Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, expressed his frustration in an email leaked in May 2022 regarding the “huge hole” in Microsoft’s games lineup due to the delay of Starfield. He described the situation as a “disaster” and lamented the lack of clarity on the launch dates of other exclusive titles. Spencer highlighted the importance of having a strong portfolio of games and admitted that the current situation was a failure of planning and execution.
To address the gap in the lineup, Spencer discussed the inclusion of third-party games on Game Pass. He specifically mentioned the success of Elden Ring and suggested adding FromSoftware’s Dark Souls games to the subscription service. Sarah Bond, Xbox head of ecosystem, supported this idea and proposed other possible games to add, including Lego Star Wars, Dying Light 2, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Mortal Kombat 1.
The leaked email also revealed concerns about the lack of exclusives on Game Pass this year. While there have been some releases like Hi-Fi Rush and Starfield, the overall lineup has been underwhelming. Spencer acknowledged the need for a better strategy and urged the team to focus on building a winning plan.
The leak also contained other information, such as details about a mid-gen console refresh and the possibility of acquiring Nintendo.
Overall, the leaked email from Phil Spencer showcases the challenges faced by Microsoft in maintaining a strong games lineup and highlights the importance of consistent releases and effective planning.