Xbox One DRM/online controversy "hurt me personally" says Phil Spencer

New Head of Xbox says he was so personally hurt because he knows that Microsoft builds Xbox "for the right reasons."

Last summer's Xbox One DRM/online controversy "hurt me personally," new Head of Xbox Phil Spencer told Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb during his latest podcast. The reason why he was so intimately affected was because he said he knows Microsoft builds products "for the right reasons" and Microsoft could have done more to better communicate this last year.

"I believe in why this company builds products. It's one of the reasons why the whole thing around last summer with Xbox kind of hurt me personally so much," Spencer said. "Because I know we build Xbox for the right reasons. We didn't completely communicate it the right way; some of the decisions maybe didn't land or weren't the right decisions and we changed some of those. But this a company that has the resources to really do things that change the world."

Spencer has since acknowledged that some of the Xbox One policy decisions announced last summer (and later reversed) were "wrong." Microsoft drew significant debate for its controversial 24-hour check-in system and used-game stance.

Spencer's comments came in response to a question regarding why he has stayed with Microsoft for so long. He said he's energized by working at Microsoft because the company has "both the resources and the ambition to change the world." Spencer joined Microsoft as an intern out of college and has worked at Microsoft for the past 26 years.

Also during the podcast, Spencer teased that Microsoft has major plans for PC gaming in the future.

"On the PC space specifically right now, we're doing some PC-specific work that I'm really excited about," he said. "We're probably still months away from showing it in any major way. But it's nice to see us getting back to our roots at Microsoft Studios because we started as a PC developer."

Last week, Microsoft released Halo: Spartan Assault for PC via Steam, marking the iconic franchise's debut on Valve's marketplace.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

524 comments
AlwaysRunning
AlwaysRunning

Yeah, yeah. Keep saying that until you blindside your users again with the re-introduction of 24-hour DRM. Xbox deserves to die because of their even attempting that once.

GrenadeLauncher
GrenadeLauncher

"The reason why he was so intimately affected was because he said he knows Microsoft builds products "for the right reasons" and Microsoft could have done more to better communicate this last year."

Thought so. No admittance that DRM was wrong, just the usual "we only communicated it wrong" garbage.

Anyone who ever buys an Xbone is directly responsible for the death of vidya.

mattress805
mattress805

As a360 and ps4 owner I can honestly say Phil spencer seems to have a good head on his shoulders. Now drop the Krapnect , lower the price, and announce a few new franchises and Microsoft will get itself out of dead last in sales this gen. Thank god Don Mattrick is gone...that moron was the biggest supporter of Kinect , and he thought it was going to change the world

berserker66666
berserker66666

It 'erks him to see PS4 getting so many sales and Xbone ain't.

sinclairhxc
sinclairhxc

excuse me, i just threw up.


this dude is so full of crap.  playing the nice guy routine for both sides: Microsoft and the customers.  "oh man i just am hurt and i love the fans, and thats why Xbox..." is a total piece of inconvenient garbage?  ur a cash craving actor (liar) representing a failing company.  yep, i'm sure sincerity is your number one priority here.


shut up, already.  pitying you isn't going to sell me a system that does everything a NetBook did 4 years ago, but claims its "the future", when its really just an eye-sore and inconvenience to my entertainment set up, especially when there's nothing worthwhile to utilize it for. 

there are no good games, PC and PS4 already have the same entertainment features, it sports the weak hardware, and none of the other companies have an annoying cry-baby representing them.  Nintendo doesn't even know what to do with Wii U but you don't hear anyone coming out "boo hoo our system sucks!"

herxtheslayer
herxtheslayer

It seems they are working to implement it silently anyway. They recently IP-locked the marketplace so I can't buy anything anymore as I don't have US PayPal/CC. Plus, I can't even buy gift cards on amazon as I'm not from US. Seriously, WTF MS, it all worked perfectly and now you start messing stuff up. The only reason I decided to upgrade to XO was because you stated it's gonna be region free and no country IP locks. This is very far from your statements...

Yulaw2000
Yulaw2000

I like that he acknowledges that they made some mistakes but why does he come across like he thinks how they communicated was the main problem? 

Their messaging was inadequate but the primary issue was what they were actually trying to do.

tomtomtom1230
tomtomtom1230

This is marketing BS and damage control. But he does sound somewhat sincere in his mission to build a truly great Xbox. This won't help him until another 7 or 8 years on when he influences the next Xbox console. I can see Microsoft pulling it out the bag next time, in terms of power and features. They won't be outdone again. This generation is all about the Playstation though, in my opinion.

jakerscythe
jakerscythe

Damage control and spin still going on just fine, I see. Sincerity not so much though.

battlefront1943
battlefront1943

First, Spenser sounds like he genuinely wants to try and get gamers involved again with XBOX.  That's good.  He also says that MS made mistakes.  That's also good, but there's a lot of bad here too.

Spenser still spins the "mistakes" as problems of messaging, leaving equal blame between the PR dept. and gamers/consumers.  Can't you just for once stand up straight and take your medicine?  Accept responsibility for your mistakes.

Spenser also still offers no apology.  The words are simple:  "we're sorry."  We're looking for that symbol of responsibility and humility, but MS refuses.


Lastly, Spenser has taken the low road of Orth and played the victim.  "Whoa is me, those terrible gamers!"  Just stop it.  You're being childish and ridiculous.  Be a man and stop blame shifting like a weasel.  Yeah, criticism hurts, but when you're an adult and it comes because of your bad ideas and behavior, you take it...  digest it...  and change your position.  And if a man with your pay grade and position at a giant like MS can't accept harsh criticism, maybe you're more suited to another job?  I come from a public safety family where real life threats and stalking happens often.  You see us changing jobs or blaming the public?  Grow up.

I hope MS gets their sh@t together -- they're certainly throwing a lot of PR out this week -- but I think a real change has to come to MS, a real change in corporate culture.  Seems there's a glimmer of hope with Spenser, but probably not more...  I expect the same arrogance about their capabilities, the same inability to take responsibility, and the same anger directed at gamers, but I'm fine with being proven wrong.  We'll see...   

UnrealPro
UnrealPro

I feel more confident now that douchebag Don Mattrick is gone.

Master_Turismo
Master_Turismo

The more I hear from Spencer, the more comfortable I feel that the Xbox Division is moving towards the more positive light. Microsoft finally has a proper person running it. Just here on out, you got to fully support the gaming community. Keep making the Xbox One move forward in the right direction and you'll definitely get some awesome support from the gaming community.


Now Microsoft just needs to get rid of Major "Idiot" Nelson. . . God knows we need to remove that form of stupidity.

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

About a year's worth of "we all hate always-online" talk around the internet before the new systems were announced should've spoke for itself.

lostn
lostn

You should have thought it through first Phil. What did you expect?

And it wasn't the way you communicated your ideas that killed it, it was the idea itself. Just bad. You should have done some surveys with gamers. You would have quickly known they would be overwhelmingly against it had you done your research. If it was simply a communication problem it could be fixed with the proper marketing. You wouldn't have had to cancel the policies. All you had to do was make it worthwhile. When you take away the ability to easily sell or lend your games out to people, you've lost them. You had some complex setup where you're allowed to sell it once, if the publisher participates in the trade in program, and it's not a simple process, and it was just unnecessary. No one was ever going to go for that.

Deal with it as Adam Orth would say. You were out of tune with what gamers really wanted.

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

A significant proportion of people in the comments can't read apparently. He acknowledged they made mistakes:


"some of the decisions maybe didn't land or weren't the right decisions and we changed some of those."


"Spencer has since acknowledged that some of the Xbox One policy decisions announced last summer (and later reversed) were "wrong."

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

The whole evil corporation thing is a bit silly.


Yes, MS are a big corp, and the X1 unveil was clumsy, but I believe in Xbox as a gamer. Both the Xbox and 360 were fantastic consoles. I'm already happy with my X1 purchase.



SphinxDemon
SphinxDemon

Lol the more PR we receive the deeper the hole microshi! digs. My PC still sh!!$ on both consoles

lilrobda1
lilrobda1

Microsoft had a "vision(the exact word said on stage)" and then they did a 180 after negative feedback. So much for believing in your vision/product. Would have been interesting to see how the X1 would have done.

eternal_napalm
eternal_napalm

Interesting spin by MS. I wonder if sometimes they even believe their own bullcrap.

haze0986
haze0986

all i hear from ms and xbots is we didnt understand.....no, we understood exactly you just thought we wouldnt say anything. building xbox for the right reasons??? forcing consumers to buy new instead of being able to buy used is"the right reasons?"

if there so called digital plans were actually planned then they wouldve said so, and they could do it now but no they wont. BECAUSE THEY WERE NEVER GOING TO

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

yeah there really was no problem with the communication of the message, it was more the message itself that people took issue with...


nice spin thou...

anarky23
anarky23

Well Phil seems cool and is willing to admit MS made mistakes showing he has humility unlike some other people who work at MS.

Vodoo
Vodoo

I just can't wait for both the XB1 & PS4 to get the games rolling out. The XB1 launched with a handful of great games but then fell off. Titanfall is a great multiplayer shooter but I won't pay full price for half a game out of principal. Aside of that one game, the XB1 hasn't had shit since launch, which is unacceptable!

Sony is even worse. They didn't launch with any good games of their own (unless you count the ultra-generic Killzone), and only just recently put out their first game worth buying, Infamous. You know the game lineup is shit when the best games on the platform are the free PS+ games (and those aren't anything special on PS4).

But come this Fall we're gonna be over loaded with quality games for both consoles. I was looking at GameStop's website, at release dates, and there's so many awesome looking games coming out in Sept, Oct & Nov.. But the fact that these consoles launched without a steady flow of games is bad for the whole industry. Didn't they pay attention to what Nintendo went through because they didn't have any software out?!

DARKSPACE
DARKSPACE

Ohh Philly.. you're doing it again. you're becoming that guy nobody likes. lol

High_Fly
High_Fly

I am glad I bought an Xbox One.  Better controller, camera is actually useful, better games (my opinion), constant updates to the system to keep it fresh, YouTube support, and not supporting the Japanese.  I don't support a country that supported Hilter, ever.

xcollector
xcollector

Spencer can cry all he wants, but there is only one way MS can get back to the top. They need a new exclusive IP that is completely new and blows every ones mind away. I'm not talking about rehashes of shit that has already been done. It has to be something that makes you feel like your playing for the very first time again. Too bad for them they don't have that kind of talent.

sinclairhxc
sinclairhxc

@berserker66666 aww come on man how can he not be, when Xbox is made for the fans, with its privacy invading - constantly on - controversial watching and listening, its additional $100 price tag and obsolete hardware packed in with the undesirable peripheral, the inconvenience of said peripheral never working, the lack of quality titles and support from the majority of the gaming industries developers who see it for what it is, and the gimmicks it tries pushing so hard that no one asked for.

its for the faaaans maan!

battlefront1943
battlefront1943

@Master_Turismo Nelson's just a "yes man" PR guy.  He'll say whatever MS wants...  no matter what.  He did (does) look like a fool, but he doesn't have any power at MS.  He's the last of gamers worries.

lostn
lostn

@AyatollaofRnR When you make major decisions like this without doing any research on whether it would be well received or not, it shows a lot of arrogance. At e3 they basically gave Sony the best gift ever.

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

@lilrobda1  I think they should have tweaked it rather than gone all the way back. But I think we will still some of those ideas roll out on the X1 in the future.

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

@haze0986  He didn't say we didn't understand, he said they didn't communicate well and made some mistakes.



eternal_napalm
eternal_napalm

I made a video how consumer demand would reject it before it was even confirmed. Look up Gammameggon on Youtube

hystavito
hystavito

@anarky23  But it's still that thing where they barely admit anything was "wrong", but rather mostly that they failed to communicate properly.  There was an article the other day, I forget who it was, maybe it was the #dealwithit guy who was starting his own thing.  Anyway it sounded a lot more honest, more like yeah we made some wrong decisions.


haze0986
haze0986

@Vodoo  well mlb 14 is coming out in may, thats going to sell alot of ps4 consoles and copies. that game looks amazing and its going to set the bar for sports games even more so than 2k did with 2k14(which is a lackluster game) just has great graphics

kutulu1
kutulu1

@High_Fly Well your own country used Hitlers scientists to develop the A- bomb and your entire space program...lol. I know hypocrisy when I see it. You didn't have a problem with that, considering the amount of people they killed for their own experiments. I will gladly call bullshit when I hear it.

eternal_napalm
eternal_napalm

Lol whatever happened to TitanBot?? TitanBot was this game, I thought?

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

@xcollector  Whilst MS doesn't do much in house, they haven't had problems in the past getting talent on board. Halo, Gears, Fable, Alan Wake etc



UnrealPro
UnrealPro

@battlefront1943 @UnrealPro  My former manager from Gamestop said he met him at E3 last year and Mattrick was a total douchebag in person. Definitely solidified the perception most people already had of him. For example, several people asked to take a picture with him and he shooed them away. He was just rude in general and didn't give a damn about MS/Xbox fans. He was just an emotionless, and at the same time arrogant business suit, robotic as hell, and only showing anger and arrogance in general.

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

@hystavito  "some of the decisions maybe didn't land or weren't the right decisions and we changed some of those"

SphinxDemon
SphinxDemon

Would you like some ICE COLD WATER WITH THAT BURN

domisbatman
domisbatman

@AyatollaofRnR @xcollector  People weren't happy with Halo 4 , the new Gears and the last 2 Fable games .Honestly I can't believe they put out Fable 3 and Fable Kinects 

leviathanwing
leviathanwing

@AyatollaofRnR @xcollectornone of those ips were worth more than 2 maybe 3 iterations and alan wake didnt even get a proper sequel and its personally the best one that you listed

battlefront1943
battlefront1943

@UnrealPro Yeah, I believe it 100%.  That slap in the face to servicemen/women really showed his true colors...  and Mattrick didn't even understand what he'd said.


Not to expand too much, but there's a tsunami of arrogance across the high-tech industry (start-ups and industry leaders) that's quite scary.  It's a culture war where tech sector feels they know what's best and don't care about the "outsiders"...  even when those are the consumers -- some even advocating a kind of feudalism.  Seriously.  I've spent a lot of time in SF and Silicon Valley and this is a growing world view that's kinda frightening.  When I heard the same things from Mattrick and MS it was sickening but not unexpected.