Xbox's Spencer: People who say studios shouldn't sell are "short-sighted"

Xbox's Spencer: People who say studios shouldn't sell are "short-sighted"

The head of Xbox Phil Spencer has said that people discouraging developers from selling are "short-sighted".

Speaking to IGN's Unlocked podcast – as reported by Gamasutra – the exec said that there is a lot of risk in starting and running a business, especially in the games industry. As a result, when studios reach a stage where they have actual value, that's a good thing and people should be happy when they are given an acquisition offer.

"Starting any small business, frankly, is a very risky proposition, starting a video game studio even more so," Spencer said.

"And if a team actually takes the risk of starting a new company, starting a new studio, building that over years, building value in that. To say they shouldn’t sell, I think, is just short-sighted. It’s such a risk-filled journey for them to get to the point to create real value. I’m always going to congratulate when teams get to the point where they realise that value through acquisition or just massive independent success."

Microsoft has been acquiring games studios left and right in the last few years, most recently Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media, which the Xbox firm snapped up for $7.5 billion.

In the summer of 2018, the Big M revealed it had acquired Ninja Theory, Playground and Compulsion, as well as Obsidian and InXile, which it bought later that year. The following year, the firm snapped up adventure game specialist Double Fine, too.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.