Xbox President Sarah Bond’s Bloomberg Interview Is Corporate Fakery At Its Best

It's always about who can avoid the most PR clean-up.

Story Highlights

  • Sarah Bond spoke with Bloomberg for 17 minutes with the gist being “Money is king.”
  • This isn’t the first time we’ve seen fake, rehearsed responses from Xbox and corporate suits in general.
  • It’s time we stopped trusting these huge companies and supported the indie side.

Corporate suits going on record with long-winded speeches, showing up on interviews with the most staged & dodgy replies ever, and faking emotion are hardly anything new. But there happens to be a shiny new product on display again—Bloomberg’s interview with the Xbox President.

I’m not a fan of corporations and Xbox’s latest decision to shutter Arkane Austin along with poor Tango has lethally damaged the brand’s image.

After Sarah Bond’s responses though, I have to admit that this goes up as the worst display of corporate fakery in my book.

17 Minutes With Bloomberg & Sarah Bond Only Said “Money’s Important”

Obviously, she didn’t say it in the most clear and literal manner. She’s the Xbox President and has to maintain some tact and adhere to guidelines lest she ends up having to deal with her higher-ups and spend time on PR cleanup.

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It’s like when Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick theoretically talked about the price-per-hour theory and outlets “misquoted” him. It led to mass emails by the T2 legal team to fix the headlines but we all know what’s going to happen eventually.

But honestly, just listening to what the Xbox President had to say and seeing those fake expressions made me convulse in utter disgust followed by sadness.

According to her, the gaming industry hasn’t been growing for the last few years, and at Xbox, they’re trying to figure out why. Well, I’m pretty sure people who were perpetually at home during the lockdown are heading back out in society and have less leisure time. It’s not rocket science.

In layman’s terms, the Covid boom is balancing out.

Then she states how they saw “tremendously groundbreaking game releases” in 2023 and the growth didn’t follow after that. Now, there are two possibilities here. First, the Xbox President is either talking about her camp only. Second, she’s talking about the industry at large.

The three notable releases on Xbox in 2023. Barring Hi-Fi Rush, what's so groundbreaking about the rest, Ms. Xbox President? Also, we don't talk about Forza Motorsport.
The three notable releases on Xbox in 2023. Barring Hi-Fi Rush, what’s so groundbreaking about the rest, Ms. Xbox President? Also, we don’t talk about Forza Motorsport.

I’ll put my bet on the former and thus pose the question: What groundbreaking games did Xbox put out in 2023? It was certainly not Starfield, probably not Redfall, and definitely not Scalebound (I’ll never let that one go).

You had no games let alone groundbreaking ones. What kind of growth were you expecting?

I guess it has something to do with bringing new players in and making gaming more accessible given that she talks about it next. See, the problem here is that just because something is available doesn’t mean a consumer will use it. There needs to be a reason for them to partake of your product.

Xbox president Sarah Bond responds to a question about why Hi-Fi Rush developer Tango Gameworks was shut down.
byu/Subject_Parking_9046 inTwoBestFriendsPlay

If you don’t have games a consumer is willing to try, you can’t really bring in people.

And then the classic “AAA blockbuster development cost going through the roof” subject. I’m tired of saying it but AAA isn’t the norm, it’s the exception. If you can’t pull it off, back out of the scene.

Make AA games and make them good. Hi-Fi Rush is the prime example of this and guess what the Xbox President had to say in response to a question about shuttering Tango?

In the most long-winded and roundabout way possible, Sarah said “It didn’t make enough money and we got to keep the business alive so yeah.” If you’re about to come at me with defense, just listen to what she said next.

Bond immediately deflects the whole thing and starts talking about Bethesda’s importance, the Fallout TV show, people revisiting the old games, and the upcoming India Jones game. Come on now …

The final nail in the coffin for me was when she said “One size doesn’t fit all” in response to the success of Hi-Fi Rush having no weightage in determining Tango’s future which implies that the studio didn’t meet Xbox’s success metrics.

A display of utterly repulsive hypocrisy. Why do I say that? Because of what the Xbox President and Phil Spencer said back in 2021.

It’s Hardly The First Time We’ve Seen Corporate Fakery From Xbox

Back in 2021, Xbox released a six-part documentary series. In it, Phil Spencer and the current Xbox President talked about Lionhead Studios among several other things in the brand’s history.

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The degree of fakeness in that video is worthy of praise. Honorable mention to Loftis for coming off as real. I’ll quote a line from Sarah Bond. “We acquired Lionhead in 2006 and shut it down in 2016. Two years later, we reflected on our mistakes. Learned from it. How do we not repeat the same mistakes?”

Tango Gameworks? Oh, man.

And then a line by Phil Spencer follows up with “When you acquire a studio, you help them accelerate what they’re good at doing. Not them accelerate what you do.”

Arkane Austin? The other studios closed down with these two? Honestly, this is so spicy and it’s not even the end.

Every time Phil has talked about Starfield in the past and admitted his mistakes with Redfall on the Kinda Funny podcast, it came off as the most fake thing to even exist.

YouTube video

I’m sure there have been great examples of apologies from developers and CEOs but there’s only one that’s stuck with me—Naoki Yoshida and CBU 3 at the launch event of FF14: A Realm Reborn.

But those are not the suits so it’s time we all woke up and …

Stop Trusting Corporations, Because They Only Want Your Money

It’s a tough pill to swallow and something that can’t be implemented immediately. However, after everything that’s happened recently, it’s what I believe in.

Gaming is on its way to a crash.

Xbox mishandling its studios after their acquisition and Sony with the whole Helldivers 2 and Ghost of Tsushima debacle, it’s just not the same anymore.

Here’s hoping for a positive boom happening at some point because these suits are driving the medium into its grave.

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Saad is a News writer at eXputer. With vast journalistic experience working for a multitude of websites, Saad currently reports to eXputer with the latest news and dishes out his opinions on a frequent basis. He's currently studying Game and Interactive Media Design, which has further increased his knowledge about the ins and outs of the industry.

Experience: 1+ Year || Covers News Stories on eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Media Science.

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