Xbox Boss Phil Spencer has said that the games industry would be much better if more top-level executives actually played video games.
The comments came in a discussion on Twitter late last week, after Spencer praised Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida for being seen publically playing PlayStation games during E3. After a fan showed his respect to the head of Xbox for showing an “amazing” level of class and respect for his rival, Spencer replied by saying: “I think our industry is better when more people made decisions on games play.”
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) July 4, 2015
It may seem like an obvious sentiment, but an increasing number of modern gaming executives are businessmen who have little passion for video games as a source of entertainment. While gamers see a source of fun and innovation, these executives see dollar signs and revenue.
Contrast some of the more cringe-worthy moments in E3 conferences with Nintendo’s recent output. Nintendo’s Triforce of execs – Reggie Fils-Amie, Shigeru Miyamoto and Satoru Iwata – frequently take part in small, fun-filled segments that highlight their fun and playful side. This year, for example, saw them presented as Muppets, before gradually transforming into members of the Starfox cast.
Now watch a conference from one of the other major publishers, where executives frequently run off statistics on units sold, and wheel out the same predictable annual sequels as though they’re in an investor call.
It’s to be expected when an industry becomes as massive as Video Games is, of course; but that doesn’t mean it has to be that way. Perhaps, if more executives actually sat down and played their own products, they might realize for themselves what’s fun about their games, what’s not so fun – and when underhanded money-grabbing tactics just get in the way of a good time.