News this week: Xbox gets a new boss, EA apologizes for mocking the Wii U
Phil Spencer is now in charge of Xbox. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced via a publicly available email to all their employees on Monday, that they would be combining game publisher Microsoft Studios with the Xbox Live development teams. The head of Microsoft Studios Phil Spencer, will be in charge of this single team.
Spencer will be leading the Xbox, Xbox Live, Xbox Music, Xbox Video and Microsoft Studios creative teams. He will report to Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Operating Systems Terry Myerson in order to coordinate the development of games with operating systems across Microsoft’s multiple devices.
Nadella wrote: “Combining all our software, gaming and content assets across the Xbox team under a single leader and aligning with the OSG team will help ensure we continue to do great work across the Xbox business, and bring more of the magic of Xbox to all form factors, including tablets, PCs and phones.”
According to Nadella’s email, Spencer has been crucial to the success of the Xbox brand. “I love the way the Xbox team is focused on great games and gaming experiences,” Nadella wrote. “Phil is the right person to lead Xbox forward.”
Spencer posted on the Xbox website shortly following the announcement. “I am actively listening and I am motivated to do what’s right for fans who’ve invested their time, hearts and money in the products we build,” Spencer said.
“Our mission is to build a world-class team, work hard to meet the high expectations of a passionate fan base, create the best games and entertainment and drive technical innovation,” Spencer writes. “As we continue forward, this renewed focus and mission will be a foundational part of how I lead the Xbox program.”
Spencer has promised more news at this year’s E3 in June.
EA has stumbled yet again. Chief Operating Officer at EA, Peter Moore has apologized for an April Fool’s prank that poked fun at the Wii U.
The prank involved several tweets by the official Frostbite twitter account which mocked EA not developing third-party games for Nintendo’s home console and the lack of a Wii U version of the Frostbite game engine. The tweets have since been pulled and Peter Moore has apologized via twitter.
Three tweets were made as part of an April Fool’s prank. The first one read: “Frostbite now runs on #WiiU since it is the most powerful Gen4 platform, our renderer is now optimised for Mario and Zelda.”
This was quickly followed by a second tweet. “Frostbite will power #HalfLife3, coming out summer 2014! #WiiU exclusive.”
The third and final tweet read as follows: “Good news, we have finally fixed and optimised our ‘netcode’. Uses quantum entanglement for Zero Latency connections. Exclusively on #WiiU.”
Since last June EA hasn’t supported the Wii U, which has barely managed to sell six million units according to a financial report by Nintendo. Last January, a source inside EA told CVG that they had little confidence in the struggling console.
Nintendo was dead to us very quickly,” the source said. “It became a kids IP platform and we don’t really make games for kids. That was pretty true across the other labels too. Even the Mass Effect title on Wii U, which was a solid effort, could never do big business, and EA like Activision is only focused on games that can be big franchises”.
EA has no games currently in development for the Wii U.