Phil Spencer Discusses Infamous GDC 2016 Party; “We Hadn’t Done Our Best Work with the Launch of Xbox One”

Xbox boss Phil Spencer is one of the few industry personnel who is always willing to share his personal opinion and thoughts on topics within the gaming industry, and his recent keynote at DICE was filled with some interesting statements.

Spencer got appointed as Microsoft’s Xbox Lead back in 2014, and he was open enough to reveal how hard it was for him and the entire team during Xbox One’s launch.

We hadn’t done our best work with the launch of Xbox One. Market share was taking a nosedive. It was painful to read all the headlines. The team thought the leadership team had gone tone-deaf about what our customers expected from us.

We needed a reboot. Morale was at a low. We kept missing big trends. Infighting and fiefdoms were so famous, people made fun of it. It would have been funny if it hasn’t been so true. So we hit refresh on everything, a comprehensive rethinking and rebuilding of our culture.

He continued to touch upon the infamous GDC 2016 party, which Microsoft received a lot of backlash for hiring women to dance on platforms at the entrance and around the dance floor. Spencer described the backlash as “justifiable and furious,” as he continued to explain that the internal backlash was “almost harder.”

The backlash was justifiable and furious. The internal backlash was almost harder. The easy thing would have been for us to sidestep responsibility. Instead we bet on who we were and what we stood for. We don’t stand for any employee or partner who offends others. We communicated that we stand for inclusivity. I personally committed to do better. It’s the leader’s job to take personal accountability and to be clear about our culture, who we are and what we stand for.

What do you think of Spencer’s statements?