In an interview with Polygon, Xbox boss Phil Spencer speaks about the team’s interest in encouraging their partners to pursue more original video game ideas.
“We now have a platform that can really support us taking more creative risk,” Spencer says. “I think absolutely there’s an opportunity for us to do that with more franchises, whether it’s … kind of spinoff genres, or even revisiting things like Flight Sim, and bringing those back. They’re actually part of the same lens for us of, ‘What is it in our portfolio that we have? And what ideas would we either like to go back and revisit or experiment with more?’”
Interestingly, Spencer notes that Game Pass is one of their most valuable tools in terms of pursuing ideas that they maybe wouldn’t otherwise greenlight. To help explain how Game Pass enables such ideas, Spencer recalls the early days of the production process for Gears Tactics.
“Your normal process [is] some business people would go off and use Excel and tell you what the average selling number is for a PC turn-based strategy game,” Spencer explains. “You say, ‘OK, and we want to bring that to console.’ So you kind of add those two numbers up and you evaluate it. But now we can say, ‘Well wait a minute, we have over 10 million subscribers in the subscription. How many of those people will play and get retained and be a part of the subscription?’ It really creates a different way for us to evaluate what games we go off and build, and allows us to do some things that frankly, we wouldn’t go do if we were just driven by the retail dynamics of the industry.”
Those statements are just part of Spencer’s thoughts in regards to how he feels that the Xbox team is curating a diverse lineup of games that they intend to reveal and release for Xbox Series X and Xbox One over the next few years. While Spencer doesn’t name any new games as part of that initiative, he does mention that developers such as Obsidian, Rare, and Ninja Theory are helping diversify the Xbox game catalog by targeting experiences which may not currently exist or are otherwise underrepresented.
That should come as good news to gamers who champion the pursuit of new ideas as well as Xbox fans who feel that the Xbox One suffered from a lack of compelling exclusives across a variety of genres.