And The New Boss Of Xbox Is
As expected, Stephen Elop, the former head of Microsoft-owned Nokia, has assumed control over Xbox.
According to The Verge, the 50-year-old Canadian replaces Julie Larson-Green as the head of Microsoft’s Devices and Studios business, which operates Xbox, Surface, Windows Phone and Microsoft Studios.
Larson-Green, who was in charge of Xbox as it launched Xbox One in November 2013, side-steps to a new role as Chief Experience Officer for the Applications and Services group. This deals with Bing, Office and Skype.
“You are all in great hands with Stephen and already we’ve shared a lot with him and his LT from Nokia regarding all of the fantastic people, teams and products in DnS,” Larson-Green wrote in an outgoing email.
“I also know many of you are looking forward to welcoming the Nokia team and working more closely with them.”
According to a Bloomberg report published in November 2013, if Elop had got the top job at Microsoft he would have considered selling the Xbox business.
“Besides emphasising Office, Elop would be prepared to sell or shut down major businesses to sharpen the company’s focus,” Bloomberg reported.
“He would consider ending Microsoft’s costly effort to take on Google with its Bing search engine, and would also consider selling healthy businesses such as the Xbox game console if he determined they weren’t critical to the company’s strategy.”
At the time Microsoft called Bloomberg’s report “fiction”.
Xbox Ceo Phil Spencer Asks Gaming Community To Respect Creators
Xbox CEO Phil Spencer recently received a lifetime achievement award, and in a recent interview speaking on the award has asked fans to respect creators.
After having received a Lifetime Achievement Award at DICE 2022, Spencer spoke with IGN where he shared a message addressed to the wider gaming community. eep playing, keep using your voice, understand the power of creativity, the power of community,said Spencer. And the other thing I would just say is, lets respect creators. I think its very often that creations can be kind of weaponized and used in battles between platforms and other things.
I look at everybody who is brave enough to create something, put it outhave their peers, the industry, players, play and analyze and talk about what they do, and lets just celebrate the fact that so many great games are coming out from so many creators, and realize thats such a foundation for where this industry is going to go.
Pincus Will Become Chairman And Chief Product Officer At The Struggling Games Company
U.S. Correspondent, IDG News Service|
Pincus will stay on as Zynga’s chairman and chief product officer, he said in a letter to employees posted on the Web. Mattrick, who was president of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business, starts at Zynga next week.
Microsoft confirmed Mattrick’s departure but did not name a replacement. The managers who reported to Mattrick will now report directly to CEO Steve Ballmer, Ballmer said on Microsoft’s website.
The factors behind the management change at the developer of “Farmville” and Words with Friends” weren’t clear, though Zynga has struggled to maintain its early growth rate. In his letter, Pincus said he had always maintained that “if I could find someone who could do a better job as our CEO, I’d do all I could to recruit and bring that person in.”
“I’m confident that Don is that leader,” said Pincus, who has been CEO at Zynga for six years.
As head of interactive entertainment at Microsoft, Mattrick was a key player behind the development and marketing of the Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox Live, and Kinect gaming consoles and services, as well as PC and mobile products.
In Mattrick’s time at Microsoft, Xbox Live members grew from 6 million to 48 million and Xbox 360 became the top-selling console in North America the past two years, Ballmer said.
Mattrick, who joined Microsoft in 2007, is also credited for his role in developing the “FIFA,” “Harry Potter” and “The Sims” game franchises.
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Transformative Xbox Executive Phil Spencer Is Now The Ceo Of Gaming At Microsoft Will Oversee All Of The Company’s Future Plans
Phil Spencer is now officially the top boss of Xbox gaming.
Yesterday marked a historic day for gaming. Microsoft announced its plan to buy Activision-Blizzard for $68.7 billion and merge the Call of Duty publisher in its Xbox Studios lineup. Phil Spencer has been promoted as the new CEO of Gaming–a role that hasn’t existed before–at Microsoft. As CEO, Spencer will oversee all facets of the company’s interactive entertainment business.
“As Satya mentioned, I am now CEO, Microsoft Gaming. This change is a reflection of the incredible work each of you are doing to create the best entertainment ecosystem anywhere. As a leadership team, we know how much exciting but difficult work we have ahead of us, so it’s crucial that we operate as a single, unified team,” Spencer said in an email to employees that was made publicly available.
Activision-Blizzard will remain autonomous and independent until the buyout deal closes in Microsoft’s FY23 period . After that, the publisher will report directly to Phil Spencer.
Spencer promises to “bring as many Activision-Blizzard games to Game Pass as we can,” and sources have told Bloomberg some games will remain multi-platform on competitor systems.
The Fate Of Call Of Duty After The Activision Blizzard Deal Has Been The Subject Of Rampant Speculation Since Tuesday
“Had good calls this week with leaders at Sony,” Spencer wrote in a statement posted to his personal Twitter account on Thursday.
Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard this week has proven to be among the most consequential acquisition announcements in the history of the game industry, and it’s proved equally controversial when considering what it means for big game franchises like Call of Duty. Now, Xbox chief Phil Spencer, CEO of the newly formed Microsoft Gaming division, has come out with a public statement affirming Microsoft’s position on multi-platform support for the shooter series, though with a fair amount of ambiguity thrown in.
“Had good calls this week with leaders at Sony,” Spencer wrote in a statement posted to his personal Twitter account on Thursday. “I confirmed our intent to honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Sony is an important part of our industry, and we value our relationship.”
Ultimately, the ball is in Microsoft’s court, and it will be fascinating to see how the company intends to distribute its massive content empire across platforms now that it holds more leverage over its rival and a much larger customer base than it did during the PlayStation 4 era.
Meta hasn’t completely abandoned its blockchain ambitions, signaling that support for cryptocurrency payments will eventually be built into Meta Pay.
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Zynga Hires Microsoft Xbox Chief As Ceo
Zynga has appointed the former president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft as CEO.
Don Mattrick has replaced founder Mark Pincus after being personally recruited to head the ailing games company. Mattrick, part of Microsoft since 2007 and credited with leading the team that created Microsoft’s Xbox and developing the product into a globally popular console, will now act as CEO — but an interesting management system leaves questions as to who is actually in charge.
The 49 year-old is at least, in name, chief executive officer. However, Zynga’s management structure, comprised of two tiers, means that Pincus will hold on to 61 percent of voting rights as well as claiming the chief product officer position.
People close to the situation told Reuters that Mattrick “hesitated” before accepting the position. However, Wall Street seemed to take the news with good cheer — as Zynga shares shot up over ten percent after the shake-up.
In 2007 and through the early years, Zynga connected users of the Facebook platform to games. The company’s business model was heavily dependent on Facebook, and while the business did well by selling virtual goods through games including Farmville and Words with Friends, profit margins declined as more users shifted to games on mobile devices. As a result, Zynga is now worth only 25 percent of its initial $10 offering price.
In a statement revealing the change, Mattrick said:
Xbox Ceo Phil Spencer On Reviving Old Activision Games As Microsoft Positions Itself As Techs Gaming Company
With its $68.7 billion acquisition of mammoth embattled video game publisher Activision Blizzard, Microsoft will be taking on a lot. It will be absorbing a company criticized by its employees for its workplace culture, one that is embroiled in lawsuits alleging gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment. Microsoft will also be taking on game development studios that have inched closer to unionization over the past several months.
But it will also be adding an element that newly minted CEO of Microsoft Gaming Phil Spencer sees as core to Microsofts strategy for consumer acquisition: a slew of video games and long-abandoned franchises.
Asked about the workplace complaints faced by Activision Blizzard in a 10-minute interview with The Washington Post on Wednesday, Spencer said: I believe the leaders there believe in the opportunity they have in their plan, noting his confidence the issues will be resolved. In addressing the potential of bringing on unionized workers, he said his company will aim to empower its new employees to do their best work.
The games created by Activision Blizzards developers provide the centerpiece of Microsofts strategic thinking around the acquisition. The titles are some of the most popular in the world. And those Activision Blizzard properties extend well beyond Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush.
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What Did Others Say
In more recent years Spencer has touched on how he has no interest in console wars, which is likely partly what he was referring to in his message. But the Xbox CEO was not the only one to address toxicity in gaming.
EA Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Laura Miele also on severe issues in gaming during her keynote at DICE 2022. Lets face it, there have been some rough headlines, Miele said. Stories about negligence and lawsuits, all stemming from leaders who failed to uphold standards weve come to expect.
Hopefully when Spencer discusses respecting creators he plans to put the work in. Microsoft is in the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard, a company currently embroiled in a lawsuit that alleges a variety of workplace harassment and discrimination. But with Microsoft taking over, hopefully things will change.
Why Would Microsoft’s Upcoming Ceo Want To Kill Xbox
It’s practically Xbox One Eve–yet behind the scenes, the well-established console brand seems to be going through some transition pains. CVG News reports that, in his final shareholder address as Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer had to defend the Xbox as a valuable arm of the tech giant. Ballmer called the Xbox brand a “reflection of what is possible when a company, our company, is unified under a common vision.” But wait–who’s saying that the Xbox should be cut loose, just as it’s hitting its next-gen stride? Why, none other than ex-Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, the forerunner to be Ballmer’s replacement at the head of Microsoft.
Even though the Xbox 360 is one of the most widely popular consoles ever, and even though people are clamoring to pick up their Xbox One this Friday, Elop might see the brand as little more than an unprofitable department. According to Bloomberg’s inside sources, Elop “would also consider selling healthy businesses such as the Xbox game console if he determined they werent critical to the companys strategy.” And Elop isn’t wrong: Market analysts like Rick Sherlund claim that Microsoft’s entertainment branches, Xbox included, are losing billions. But amputating the Xbox limb now seems incredibly short-sighted.
Oh, and Elop, if you’re reading this–you should go ahead and kill the Bing brand if you want. Absolutely no one will miss it.
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Xbox Ceo Perfectly Responds To Historic Change In Gaming
By Jason Collins| 1 month ago
In light of Raven Softwares unionization, the first of its kind at the controversial Activision Blizzard , Xbox CEO Phil Spencer offered a perfect response to a historical change in gaming. This response comes following the previous all-hands meeting held a year and a half ago, during which Spencer stated that he doesnt have much experience with unions. As it turns out, the head of Xbox took that time to educate himself on unionization whilst doing some corporate homework on behalf of Microsoft.
According to Kotaku, Phil Spencer will support Raven Software and the first North American gaming union. In todays meeting, Spencer also stated that he, and Linda Norman, Microsofts Gaming Division VP, spent some time learning about unions and the importance of unionization. As a result, he also stated that both he and Linda would support the employees right to organize and form unions. Spencer also said that Microsoft doesnt currently have any kind of relationship with Communication Workers of America, or the union, Game Workers Alliance.
As things currently are, the Game Workers Alliance is the first group to unionize under ABK and will most probably remain organized under Microsoft. The latter stated that the studios will retain a greater degree of creative freedom regarding their titles but will ultimately be responsible to Xbox Game Studios and Microsofts Gaming Division once the acquisition concludes.
Samsung Smart Tvs And New Game Pass Territories
Microsoft said it is bringing the Xbox app to Samsung 2022 smart TVs and it is expanding Xbox Cloud Gaming to more countries including New Zealand and Argentina. Players will now be able to play hundreds of cloud-enabled games without a console on the smart TVs. That includes hundreds of games in the Game Pass Ultimate library as well as Fortnite, without a subscription.
Microsoft promises that playing Xbox games on Samsungs TVs will be a seamless experience like using any other app on your TV.
The company is also bringing new gaming experiences to Microsoft Edge and Windows 11.
It is also rolling out updates for Xbox Game Pass members, and it is introducing more options to express yourself with Xbox Design Lab.
For the Samsung games, players will be able on June 30 to get to the Xbox app from the Samsung Gaming Hub or Media Hub. You can log into your existing Microsoft account, and connect your favorite Bluetooth controller.
If youre a Game Pass Ultimate member, youll have access to play loads of great cloud-enabled games, or you can jump into Fortnite without a subscription.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in Argentina and New Zealand will be able to play hundreds of games from the cloud on Apple and Android phones and tablets, Windows PCs, Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles, and soon on smart TVs with Samsung.
Like players in other countries, Argentina and New Zealand gamers can play Fortnite with Xbox Cloud Gaming for free and without any membership required.
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Spencer Asks Gamers To Respect Creators Calls Out Toxicity In Acceptance Speech
Xbox CEO Phil Spencer received a Lifetime Achievement Award at DICE 2022 last week, putting an exclamation mark on a nearly 35-year career that has seen him rise from intern to one of the most powerful leaders in the games industry.
Speaking with IGN after his acceptance speech, Spencer directly addressed the gaming community, urging them to respect creators above all else.
“eep playing, keep using your voice, understand the power of creativity, the power of community,” Spencer said. “And the other thing I would just say is, let’s respect creators. I think it’s very often that creations can be kind of weaponized and used in battles between platforms and other things. I look at everybody who is brave enough to create something, put it out…have their peers, the industry, players, play and analyze and talk about what they do, and let’s just celebrate the fact that so many great games are coming out from so many creators, and realize that’s such a foundation for where this industry is going to go.”
Spencer’s comments followed a speech in which he called out toxicity in gaming, saying that the games industry has a “responsibility to billions of players.”
“We have a responsibility to everyone in this business. We have a responsibility to society. And we have a responsibility to ourselves,” Spencer said. “Our responsibility is simple: do everything possible to ensure that this entire industry is about treating every single person with dignity and respect.”
Microsoft Ceo Pitches Xbox Cloud Gaming To Developers Promising No Extra Coding
Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he’s always had a connection to the tech world. Currently, he writes about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games, and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer — the kind with swords — and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Microsoft is increasingly pitching its Xbox Cloud Gaming service as a new way to play games across devices.
Why it matters
The tech giant is growing its subscription model for video games, focusing on Xbox as a way to play games instead of merely a device plugged into your TV.
Microsoft’s partnered with Fortnite maker Epic Games to offer that title for free, without subscription, through Xbox Cloud Gaming. Microsoft’s CEO says more games are on the way.
Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday pitched his company’s Xbox Cloud Gaming technology as a new way to offer games to Xbox fans, as well as people using Apple’s iPhone or iPad or devices powered by Google’s Android. And, he said, it’ll be trivial to code for as well.
Nadella discussed Xbox Cloud Gaming during the company’s annual Build developer conference, saying the technology — which allows people to play video games over the internet, similar to how they stream movies and TV shows from Netflix or Disney — is designed to work with games that are coded to run on Windows computers or Xbox video game consoles.
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