Phil Spencer “Wouldn’t Take No for an Answer” When Creating Game Pass, Former Xbox Exec Reveals

Former Xbox veteran Richard Irving recently spoke about how Phil Spencer's team pushed against internal doubts and publisher disinterest for Xbox Game Pass.

Posted By | On 06th, Feb. 2022

Xbox Game Pass

In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, former Xbox veteran Richard Irving talked about how head of Xbox Phil Spencer pushed hard against internal doubts at Microsoft when he was creating Xbox Game Pass.

According to Irving, Spencer’s team wouldn’t take no for an answer and would continue to persevere despite not many publishers being onboard during the initial stages. Irving talked about how the model didn’t look sustainable and worthy of generating profits, but Spencer’s team still pushed through anyway.

“In meetings, Mr. Spencer’s staff would present arguments for why Game Pass Wouldn’t work — publishers wouldn’t participate, or it would eat into profits,” Irving said (via IGN).  “[Phil Spencer] wouldn’t take no for an answer. He was always trying to find a way to make it work.”

Suffice to say, Xbox Game Pass was just the thing that Microsoft needed to stay relevant in the console market, particularly with the Xbox One when they were hopelessly outmatched by Sony in first-party releases. With more than 25 million subscribers at the time of writing, Xbox Game Pass has grown out to be the biggest draw for Microsoft’s console ecosystem.

Unsurprisingly, it’s been rumoured that Sony has plans of pushing back with a subscription service of its own codenamed Project Spartacus- read more on that through here.


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