to close Tango and Arkane was made relatively recently.
 
Phil Spencer is the public face for an incompetent and ghoulish business. He chose to be out in public with his nice-guy gamer persona and his t-shirts.

That cuts both ways... take the adulation from publishing Ori on Switch but also take the heat when the organization he is paid handsomely to lead ghoulishly and incompetently lays off thousands of people while hurting its own business position.

If he didn't want the heat, he should have adopted the persona of Mr. Furukawa, a reserved and serious business figure who only speaks at quarterly/annual shareholder earnings meetings and about specific product planning matters that could affect investment information.

Finally, let's broaden this. Phil Spencer and Xbox wanted to bankrupt SIE and Nintendo by forcing them to lose money competing with Microsoft on the unsustainable Gamepass business model. Then, pick their assets and IP up for pennies on the dollar in bankruptcy. Then monopolize the industry. That was the plan. That's who Phil Spencer is. He wanted to initiate a race to the bottom so SIE and Nintendo would go bankrupt so Microsoft could buy them. That's Phil Spencer. He owns every bit of it. Don't feel sorry for him. He's an incompetent ghoulish vulture capitalist. Nothing more.

You are picking random tidbits you have heard, stitching together a story about how Spencer is a cartoon villain, and justifying attacking him because of it. Furukawa or anyone else would also be closing down studios if they were in the same position.

Hate is deserved for one little thing - he literally lied to its fanbase ( include in that hat also a his vocal followers on Twitter) Constantly. For years.



In addition to that :



We had heard specific nonsense how GP is increasing sales of games ( for very, very small number of titles, 1% maybe, but 99% of them aren't).


I'm not sure what you count as lying, you make it sound like everyone hated the idea and he forced it through with a closed fist. It's not like Phil Spencer is the only one who thinks Game Pass is viable at Xbox or Microsoft. Some people were skeptical, some people came around, and it's natural that there was a lot of talk about this.

Saying criticism of a multimillionaire CEO is worse than GamerGate is telling on yourself, lol.

Telling what? It doesn't matter if he is a millionaire, a homeless person, or a railroad conductor. Attacking people in hordes is always low.

Imagine comparing literal bigoted hate attacks on people to us criticizing the poor poor millionaire for doing a poor job and affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers.

He is also employing hundreds of thousands. He is facing bigoted attacks.

Phil Spencer needs to take personal accountability for the mismanagement and inefficiencies caused by the reckless over-expansion that has occurred under his watch these past few years.

Instead, it's easier to push the fallout for his mistakes onto the thousands of poor staff who just got unceremoniously axed at Xbox Game Studios this year, despite Microsoft's warchest of $80 billion in free cash that could have easily invested in their talent over a long-term growth horizon instead.

I personally think these layoffs over the past few months have been egregious enough to where Phil should either resign or be fired as Head of Xbox. It's a tremendously bad look for him to act so flippantly with staff who just released a critical darling, award-winning AA game that was a "break out hit" according to Microsoft themselves:



This short-term-obsessed, erratic decision making is certainly not exclusive to Microsoft and is unfortunately endemic across Big Tech, but that doesn't make it any less damning to Spencer's legacy.


This expansion will take several years before it's properly consolidated. We don't know yet if it was an extreme over-expansion or not. We are just in the post-birth stage of this entire thing. Everything we have heard from Spencer hints that this was likely Microsoft going over his head. And if they don't do this now, it's more likely that this entire thing will be shut down and everyone will lose their job. As twisted as it sounds, this is done to save more people from losing their jobs down the line.

Sure, its an incredibly hard industry, but they also made some clear as water mistakes and babying them like "oh, anybody wouldve made that mistake" is just wrong. Per their admission, they didnt provide Redfall the support it needed because they were focused on Starfield, and the game came out and the studio was shut down. What is that, if not bad management? Hell, the reasons given for Tangos closure arent even related to the economics of the studio. Theyre a smaller studio that gets paid in yens, probably one of the cheapest studios in their slate. The reason given for their closure is that Matt Booty felt they were spread too thin and couldnt handle all of the studios. Then they picked Tango because they actually shipped a game. Its indefensible.

How things went down with Starfield and Redfall is out of our hands, we don't know much of what happened behind the scenes apart from a few comments. On paper, Starfield is one of the more important Xbox games in years and it's natural there was a focus there. Whether or not a bigger focus on Redfall would have mattered is impossible for us to know.

That Matt Booty thing is being used so much now, and it's trolling at best. We don't know how much money it costs to operate Tango Gameworks or how the decision-making was done. People are taking quotes and stitching them together with anything they find to make it seem like Xbox is doing some sort of double-moral shady thing. If you want to know how Tango fits into with what Booty is saying, you gotta ask him instead of pretending that he said something he didn't. That said, Xbox needs to lay low right now because nothing they say will help them.

Give me a break, this entire post basically equates to "Boo hoo, the multi-millionaire Xbox executive has it hard too!" Or are you Mike Ybarra?

Phil is the one steering the ship and has been for the past decade, he is the one that chose to aggressively pursue M&A and spent upwards of 80 billion dollars all under the guise of 'so we can compete.' Please try and explain to me, objectively, how a TRILLION DOLLAR COMPANY like Microsoft has problems competing with a BILLION dollar company like Sony? This is literally David and Goliath.

The whole point of Game Pass which Phil has stated in interviews is having an ecosystem where the successes of the big hitters helps funds smaller games. Apparently, like most of which Phil Spencer has stated, that was a lie.

Do you think Phil was the one who used 80 billion?

Microsoft has trouble competing with Sony because it's about IPs, franchises, and market position beyond just a massive bankroll. And that's what these purchases are trying to fix for Xbox, and it's gonna take a while to see if it can work.
 
Do you think Phil was the one who used 80 billion?

Microsoft has trouble competing with Sony because it's about IPs, franchises, and market position beyond just a massive bankroll. And that's what these purchases are trying to fix for Xbox, and it's gonna take a while to see if it can work.

Phil Spencer was the head of Microsoft Studios from 2009 to 2013 before becoming Head of Xbox in 2014.

If Xbox in 2024 can't compete with Sony, let alone Nintendo, on IPs, franchises and marketing is entirely because Phil Spencer's 15 years of continuous incompetence that costed 2000+ people their job.
 
I don't get the defense force for Phil. As I mentioned, people wanted Iwata's job because the Wii U flop despite him going out of his way not to layoff people and having two massive successes in the DS and the Wii, and managing to salvage the 3DS. People try to rewrite history, but I remember that last E3 just before he pass when Iwata had to make a public apologized for Nintendo having a lackluster show with the puppets and Nintendo fans losing faith in him.

Jim Ryan got the same heat and no one defended him despite him getting Sony back on track with the PS4 and was one of the big reasons why Sony is an even bigger force in Europe. People forget this (including Xbox fans strangely enough), but the PS3 was a massive financial flop that wiped out all of Sony's profits from the PS1 and PS2-eras. The PS4 could have very well been their last console if they shat the bed again and Ryan not only helped keep the brand alive but made it stronger than ever (also helps that Nintendo and MS massively screwed up).

So of course people would want Phil's head for massive layoffs and studio closers despite any of his past successes. Honestly, Phil is probably one of the most coddled CEOs I've seen since he almost always gets the benefit of the doubt when most CEOs can't have one mistake without the industry saying they need to go despite any past success (see Iwata). And if I'm being honest, Phil's record with MS really doesn't warrant the coddling. Yes, he kept Xbox brand alive after it was almost killed during the Xbox One era and he did partly salvage that system, but considering where the Series is at (it's losing to a seven years old system in its stronger market), the software droughts, and now repeating the mistakes that doomed the Xbox One, what exactly has Phil done in this last decade to give him the benefit of the doubt over other CEOs?
 
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Phil Spencer was the head of Microsoft Studios from 2009 to 2013 before becoming Head of Xbox in 2014.

If Xbox in 2024 can't compete with Sony, let alone Nintendo, on IPs, franchises and marketing is entirely because Phil Spencer's 15 years of continuous incompetence that costed 2000+ people their job.

How many people got jobs from it though?

There are far more factors going into this than just Phil Spencer. Google couldn't compete with Sony or Nintendo either. It's not just about the size of the company. It's not that easy. This is a complicated situation. I mean, if you want to critique this, you need to give good points as to why closing down these studios was wrong. If they were closing down studios for bad reasons, I would get it, but there are many clear reasons why Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin were in trouble. This is not an irrational situation.

When you say things like this, it is fairly self-explanatory:

Bigot definition:

"obstinately or unreasonably attached to a belief, opinion, or faction, in particular prejudiced against or antagonistic towards a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular group."

This fits the current situation. The attacks on Spencer are far more than just criticism, people are assuming he is closing studios for invalid reasons and is directing Microsoft's hand. The attacks on Phil Spencer are not about whether or not the situation was warranted. We don't even know if he was the one doing this.

I could understand it if those studios were significantly adding to Xbox's value and closing them was nonsense, but that's not the case. People are getting emotional because people are sick of seeing people losing their jobs. But the reason that is happening is not because Spencer is a demon, it's because those studios were making expensive games that production companies had to fit the bill for, time and time again. Microsoft deemed that it had to stop to be viable for its games business.
 
The failure of the xbox one was partially attributed to the lack of games.

The lack of growth of the Xbox series and Gamepass has been attributed to the lack of games.

In the last years Microsoft buy a lot of studios and IP to increase the cadence in the release of their games and as a result increase the numbers of hardware and/or Gamepass. That's what they promise.

Now they have closed these studios and fired a lot of people before they could prove their worth within microsoft studios despite having practically become a multiplatform publisher and without a corporate crisis.

Why closing down? They could reduce the scope of these studios and pitching smaller games for Gamepass or a support role for other IP. They can invest in their talents and a better marketing for their games. They can reinvent themselves and try to understand because the high-end console market is not more profittable (if this is the problem).
Nintendo has taught that a good game that today is not selling, can sell in the future. That an IP could be big or small and above all can have always a new youth with the right idea.

If Microsoft want to exit the market, stop with the PR and say it clearly without the usual about-faces.
 
Why closing down? They could reduce the scope of these studios and pitching smaller games for Gamepass or a support role for other IP. They can invest in their talents and a better marketing for their games. They can reinvent themselves and try to understand because the high-end console market is not more profittable (if this is the problem).
Nintendo has taught that a good game that today is not selling, can sell in the future. That an IP could be big or small and above all can have always a new youth with the right idea
I think the philosophy is basically - "if the game is coming in the next 5 years, it is easier just to buy it in 5 years rather than waiting for the game to be done without risk of dev hell, gaming not being able to come together" and so on.

With Nintendo, though, aside some IPs like Animal Crossing - all of their IPs are basically have their roots from 20-30 years ago. Mario (and all its offshoots), Zelda, Pokemon...Those are basically THE IPs. Mario IPs by itself spawned several related IPs but they all are still tied to Mario. But by and large, all their biggest sellers are tied to legendary franchises. Also most of Nintendo games are relatively cheap to produce - they don't even have expensive cinematics.
 
With Nintendo, though, aside some IPs like Animal Crossing - all of their IPs are basically have their roots from 20-30 years ago. Mario (and all its offshoots), Zelda, Pokemon...Those are basically THE IPs. Mario IPs by itself spawned several related IPs but they all are still tied to Mario. But by and large, all their biggest sellers are tied to legendary franchises. Also most of Nintendo games are relatively cheap to produce - they don't even have expensive cinematics.

Small point, but Animal Crossing also has its roots 20+ years ago now!
 
Tango Gameworks was in trouble? Exactly in what way?
They have a troubled history, when they formed, they started on a game that eventually got canceled and the studio was almost shut down. Bethesda saved them, most likely because of the belief that Mikami can do some magic. They made The Evil Within, which was a success, but the sequel bombed and they were left in a bad spot. They spent the next 5-ish years making Ghostwire Tokyo and Hi-Fi Rush, Ghostwire bombed and Hi-Fi Rush, as we know, was a success although not a big money grabber. The dual development venture was most likely a financial pitfall.

Zenimax has been footing the bill for Tango in the hopes that Mikami can do something special and that it can help them in Japan. Microsoft is not willing to take the bill in hopes that something big might happen. Most likely Hi-Fi Rush was more expensive and time-consuming than we assumed, and the sequel does not have the prospects we think. The leadership leaving the studio and the poor success of their products were likely gonna get that studio closed by Zenimax if they weren't purchased either way.
 
If you don't want the risks, then you can't pretend the profits. Otherwise close all like Disney and limit yourself to providing licensed IPs or buying games to publish. For me this is the definition of mismanagmente along with the various reports relating to the temporary workforce.

Nintendo is not only Animal Crossing, Mario or Zelda (and I think that the studio between one Zelda or Mario and another is not so different if you want to create a new IP). There are also Xenoblade Chronicles (Microsoft would have closed Monolith after the first on the Wii or the X on the Wii U), Pikmin (idem) or Kirby with a new tier of sales thanks the new 3D style.

Without speak about Splatoon released on Wii U at a budget price and now with two titles above 10 million. And a lot of others.

Is not a sprint but a marathon.

I don't think that Hi-fi Rush and its "expensive cinematics" from a studio in Japan when we now the state of the salaries and the yen required such a sudden closure of the studio.

Microsoft is in the market from a lot of time also. If they don't have the same IP strenght is their fault.

But also why speak about cheap when the best sellers in the world are the Minecraft, Fortnite, Roblox or Palworld?
 
Small point, but Animal Crossing also has its roots 20+ years ago now!
Oh, I did not even know. Though I think animal crossing has its roots in like several hundred millions years back.

But also why speak about cheap when the best sellers in the world are the Minecraft, Fortnite, Roblox or Palworld?
That's the whole point - Palword was extremely cheap to produce yet it generated X times above the cost. Roblox is its own store and a factory at this point (with children in the mines), Minecraft continue selling and Mojang are stuck with the fact that it is hard to move one from the original game (none of spin-off worked out well), and Fortnite is basically trying to transition to something (and we saw with layoffs and co., that even that was not enough) more than just BR and they are constantly trying to reinvent it without abandoning the core game.
 
Ultra-wealthy CEOs who will never face any consequences for their failures and the damage they cause to the human lives they trample underfoot beyond message board posters saying some mean things about them is in no way comparable to the bigotry people face for the circumstances of their birth or social class. Like come on, this is a deeply unserious argument lol.
 




Kazuaki Egashira , Game Project Manager At Tango Gameworks , Showing the Awards the Studio got in Response to Microsoft

Shutting down Tango should be a "don't do it or I quit" thing for anyone at leadership level at Xbox, it's that stupid of a move IMO. The fact that Booty, Bond and Spencer are still in their positions show how mismanaged Xbox is.
 
I keep thinking of ways for this to work and increasingly I return to a view I have expressed before.

Xbox only survives spun off from Microsoft. The issue now is with Activision there Bethesda would never go with them (too valuable) so really Xbox as it’s own private company would be back to its pre-expansion state and without the money they would desperately need to make it work.
 
I keep thinking of ways for this to work and increasingly I return to a view I have expressed before.

Xbox only survives spun off from Microsoft. The issue now is with Activision there Bethesda would never go with them (too valuable) so really Xbox as it’s own private company would be back to its pre-expansion state and without the money they would desperately need to make it work.
Correct, Microsoft's money is the only thing that can sustain Xbox now, and Microsoft's management are the reason it fails. It's as simple as that, and at some point the contradiction has to be resolved. You can't run a creative business using tech worker employment practices - everyone who decided and agreed their most prestigious brands, like Halo and Forza, had to be delivered using mandatory 18-month contractors, has no understanding of videogame production (or entertainment production in general).

The last 2 console generations have been a long hangover since those responsible for Xbox/Xbox360 moved on, and that void has been filled by people who are addicted to more typical Microsoft management philosophies:

-Treating customers as captives with nowhere else to go once they're in Microsoft's ecosystem. This is what drove Xbox One, which was all about taking the Xbox360 customer base as Xbox Live captives, whose wishes could largely be ignored in favour of Microsoft using Xbox to pivot to the TV set-top box model, to try and cut off Apple TV/Chromecast etc
-Spending vast sums of money to buy a wedge into a market, take losses no-one else can sustain, and when you're the last person standing, increase prices in the de facto monopoly you have created for yourself. This is the model GamePass pivoted to.

I personally think Spencer has to go, not directly because of the studio closures (these are probably orders mandated from above - however, he signed up to carry out orders like that), but because GamePass was his project and it has absolutely failed. In fact I don't think "Netflix but for videogames" actually has a broad market, because most people simply don't consume videogames like linear media. I would assume most of the core audience's consumption habits are some combination of:

-A couple of their favourite multiplayer/live service type games they play daily or multiple times a week
-Progressing through whatever the current AAA hit singleplayer game is
-Playing 1 or more viral hit indie titles
-Dipping into a gigantic backlog that probably offers a larger selection of things they're interested in than GamePass

In this context GamePass cannot possibly succeed, because:

-GAAS/Live service games are predominantly free up-front. So all GamePass can offer are fringe benefits as perks. With the one example we have of a full-price live service game Microsoft own themselves (mainline COD releases), Microsoft are shaky about even offering it on GamePass
-You will never get the AAA hit singleplayer games in enough numbers to be compelling on their own, because 1) the AAA publishers would never agree to devaluing their own content en masse for a GamePass sub, and 2) Microsoft has mismanaged their own AAA brands to the point of failure and cannot salvage them
-Viral indie hits are by their nature, viral. They are therefore almost impossible to anticipate and thus buy as content for the service. They're also generally much cheaper than other games in the market and thus the price advantage GamePass offers is largely irrelevant
-People will dip in and out of their backlog at their leisure - but the expiring licenses of GamePass content puts a timer on that. So the "large library" aspect of GamePass is pretty ephemeral. I myself have seen stuff leaving GamePass and my thought has never been "I should start playing these 5 games", it's been "Why am I paying for this, I just missed all of these and I have no time or inclination to binge through them all in a month?"

GamePass only has a future if Microsoft can carry the service on its 1st party content alone, which means having a good enough combination of 1st party GAAS/AAA/small games that will always be on the service. These can also be multiplatform, but in the case of e.g. GAAS type games there should be some very obvious benefits to having a GamePass sub while you play them. The problem with this future scenario is that Microsoft have just started closing the studios that would deliver it, and have kept giving free chances to studios that have failed (343/Turn10), with nobody addressing the root cause (Microsoft's own mismanagement by leadership in and out of Xbox).
 




This is really a fantastic way to show discontent

It's a shame r/Games sees it as worthless. I get the pessimism, but tbh I've legitimately never seen an instance like this happening so I'll take any positivity I can get.

I'm still insane, so there's one thing I that's been stuck on my mind for a bit now, and someone help me understand this: Many people defend Matt Booty's wording by stating that Hi-Fi Rush wasn't all that small and was closer to a AAA game than an indie game. The thing about that is, that even disregarding Game Pass... Hi-Fi Rush was $30 at launch, and I don't believe it had any microtransactions.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but uh, AAA-tier games just do not cost $30 at launch - at least not without significant microtransactions.

For comparison: Grounded, Sea of Thieves, and Helldivers 2 are $40 with microtransactions, the upcoming Hellblade 2 is $50 - heck, even Metroid Prime Remastered is $40. There's also the fact that the game wasn't marketed at all - in fact, development was quiet because Bethesda was unsure due to how different it is from Tango's usual fare. In fact they were comfortable enough to shadow drop it on Game Pass to build word of mouth.

In other words, it doesn’t sound like the kind of game you’d throw a bunch of money at. People use games such as Pentiment as a comparison, but at $20, the game isn't much cheaper to buy. Palworld is the same price as Hi-Fi Rush, too... it just doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps there's something I'm missing though.
 
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