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Phil Spencer: Xbox Will Work to Deliver 'Quality and Consistency' Following Bethesda Delays

Phil Spencer: Xbox Will Work to Deliver 'Quality and Consistency' Following Bethesda Delays - News

by William D'Angelo , posted 2 days ago / 2,558 Views

Bethesda Software this week announced it has decided to delay the release of Starfield and Redfall to the first half of 2023 to give the development teams more time to finish them up.

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer via Twitter stated he supports giving the developers more time to make better games. However, he admits Xbox needs to do better when it comes to not only delivery quality games, but also releasing them more consistently.

"These decisions are hard on teams making the games & our fans," said Spencer. "While I fully support giving teams time to release these great games when they are ready, we hear the feedback. Delivering quality & consistency is expected, we will continue to work to better meet those expectations."

Microsoft in recent years has been investing in growing its first-party lineup of studios with acquisitions like Bethesda's parent company ZeniMax, Obsidian, InXile, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, Double Fine and more. 

Microsoft is also in the middle of acquiring Activision Blizzard in a deal worth $68.7 billion.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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50 Comments
yvanjean (2 days ago)

This is the price to pay to stop Crunch and improve Quality. Microsoft did not have game of these caliber last Gen; I'm just happy to know these game are coming. Time to announce some great Game pass deal to make up for the delay.

  • +11

Not to mention we're really only now feeling the effects the pandemic had for so many games that were in the middle of development when the pandemic started. That's why games are either further out than we thought or are being delayed into 2023. But it's really great to see developer health is finally being prioritized as it always should have been.

  • +1
scrapking yvanjean (2 days ago)

This is a benefit of Game Pass for the developers, IMO. It takes away some of the temptation to make the teams crunch, when instead of needing to hit some arbitrary date such as the holiday season, they can release it when it's ready. Yes, they do need to be mindful of droughts long enough that people un-subscribe, and this may cause them to strike more Game Pass deals with third-parties, but anything that improves the working conditions and quality of lives of the developers is fine by me.

  • -7
VAMatt scrapking (2 days ago)

How does Game pass change that? Game pass needs consistent content.

  • +8
DonFerrari (2 days ago)

Wasn't the plan release an AAA exclusive like every 2 or 3 months? Well that consistency doesn't seem to be happening.

  • +10

That's what Microsoft's end goal is. Unfortunately, it takes years for the studios they acquired to make original games. Most games that we already knew about started development between 2017-2019, which was when Microsoft started buying said studios. Given that timetable, I wasn't really expecting much from 2022 lol. It was more 2023 and especially 2024 that sort of consistency will hit.

  • +4

So what about doing and them talking instead of saying something and taking over 3 years to show it?

  • 0

The reason why any company would, get fans hyped for something they know will one day happen. When are we getting Metroid Prime 4, KOTOR Remake, Wolverine, Kingdom Hearts IV, or the Max Payne remake? Idk and we won't know for years. Phil has made clear what their long term plan is and hopefully they nail it.

  • +2
Shiken DonFerrari (23 hours ago)

You mean like how Sony planned to release God of War in 2021, and now it might not get here till 2023? I am going to give you a similar response that you gave people who wanted to call out that delay with claims that they only said 2021 to push launch hype.

Companies announce their plans, and things change based on unforseen circumstances. I do not doubt that this was MS goal and intent, but due to obvious circumstances that impacted everyone, and the backlash that followed the lack of released overall content with Halo Infinite (albiet what is there is high quality)...they decided to push the plans for that goal back instead of pushing out more half baked projects. I am sure it is still the goal, but it will take longer to execute than initially planned. They listened to the community about rushing things out, but I guess MS will always just be viewed negatively no matter what they do.

  • +2
yvanjean DonFerrari (2 days ago)

That is still the plan and just because game get delays doesn't mean they don't have the most games in Xbox Development history right now. You know full well that the entire industry is recovering from Covid impact and work place controversy. It sucks for 2022 game release and near future but the future of Xbox games is brighter than it ever was before.

  • 0

Where did you see that Microsoft had any plan like that for 2022 or even 2023?
I think you are making this up and simply spinning anything Microsoft said into your own version of it and make it an official thing you can bash on.

This takes time and in several years, with all their acquisitions, it def. a possibility and their end goal.
And based on all the studios they have, I'm not sure how you are even doubting about their intention and commitment to that...

Every others (Sony, Nintendo) are coming up with a vision and goals. Are they reaching them all, nope. But it is more than okay to have a vision and try to reach for it.

  • -4

You honestly don't believe that goal wont be achieved? Not sure if you have been paying attention to the buyouts lately. Do the maths, the amount of studios they own by how long it takes to make the average game. These things won't happen over night, it will take years to get all these companies in gear. Once that happens than the plan will work. However keep in mind delays, previous contract deals, covid and real world issues which affect everyone.

  • +5

That takes time. Alot of the AAA studios they acquired starting in 2018 when they began their acquisition spree had contractual obligations to finish up multiplat games before they could start working on Xbox exclusives, studios such as Arkane Lyon (Deathloop), inXile (Wasteland 3), Tango Gameworks (Tokyo Ghostwire), and Obsidian (The Outer Worlds), among others, now that each of their final multiplat games have all released, each of them will be working on an Xbox exclusive next. Others released games shortly before Xbox acquired them, like MachineGames (Wolfenstein Youngblood in 2019) and id Software (Doom Eternal in 2020), and with AAA development taking 4-5 years on average these days, sometimes longer, they just haven't had time to make their 1st Xbox exclusives yet.

Xbox is currently sitting on roughly 18 AAA teams which are able to release exclusives in the future across 14 studios, once all 18 AAA teams get into a proper release schedule of actually working on Xbox exclusives, they should have little trouble releasing 1 AAA game per quarter, 4 per year, especially with at least 3 AAA 2nd party games currently leaked as in development (Contraband from Avalanche, Project Dragon from IOI Barcelona, and a Monster Hunter like game from Certain Affinity), and the Activision-Blizzard acquisition adding even more studios which could potentially release AAA exclusives for Xbox in the future.

  • +3
JRPGfan (2 days ago)

He has been saying the same thing for 8+ years right? Its consistantly a issue (quality and delays).
At some point, you have to question if you should believe him. He always says the right things, but actions speak louder than words.

  • +6

It’s true they just keep repeating the same message. I really hope they turn things around soon.

  • -3
Brimac19 JRPGfan (1 day ago)

Yep-Same old story since 2013!!!

  • -3
thevideogameninja (2 days ago)

Say what you want about Phil but I feel his head is in the right place.

I'm glad Phil and the team have come to the realization over the last few years that what separates your console from the competition is ultimately going to boil down to the types of games people can get on it and only it as opposed to another console.

"X"clusives are definitely the way to achieve this goal and Microsoft investing heavily in developers who will deliver on this is a good step in the right direction (even if how they went about it is controversial.).

The only thing left is to actually deliver on those promises now in the way of actual products being released to the public in a timely manner.

Microsoft has a real good shot this gen of coming out on top. The good news for Microsoft is that with someone like Phil at the helm they are less likely to deviate from their intended projection and keep their focus where it should be.

-QUALITY AND CONSISTENCY ARE KEY NINJA APPROVED-

  • +6

I think it's impossible for MS to come out on top this gen. It takes time to repair the damage that has been done. Next gen? I could see them making some real strides in the industry if they can prove this gen that they are in fact going to start releasing new games consistently. Regardless it's not about selling more consoles for them really anyway (although they do want that) they are just trying to increase GP subscribers.

  • +1

How would you explain the state they wanted to release Halo before the backlash?

  • +5

What does that matter when the game got the delay it needed? There's no point in hypotheticals for argument sake when it didn't happen. If 343 released the game in 2020 like what their original plan was, then this would've been much bigger issue and more going against Xbox in general. But, Infinite got the delay it needed, and the game was all the better for it.

Just do your research on 343 and you'll see how the studio has been mismanaging itself for years and how Joe Staten has been working on righting that ship, but he came in very late in development.

  • +7

The plan was from MS from what we know, and they were pretty much confident on their showing. It was just after backlash that they changed plan. And still with 1 year delay they have delivered a game that wasn't on the state people expected.
The studio mismanagement is MS own responsibility.

  • +1

It is MS's responsibility, and they got the right person for the job to fix it.

They're owning up to their mistakes and responsibilities

  • +4

When it comes to 343 will see is all I can say. That studio has been an issue for a long time now. IMO it should be disbanded and have the staff spread through all the other devs. Maybe it was a management issue will find out soon enough. I'm suspect that it was simply a management issue.

  • +1

From what we know? Whos we?
MS/Xbox promised to showcase Halo and needed to. And they did. When they heard that people werent too impressed, they delayed the game. So what exactly is your point? Also Halo Infinite released with plenty of praise.

  • +3

Halo Infinite should still be delayed. It’s a Half baked incomplete Gamepass mess.

  • 0

Game sits on an 87 Meta and won awards on release. Maybe play the game before judging it.

  • 0

This still falls fully on MS!!! They own the studio and I remember both Phil and Aaron bragging how great Halo Infinite was looking before it’s initial terrible reveal!!! Sorry MS has made alot of money in other areas but have been below avg in the gaming business

  • +1
Angelv577 (2 days ago)

this PR looks almost copy and paste from previous PR statement from phil.

  • +5
Drakrami (2 days ago)

Well Microsoft's had next to no games last gen. This gen they still haven't delivered. For those saying just look at their acquisitions. There is something called mismanagement; action before words. Just like one year Microsoft announced Scalebound, Phantom Dust, Crackdown3, Project Spark: those games sure showed up great.

The Initiative supposedly this huge talented studio, 5 years in, nothing to show for. Even read they lost half their developers recently.

  • +4
Brimac19 Drakrami (1 day ago)

MS just isn’t good and handling game studios.

  • +4
Spike0503 (2 days ago)

Well, better this than have those games become the next Cyberpunk fiasco. Then again I'm not an Xbox user so I wonder how they'll take it. Is there anything coming out this year in regards to Xbox exclusives?

  • +3

At the moment, not really lol. The only official Xbox exclusives this year are As Dusk Falls and Grounded's 1.0 release. So, we'll have to wait till the Xbox/Bethesda showcase on June 12th to see if Xbox has anything else ready for this year. There's rumors that a new Forza Motorsport and a Disco Elysium-like RPG from Obsidian Entertainment will be releasing this year, but we'll find out soon enough.

  • +2

I checked out Grounded and it looks alright but I can't believe they won't add local co-op. Such a wasted opportunity, there's not enough couch co-op games out there. Anyway, thanks for the info.

  • +1

I'd expect the next Forza Motorsport to come out this year as well. Scorn is also scheduled to come out in October. Stalker 2 was given a December 8 release date, but with the developer being based in Ukraine, I expect it to get delayed to 2023.

I'd rather games be delayed and be a better experience at launch than to rush a game out that is a buggy mess. We all saw how bad Cyberpunk was at launch.

  • +2
Spike0503 trunkswd (2 days ago)

Wow, forgot about Stalker. That's one of the few games that pique my interest in the XSX. Yeah, I figure it'll be delayed till who knows when. They got more important priorities over there.

  • +1
Azzanation (1 day ago)

Quality > Quantity. People complain that GP will lower game quality, now people complain that they are delaying to improve quality. The internet.

  • +2

With no quantity it’s hard to talk about quality, and budgets for AAA on Gamepass will fall over time. AAA titles should never be released into any Game sub service day & date!

  • 0

Yeah no. I enjoy playing 100+ games for next to nothing a month. Hope they continue adding AAA games to the service. Get on board or don't use the service. Simple.

  • +1
pokoko Azzanation (9 hours ago)

You play 100+ games a month? Wow!

  • 0
Azzanation pokoko (8 hours ago)

I have the option to

  • 0
eva01beserk (2 days ago)

Where have I heard this before? More waiting. Definetly heard that before. Weve learned and are improving. Yes that to. We are listening to feedback. Yes all that I heard before. Bit from where i wonder. I know its been like a decade but I just cant put my finguer on it.

  • +2
ClassicGamingWizzz (2 days ago)

He did the right thing, its bethesda , the game must have been broken as fuck still.

But dude is being saying things will improve since he arrived there on top , " next year will be the year!!! " , 2022 its probably the worst year ever of a microsoft console , just shut the fuck up, stop giving so much interviews and statements and talk when you actualy have something to show up.

  • +2

Try not to let it bother you too much, it'll be ok. Nothing wrong with a little more polish, it'll be good game.

  • +2

Hopefully Xbox doesn't hold back at next months showcase.

  • 0

Man so much this. I've been waiting for MS to hit the highs of the 360 since the release of xbox one. They constantly keep saying they know what their issues are but it doesn't seem like anything is changing. With that said they have purchased a ton of studios now so things should change but man I agree with you. Feels like they keep saying the same message over and over for years now.

  • 0
Jumpinbeans (2 days ago)

Anyone who has worked on a project knows you can spot delays to completion a loooong time before the end date. No chance that they only knew about the delays now, i would bet on them realising as soon as the Nov 2022 date was announced last year that they couldn't meet it. MSFT has used the carrot of these huge up and coming games to keep the subscribers coming to GP. Delays of a week or a month are ok - 6 months nope.

All of this points to a failure of management (senior MSFT management) but also a culture of treating subscribers to the service as nothing more than a source of cash.

  • 0

Nobody is forced to sub the service if they don't want to. Game Pass has absolutely delivered on quality content for the last 3 years. There is a reason why people talk highly of it.

  • 0
AdvanceWebSolutions (2 days ago)

So far just Halo and Forza as the major exclusives for a very long wait already. Surprising generation after generation the same pattern keeps repeating for XBOX. Maybe all the major titles will finally arrive at once but no dates for anything soon.

  • 0
Brimac19 (1 day ago)

They’ll probably get to the AAA game every 2 or 3 months around 2050! Of course many of them will be shrunk down games broken into smaller pieces like Halo Infinite!!!

  • -1
Brimac19 (1 day ago)

This guy lost all respect from me with the Halo Infinite mess. Bragging how great the game was looking before it’s terrible initial reveal!!! People put to much blind faith in this guy!!!

  • -1