Phil Spencer Defends Halo’s Future Amid Cuts and Criticism

Master Chief looks at his ship for what might happen.

picture: 343 Industries / Microsoft

Things haven’t been going well for Xbox lately. Microsoft is facing stiff resistance in its attempt to acquire Activision Blizzard. In the past year, it has released almost no major special blockbuster movies. And last week it laid off more than 10,000 people, including many senior developers also Halo Infinite studio 343 Industries. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer tried to stay optimistic and do damage control on each of these points and more. in a new interview with IGN.

Every year is critical,” he said. “I don’t find this year more or less critical. I feel good about our momentum. Obviously, we’re going through some painful adjustments right now, but I think it’s necessary, but it’s really to prepare us and the teams for long-term success.”

This week he addressed the danger and promise that Xbox is currently facing. On Tuesday, Microsoft announced 12% decrease in net income for the most recent fiscal quarter compared to the previous year. Xbox gaming hardware and software has declined by similar percentages, and Microsoft hasn’t said anything about how many new subscribers the Game Pass service has gained since it crossed the 25 million mark exactly one year ago.

Then on Wednesday, Microsoft gave its upcoming games a sleek and modern look. Developer Direct live stream Copied directly from the Nintendo playbook. forza motorsport It was apparently quietly delayed to the second half of the year, but it looked like a beautiful and impressive racing simulation show. Arkane’s cooperative sandbox vampire shooter redfall It has a May 2 release date. Real-time strategy spinoff Minecraft Legends It will hit in April And to shut down producer Tango Gameworks the evil insideshadow fell High Fi Speed A colorful rhythm action game from the left field that has become the undisputed first game hit of 2023 is on Game Pass.

The hero of Hi-Fi Rush jumps over a colorful city skyline.

Screenshot: Tango Game Studies / Bethesda

“2022 was very light in terms of games,” admitted Spencer IGN interview. It shouldn’t be thanks to 2023 redfall and star fieldBethesda’s highly anticipated “What if Skyrim but space?” But both of these games were technically supposed to come out last year. Meanwhile, High Fi Speed, like obsidian Pentime before that, it’s shaping up to be a critically acclaimed Game Pass release that may still be too small to move the needle in the larger fortunes of the Xbox.

Spencer was vague when asked how successful these games were or their impact on Game Pass, which has reportedly stopped growing on console. “I think the creative diversity expands for us when we have different ways for people to pay for the games they play, and subscription definitely helps with that,” he said.

High Fi Speed, redfall, star fieldand new Elder Scrolls Online The expansion will end in June. all from BethesdaFormer Microsoft first-party game studios, which Microsoft completed acquisitions in 2021, have been relatively quiet in recent years as they worked on their next big project or have been hit by a surprising number of layoffs recently, as in the case of 343 Industries. .

After last week’s news of the outage, rumors and speculation began to swirling that 343 Industries was suspended, which sent a well-received Halo Infinite single-player campaign in 2021 but struggled with seasonal updates for the multiplayer component in the months since then. . studio turned off a brief explanation I mean weekend halo He said he would stay here and continue to develop it.

A shift from Starfield awaits the game's new release date.

picture: Bethesda / Microsoft

Spencer doubled down on that in an interview with IGN, but gave little insight into the rationale behind the layoffs or what their plans are for the franchise going forward. “What we’re doing right now is we want to make sure the leadership team has the flexibility to create the plan they need to create,” he said. “And halo It will continue to be critical to what Xbox does, and the 343 will be critical to Xbox’s success. halo

To where Halo Infinitepreviously launched “10-year” plan fits this, but remains unclear. “There are some rumors that they’re going to work on it, some that have been announced,” Spencer said. And about the future of the series as a whole, he said, “I think we’ll continue to support and grow. halo As long as Xbox is a platform for people to play.” It’s hard to imagine Nintendo talking about Mario with a similar lack of faith.

Microsoft’s ongoing struggles with some of its internal projects may be partly why it’s so focused on seeking outside help. Right now that means trying and struggling to buy Activision Blizzard for $69 billion. antitrust lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission in the process. Microsoft initially promised to get the deal. Call of Duty, Satan, World of Warcraftand sugar paste It will be completed before the end of summer 2023. reportedly giving Sony the option Continuing to pay to own Activision’s games on PS Plus, the rival Game Pass subscription service.

Spencer said IGN He remains bullish on closing the deal, despite claiming to know nothing about the logistics of doing so when he started a year ago. “Granted a year ago, I knew nothing about the process of making such a purchase for me,” he said. “The fact that I have more insight, more knowledge about what it means to work with different regulatory bodies, just based on the information I have and the discussions we have had, I am more confident now than a year ago.



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