Xbox Boss Responds to Halo Issues, Christmas Day DDoS Attack

Phil Spencer says, "You can't simulate the real-world environment completely," while he labels the DDoS attack a learning experience.

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Two major struggles for Microsoft and Xbox in general last year were the rocky release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection and the Christmas Day DDos attack that took down Xbox Live. Now, top Xbox boss Phil Spencer has responded to both issues in a new interview.

Regarding The Master Chief Collection's launch woes--which have now been largely fixed--Spencer told Game Informer that leading up to launch, all signs were looking good for a smooth rollout. But things turned south when the game was released on November 11; players were unable to connect to multiplayer, and when they could, finding matches proved difficult.

Spencer said it was impossible to completely simulate a real-world environment when testing the game internally. He went on to pledge that Microsoft needs to improve its pre-release protocols to make sure The Master Chief Collection's problems aren't repeated.

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"Going into the launch our internal processes and testing methodologies had told us that we had a game that was ready to launch," Spencer said. "Then, when it launched, we learned some things we didn't know going into the launch--which is something we need to get better at. You're always going to learn something when you launch; you can't simulate the real-world environment completely inside of any sterile, fixed environment."

Microsoft has since apologized for the Master Chief Collection's rocky launch by offering affected players free goodies such as Xbox Live Gold, DLC, and even a remastered version of Halo 3: ODST. Microsoft continues to patch the game to improve it even more, just this week launching the latest patch that should improve matchmaking overall.

Regarding Xbox Live's Christmas Day network outage, Spencer told Game Informer that the entire event was a learning experience. "Our commitment to Xbox One customers is to make sure our service is robust and reliable," Spencer said.

He also revealed that Microsoft is having conversations with other gaming companies such as Nintendo and Sony about the topic of keeping online networks up and running smoothly.

"I don't think it's great when PSN goes down," Spencer said. "It doesn't help me. All it does is put the fear and distrust from any gamer that's out there, so I look at all of us together as this is our collective opportunity to share what we can about what we're learning and how things are growing. Those conversations happen, which I think is great."

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