Sony intentionally held back announcements from its E3 2017 briefing, and Microsoft did too. Xbox boss Phil Spencer told Waypoint that Microsoft could have shown teaser trailers for games that are still a long time off, but he didn’t think this was the best approach. Instead, he wanted to focus more on games coming this year and next, it seems.
“We are investing in new things,” Spencer said. “We’ve signed things just recently. I thought about, ‘Hey, from a PR standpoint it’d be really easier for me to put a trailer on screen even though I know the game’s not coming for 2.5 or 3 years.’ I didn’t want to do that.”
Spencer said he understands that announcing some of these games could have helped fans to know that more titles are coming so they can buy into the Xbox brand with confidence. But Spencer assures that investing in new games and content is critical.
“Trust that this is important to us,” Spencer said. “From the CEO of the company on down; if you talk to [Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella] about it, he would say I understand we need to invest in content in the gaming space–and that is important. We are going to invest.”
After Spencer took over as Head of Xbox, he made the controversial decisions to cancel Fable Legends (and close Lionhead) and shut down Scalebound, two high-profile projects. Earlier this year, he talked about how those decisions are good for Microsoft in the long run.
“We had to stop doing some other things in order to create room for [doing new things]. And that’s just kind of the nature of running a business,” he said. “One of the things that I wanted to do when I came into this job … one of the things was our first-party and how I thought about needing to–this is an unfair word, but I’ll say ‘rework’ our first-party. Regretfully, that meant certain things that we were doing, I thought we needed to do something different. It meant getting back to what I think is a core and building from that.”