Phil Spencer Applauds Developers For Releasing Games Despite Current Cancel Culture

Spencer says players and creators should not be divided and should unite instead.

Story Highlights
  • Phil Spencer has recently made a headliner speech at an awards show.
  • Spencer says game devs are brave for releasing games in current cancel culture.
  • Phil says it's companies' responsibility to promote unity among gamers and creators.
  • A lot of fans are however connecting Phil's call on cancellation culture to recent High On Life dev Justin Roiland's harassement charges.

Nobody’s unaware of Phil Spencer’s influence on the gaming world. Spencer’s vocal persona is no secret. Recently the Xbox Executive, in his speech for an award show discussed the current atmosphere in gaming calling the game devs “brave” for still going on.

Spencer came to the forefront of the 12th annual New York Game Awards while receiving the Andrew Yoon Legend Award. He used his award speech for a special message to the game creators. The Xbox CEO stressed bringing the echo effect of joy to gaming when “there is more despair in the world.”

According to Spencer, it is company executives’ responsibility to ensure gamers experience more joy than negativity. He also praised the developers who still release “their visions” into the world in the “current culture of criticism and cancellation,”

We, all of us here today, all of our teams around the globe, we are all a part of creating this echo effect of joy. Our creators who bravely and intentionally release their visions to the world, particularly in the current culture of criticism and cancellation; our players who bravely and intentionally carve out time for our games to invite, rest, and rejuvenate their lives; and business leaders. We are called upon to have the courage to protect and nurture this collective joy.”

Phil Spencer

The established Xbox executive talked about what playing games meant to him as a child and how challenging it is to reconnect with it in today’s society. “It appears like looking for joy now is an act of defiance”, he remarked.

The Xbox veteran also expressed his urge for the game publishers to work for the unity between gamers and developers. He continued,

And business leaders – we’re called upon to have the courage to protect and nurture this collective joy. We’re called on to incubate these experiences, create them and grow them. We turn away from dividing players and creators, and instead towards each other, as we advance and amplify joy together. This is the echo effect of gaming joy.”

According to some fans though, Phil’s remarks about cancellation culture are related to High On Life’s dev Justin Roiland’s recent controversy. Microsoft was actively promoting the comedic shooter High on Life by Justin Roiland and Squanch Games just a month ago.

Even Roiland was interviewed by Xbox, which later lauded the game as the year’s largest Game Pass debut. However, it was discovered last week that the co-creator of Rick and Morty was charged with two felonies for domestic violence in 2020.

The second part of  Phil’s speech regarding his call for unity has also been heavily connected to Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard and all the hustle about it in the industry. Spencer has recently made headlines claiming Sony plans its growth by “making Xbox smaller.”

Regulators around the world are concerned Microsoft could make popular Activision games Xbox only. Microsoft is currently engaged with regulators across the globe, the deal has been approved in some countries. Microsoft has been warned by EU regulators that it faces an Antitrust warning over its $69 billion acquisition of Activision-Blizzard. 

However, despite everything, Microsoft does have huge support over the deal. The European Games Developer Federation, a labor organization representing game developers across Europe, has put its weight behind Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Moreover, the CMA received 2,100 responses from the public which were overwhelmingly in support of the deal. The CMA reports that 75% of public responses were supportive of the deal going through

If you’re still confused about Microsoft’s fight to acquire Activision Blizzard, check out a complete review on our Youtube channel below:

How do you as a fan, analyze Phil Spencer’s speech? Tell us in the comments below.

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Najam Ul Hassan


Najam is a lifelong gamer and lover of movies, and a fanatical consumer of all sorts of media such as comics, manga, and novels. Currently, he channels his limitless love for games into reporting news for eXputer.

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