Phil Spencer Discusses The Absence of Microsoft’s PC Games at E3

'We think of E3 as a console show.'

Posted By | On 14th, Jun. 2014

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To those of you who, like me, were hoping for the announcement of an Age of Empires IV at E# (especially given how Microsoft has been doubling down on its older strategy games for a while now), Microsoft’s E3 presser doubtless brought you some measure and degree of disappointment- there was no Age of Empires there. As a matter of fact, no Windows game was mentioned or announced at Microsoft’s E3. Windows and PC gaming didn’t even get a mention.

Talking to Polygon, Phil Spencer discussed why that is.

“I’m head of gaming at Microsoft,” Spencer said. “When we’re doing gaming strategy, gaming focus inside the company, that’s my job. I think in a lot of ways, you could argue gaming on Windows has never been more healthy in that the biggest of the big franchises, League of Legends, World of Tanks, those things dwarf a lot of what we’re doing in this console space in terms of users and monetization. They’re all on PC.”

“[But] E3’s a retail show,” he said. “It’s a retail show, it’s a console show, so it didn’t really feel like the right place for us to talk about Windows, but Windows and gaming on Windows is critical to Microsoft’s success.”

So, if not at E3, when the world is tuned into all these game announcements, when?

“Well they do these huge world championship events and they fill up arenas,” he said. “I do think there could be a space there.

“For us, E3 is a console show and an Xbox show, and for us as Microsoft, Xbox is our gaming brand, and it’s the thing we can fill an arena like this, we get millions of people to watch us on TV and we show our games and it’s a brand that people care about.”

Spencer sort of has a point- E3 is always console centric, and it’s not like it’s an unsubstantiated excuse either. It has precedent- just a few months ago, Microsoft announced Age of Mythology Extended Edition for Steam at GDC, for instance. Still, I just wish they’d hurry up and announce Age of Empires IV already.


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