Xbox Head Phil Spencer: Our first-party studios should try to be innovative

Last week, head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, expressed his wish for a Netflix-style subscription model for some Xbox games. What he also said was that Microsoft's first-party game development studios should emulate other divisions in the company.

Talking to the Redmond giant's UK News Centre staff, Spencer said that the studios Microsoft has under its wings should be "a beacon of innovation for how our platform is being used", but need to go further to match the breakthroughs seen in other divisions inside the company.

Specifically name-dropping some of the games he's been inspired by, the executive further stated:

"I like our first-party studios taking risks and trying new things. You see Gears of War doing cross-play between Windows and Xbox, and Minecraft connecting players on iOS, Android, Xbox and Windows, and its [sic] coming to Switch. It’s even on virtual reality devices. That’s the role I think our first-party studios should play – trying to be innovative."

As far as what sparked his statement about breakthroughs inside Microsoft, Spencer added:

"Surface Studio came out and people loved it, they saw design and innovation; [Technical Fellow of the Operating System Group] Alex Kipman’s work on HoloLens has shown that Microsoft can lead in a lot of places. Xbox is definitely a fun spot to be in from that perspective. The team is really buzzing."

In the context of visiting the company's Rare and Mojang studios in Europe, Spencer said that these were two examples of developers who really took the feedback of their communities to heart, going as far as to "engage the community" before the game is even done, in the case of Rare's upcoming Sea of Thieves title. There's even an Insider program for the game, that you can join here.

The head of Xbox also said that the user voice channel for the console and its services was created in order to better understand what the community wants. This was one of the catalysts of getting Call of Duty: Black Ops II on the Backward Compatibility list, as it was the most requested game addition by users.

In closing, Spencer stated that he wants to spend some time on the E3 stage in June this year to showcase first-party and third-party games on Project Scorpio, as he truly believes that "the best versions of games will be running on it".

Source: Microsoft News Centre UK | Image via Creators Update livestream

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