Xbox chief Phil Spencer has criticised the practice of third-party studios selling the marketing rights and exclusive content for their titles to console manufacturers – while conceding that Microsoft has itself engaged in the practice.
In a series of tweets, the executive has made his feelings on the strategy known, suggesting that it is holding back growth in the games industry. Spencer first brought up the issue several days ago, as part of a wider discussion about the future of gaming:
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) December 20, 2016
The 28-year Microsoft veteran was later forced on the defensive after users pointed out that Xbox has itself contributed to the issue by paying substantial amounts for the exclusive marketing rights for a number of recently released triple-A titles, including Titanfall 2 and Mafia III.
According to the executive, however, Dead Rising 4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider are two titles that don’t apply to this discussion, as Microsoft published each game on the Xbox One itself.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) December 22, 2016
Earlier this morning, Spencer returned to Twitter to respond to mounting criticism from a number of users, who suggested his views were ‘hypocritical’, given Microsoft’s penchant for throwing dollars at developers for exclusivity deals. He explained that he had never claimed Xbox hadn’t engaged in the practice, but it was simply something ‘he didn’t like’.
@bxrocboy People getting worked up on this, Never said Xbox has never done this, not calling out others, just not practice I like, that’s it
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) December 23, 2016