In the face of persistent rumors that Microsoft could sell or spin off its Xbox division, one of the company's gaming executives stated this past weekend that its new leadership is "extremely committed" to the brand.
Polygon reports that, in a panel during the South By Southwest festival in Austin on Sunday, Microsoft Studios leader Phil Spencer gave no indication that new CEO Satya Nadella or Stephen Elop, who will soon be leading the hardware division, will be reducing efforts on Xbox projects. Spencer stated that the Xbox brand is one of the "most beloved" that Microsoft has. He added:
In terms of Microsoft's commitment in the space, I know both Satya and Stephen Elop, I know them well. I've had explicit conversations with them about Microsoft's commitment to Xbox — they're extremely committed to Xbox.
In another part of the panel, Spencer hinted at some improvements that will be coming to the Games for Gold program, which offers at least two free games every month to Xbox 360 owners with a paid Xbox Live Gold membership. Some fans have complained that the games that are offered are much older titles.
Spencer said that he has been meeting monthly with the team in charge of the program and has become more involved in picking the games that will be included each month. Spencer said that in the future, "I think you'll see at least something that feels, at least, more true to what I think Games with Gold should look like with the constraints that are there."