Phil Spencer Called 2022 A “Disaster Situation” For Xbox

"We set a very high bar in 2021," said Xbox CEO.

Story Highlights

  • Phil Spencer considered 2022 a “disaster situation” due to the lack of big exclusive launches, as revealed in a leaked email.
  • He also said that 2021 set a “very high bar” regarding quality and pacing.
  • Spencer told the executives in the email that the situation they were facing was a failure of their planning and production execution.
  • The email then went on to discuss their “winning plan” for the next 24 months.

In one of the leaked emails that surfaced recently, Phil Spencer called 2022 a “disaster situation” for Xbox due to its release schedule (thanks, JAHGamer). He stated that the last big exclusive launch was Halo Infinite, released on December 8, 2021, and the studio would likely see a 16-month gap until the next exclusive launch. Spencer called this situation a “failure of our planning and production execution.

Phil Spencer Email
Phil Spencer Email.

This email was sent to Xbox executives, including Matt Booty, Jamie Leder, Sarah Bond, Jerret West, and Tim Stuart. It discussed the state of Xbox’s exclusive launches, showing Spencer’s frustration with their current situation. He said, “We set a very high bar in 2021 on quality and pacing of content, which was awesome to see.” However, after Halo Infinite‘s release, the company saw a stale period of no major exclusive launches.

We keep talking about a bit of AAA a quarter in the service, and it feels like we are likely to go through a gap of almost 16 months between big exclusive launches on our platform. Halo Infinite is our last on December 8, 2021. This is really a disaster situation for us, given all we’ve invested in content across studios at our GP[Game Pass] content fund. We need to learn from this and build a plan forward,” writes Phill Spencer.

He then went on to discuss the “amazing” lineup of games they had between Summer 2021 and December 2021, comparing it to their performance in 2022. Spencer stated, “We have to all understand that the situation we are in now is a failure of our planning and production execution.” Several games they had scheduled at that time were delayed, including Redfall and Starfield, both of which the email regarded as major exclusive titles.

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Redfall has since been released and is considered one of the worst launches of 2023. Starfield has been received well, but whether it is a successful launch for Xbox is something only officials can confirm. Still, it is safe to say that 2022 was a bad year for Xbox compared to the previous performance, and it might start picking things back up in 2023, especially with The Elder Scrolls 6 confirmed to be an Xbox-exclusive launch coming in a few years.

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Mudassir is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering the stories behind our favorite virtual worlds. Armed with a trusty notepad and a keen curiosity, he dives headfirst into the gaming industry's most exciting personalities. His knack for insightful questions and his ability to connect with developers and gamers alike makes his interviews a must-read. While on the lookout for the next person to interview, Mudassir keeps himself busy by writing news surrounding the gaming universe. Experience: 4+ Years || Senior Journalist || Education: Bachelor's in Psychology.

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