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Xbox shipped games “too early,” Phil Spencer admits

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Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has admitted that Xbox shipped games “too early” and has called Starfield’s delay “the right thing to do.”

Speaking on The Verge’s Decoder podcast, the Xbox boss was asked to explain the decision behind delaying Microsoft’s two big exclusives, Starfield and Redfall, into next year and has admitted that in the past, Xbox has released games too early.

Xbox boss believes Starfield delay was “the right thing to do”

“I think positioning it as a decision might be slightly wrong, at least for me,” Spencer said. “It isn’t really a decision to move a game after spending the team’s effort over multiple years just to get to a point where you know you’re not going to deliver the game you want on the date that was promised. Now, it is at some level, because I have shipped games too early. We have experienced shipping games too early.”

Spencer didn’t mention which games he believes Xbox shipped too early, but it’s possible he could be referring to Halo Infinite, which launched with plenty of missing features synonymous with the series and a serious lack of multiplayer content. Recently, Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty admitted that Xbox and 343 “fell short” on post-launch content for Halo Infinite.

Discussing Starfield’s delay, Spencer said, “In hindsight, when you look at a game like Starfield, it’s taken so long and so much investment in new IP from the team.Givinge the team the time to build the game they feel they should be building is just the right thing to do.

“There are financial implications to those decisions. Weighing what is going to happen, whether it’s platform growth, subscriber growth, or frankly, the revenue that you generate when a new game launches, those are business decisions. You definitely have to weigh the outcome of those decisions.”

Spencer went on to say that Starfield and Redfall are the first big games from Bethesda owner ZeniMax since it was acquired by Microsoft and that he wanted the teams to feel supported by Microsoft as a whole.

“For any game, but definitely for our games Starfield and Redfall — which are our first big Xbox games with ZeniMax coming into the team — I just wanted to make sure those teams felt they had all the support they could get from Xbox, and to maybe feel some of the benefit of being part of a larger organization that has other revenue streams and other helpful things going on.”

Spencer concluded by saying he believes the quality of Starfield and Redfall will be better because of the delays and that “customers will find the experience to be more interesting.”

When Starfield and Redfall do eventually launch in 2023, they will drop into Xbox Game Pass on day one. To see what other games have been confirmed for the service, check out our lengthy coming to Game Pass in 2022 and beyond article a read.

What are your thoughts on Microsoft delaying Starfield and Redfall and the company’s quiet holiday period? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.

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