Phil Spencer Talks Acquisitions, Game Pass on Other Platforms

Posted on October 26, 2020 by Brad Sams in Games, Xbox with 12 Comments

In about two weeks, Microsoft will be releasing its next-generation consoles where the company hopes to improve its market share and experiences for consumers. With the hardware nearly here, the primary focus is on games and the company’s growing library of studios.

With the Bethesda acquisition making its way through the regulatory journey, Phil Spencer in an interview with Game Reactor covered a wide variety of topics relating to future plans for acquisitions and Game Pass.

As expected, Microsoft is not done buying studios and will always leave the door open for future acquisitions but in the interview, Spencer made it clear on the type of games or studios he would like to acquire – specifically, casual style games.

I think what is missing from our portfolio is casual content with a broad appeal. E-rated content (to use an ESRB rating) is not a strength for us.

In the interview, he acknowledges that Minecraft has performed well for Microsoft and those are the types of titles that he would like to expand the portfolio with and it makes quite a bit of sense. Considering the company will have 23 studios post-Bethesda acquisition, having a robust lineup of games that range from FPS (first-person shooter) to casual titles will be important to making Game Pass appeal to a wide audience and not the typical ‘hardcore’ gamer associated with consoles.

A few other points from the interview are that you should not expect Game Pass on Switch or PlayStation anytime soon, he downplays this by saying that iOS, TVs, and other platforms are likely of a higher priority for the team. Of course, he does leave open the idea of bringing Game Pass to those platforms but I would not hold my breath for that.

Over the next two weeks or so, we will have a lot more on the new Series S and X – stick around, the fun is about to begin.


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Comments (12)

12 responses to “Phil Spencer Talks Acquisitions, Game Pass on Other Platforms”

  1. beckoningeagle

    queue the Sega memes

  2. christianwilson

    Once the Bethesda deal is finalized, they can bring back Commander Keen and provide some of that E rated content they are missing. That's my dream, anyway...

  3. blue77star

    Not planning to pay them a penny for any service. It is not a good deal, it is terrible deal. For example they had Metro Exodus on Game Pass for PC and later they removed it. If you wanted to play game again, you would not be able to do so. Buying game is better option, preferable at GOG.

    • scovious

      In reply to blue77star:

      I've enjoyed Game Pass games that were 3rd party and unfortunately removed before I could finish them, its a terrible experience. I look to Amazon Luna's channels system and dream that one day Game Pass will extend an option to provide more 3rd party titles reliably, even if it costs more because in the end that would still be cheaper than buying games outright.

    • sammyg

      In reply to blue77star:

      On the PC I would never buy it. On Xbox its worth me.

    • Paul Thurrott

      It's only preferable when you plan to keep playing again and again. Xbox Game Pass subscribers get a discount if they wish to buy a game they really like.
  4. Jippa Wip

    Hi Paul, any idea what studio they might be considering?

  5. will

    What is great about Bethesda is they have some high end franchises they can work from and not just rely on Halo. IMO what they showed for Halo was pretty embarrassing.

    They could and should spend time going forward and do a major release from a different game each year and give time for all the other games to get better.

  6. bleeman

    I'd love to see them port their own casual games (Solitaire, Mahjong, Ultimate Word Games,etc.) to both the Xbox and Android. I know I can play them on my PC but there are times I'd just as soon be sitting in my recliner relaxing and not playing an FPS.

  7. openmisere

    "I think what is missing from our portfolio is casual content with a broad appeal." This is an ironic statement given Microsoft owns Microsoft Casual Games! Given the Xbox team have evolved it's focus to the billions of people playing games on all devices, why hasn't there been a significant investment in Microsoft Casual Games to make it the undisputed KING of card/word games? While I really like Microsoft Solitaire, it feels like Microsoft Casual Games have been missing in action as Xbox/Microsoft has implemented it's gaming strategy over the past ~5 years. For example, why aren't all Microsoft Casual Games games included in Game Pass Ultimate? If AAA titles like the Master Chief Collection and Gears 5 can be in Game Pass Ultimate, why wasn't this done years ago for all Microsoft Casual Games titles? While most of Microsoft Casual Games' games are good, they are not uniformly great, and look/feel is variable across games for no good reason in 2020. Microsoft Casual Games has an opportunity to make AAA card/word games in a market where there is no developer doing this.

  8. TechnologyTemperance

    E-rated content and IP that means anything... Another reason those Sega rumors continue!