See reply above bolded.
When you're in a top-heavy organization like Microsoft, you have to be enthusiastic about whatever the boss says, even if deep down inside you hate it.
That isn't the way it works for a company that wants to stay successful. Most CEO's don't just want yes men, they want people that will contribute to the whole company and create a wide variety of the best possible products to turn a big profit in a given industry. A big project like making a video games console has to be a combination of research into the target market, overall ideas that all departments involved will agree on, not a single top man that has an idea he thinks is going to work.
The most logical conclusion is that Phil agreed with Mattrick's line of thinking, as did everyone else involved and that all parties actually believed in the project, otherwise the system and games would have reflected a different approach than the one we got with XBox One.
If Mattrick tells him to make a game based on the cloud then he has to make do...it's not like he had the ability to go against Mattrick's wishes, even as manager of Microsoft Studios during that time.
Again that's not how it works, for one thing a company the size of Microsoft and the overall size of their game studio division is built based on a division wide structure, Phil could have commissioned any games he felt were financially worth the risk, based on internal testing among all parties.
Phil ran the studios from 2008, he's been in charge of making the decisions for what games get greenlit, it's the end results that Mattrick would care about and that's all down the financials.
Just because Spencer "hyped up" the original Xbox One and Kinect doesn't mean that's the direction he would have taken it. He's required to be a PR man no matter what. But Microsoft's actions getting rid of that nonsense under his tenure speaks to the fact that he thought they were a bad idea.
See you're under the impression that Phil had to agree with how XBox One was created, he didn't, this goes back to my point above about CEO's not wanting their employees to just blindly agree.
Mattrick had to answer to share holders, likely the design and approach of XBox One and Kinect 2.0 being baked in was an Xbox company wide decisions, Mattrick may have signed off on the platform going in that direction, but it doesn't mean that it all came from him.
In the end Mattrick was the scapegoat, because he signed off on Kinect, Xbox One as we know it and cloud focus, DVR stuff.
TBH the company would have made sure they were confident in their approach prior to conceiving their marketing plan, I doubt Phil knew XBox One was going to blow up in their faces as much as it did back then and tbh as I said he's greenlit the projects he has, he's been in charge of games since 2008, so would have to be in a position of power.
It's abundantly clear that Spencer wants Microsoft to increasingly source its 1st-party lineup from external studios. It's pretty obvious why he does that----because if the game fails, you can just stop partnering with the studio and not have to worry about all of the overhead and headaches that come with owning your own studios.
Not sure where you get the impression that Spencer wants this, he has to source what he can, from where he can. If your 1st party studios are all busy on the games you OK then you have to source development resources from elsewhere if you come across another game or more games you want to have on your platform.
Whether you make a game internally or externally you have to pay for that title and if it's made externally then you have to share the end profits, whereas if you make it internally and it makes money then you earn all of the profit.
Doesn't mean the games are any less 1st-party....Scalebound and ReCore exists because of Microsoft and they treat them like it's part of their 1st-party lineup. I still think Spencer is responsible for their creation even if there was evidence of them before the instant it was announced that Spencer was Head of Xbox.
Actually it does. Any games made from a studio you don't own, but you publish are second party (because they're made by a second party entity, separate from your company), if you own the studio, then they're a part of your company, making them 1st party.
3rd party is when another publisher acts as an intermediary between you (the platform holder) and the developer.
Games can still be exclusive in some fashion, but they're only 1st party if they were made by a studio you own.
Scalebound and ReCore exist because those games were conceived by the studios that came up with those titles, those studios approached Microsoft or Microsoft approached those studios and asked them if they had any games that they would be willing to work on and develop exclusively for Microsoft's console.
Platinum Games, Comcept and Armature Studios aren't owned by Microsoft, they're independent entities, so they're second party in those situations and ReCore and Scalebound would have existed regardless of whether Microsoft stepped in or not. Hell any of those companies could have partnered with Sony, Nintendo, Activision, Namco, EA or anyone else to get the games published.
It's most certainly not like Microsoft creatively came up with the ideas for Scalebound and ReCore and then they approach all of those studios to work on those games.
Do I think Spencer is a saint, though? Hell no. I really don't like how he's handled Rare, for example. And it was bullshit to close down Lionhead instead of moving them onto Fable 4 or a new studio unrelated to Fable.
I don't think I outright said that you said Phil was a saint, I just disagree that Phil was unable to make choices on what games Microsoft puts out, he has control over the studios at MS, I doubt if the studios at MS came up with standard games, new IPs that looked cool and were able to break into new markets for games that anyone in charge would be stopping those games from being developed into something big.
Phil likely agreed with all parties involved in developing Xbox One and set the wheels in motion to end up with the platform and games we've seen. Things have happened the way they have, evidence of that speaks for itself.
But I also think that it's still too early to fully gauge whether or not he has done a bad job with Microsoft Studios.
I don't, being that Phil's been in charge of Microsoft studios since 2008, which is 8 years he could have commissioned any number of internally or even externally developed projects and we should have seen something more than we have been.
TBH Phil should have been supporting all requirements for games for 360 and XBox One, clearly he agreed with the overall approach that the company took, otherwise things would have been different years ago.