Xbox boss Spencer says layoffs and studio closures part of running "sustainable business"

Xbox boss Spencer says layoffs and studio closures part of running "sustainable business"

The head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, has commented on the recent wave of layoffs at studio closures at the company's stable of developers. 

Speaking at IGN Live, the exec said that these measures were taken as part of his efforts to run a company that is "sustainable". Spencer added that the decision to make these cuts was not a decision he loved. 

"The closure of any team is hard, obviously on the individuals there, but hard on the team," Spencer said.

"I haven't been talking publicly about this, because right now is the time for us to focus on the team and the individuals. It's obviously a decision that's very hard on them, and I want to make sure through severance and other things that we're doing the right thing for the individuals on the team. It's not about my PR, it's not about Xbox PR. It's about those teams.

"In the end, I've said over and over, I have to run a sustainable business inside the company and grow, and that means sometimes I have to make hard decisions that frankly are not decisions I love, but decisions that somebody needs to go make.

"We will continue to go forward. We will continue to invest in what we're trying to go do in Xbox and build the best business we can, which ensures we can continue to do shows like the one we just did."

Xbox made around 1.9k people redundant following its acquisition of Activision Blizzard. That came before the company shut down a number of studios, including Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks.  

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.