One Dev Took Phil Spencer’s Xbox & Helldivers 2 Complaints Personally, and He Has a Real Point

Comments made by the Xbox CEO regarding exclusivity may sound reasonable to some, but others took issue with the statements.

One Dev Took Phil Spencer's Xbox & Helldivers 2 Complaints Personally, and He Has a Real Point

SUMMARY

  • Phil Spencer is confused as to how Helldivers 2’s exclusivity helps the gaming industry.
  • An ex-Halo developer responded to his statements by bringing up the issue of the 1,900 Activision Blizzard employees being laid off.
  • The move was carried out in January 2024 and comprised 8% of Microsoft’s Gaming division.
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Helldivers 2, the co-op third-person shooter, is the talk of the town amongst gamers, and only Xbox users are unable to partake in the activities. With it being a PlayStation – PC exclusive, Xbox gamers must definitely be feeling some degree of FOMO. It seems not just the gamers are feeling like they are missing out, as Xbox CEO Phil Spencer gave his take on the exclusivity topic when it comes to games. 

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He had already broached the subject during the Xbox Official Podcast but elaborated further in an interview. However, his statements have not gone down well with everyone, and one ex-Halo developer has something to say to the Xbox CEO. 

Phil Spencer’s Comments on Helldivers 2 Prompted an Ex-Halo Dev to Share His Thoughts

Sony-exclusive Helldivers 2 is adding pressure on Phil Spencer
Sony and PC exclusive Helldivers 2 is adding pressure on Phil Spencer.

The comments come from Tyler Owens on Twitter, who is a build-engineer working at Respawn Entertainment and worked previously on Halo. In his interview with GameFile, Spencer addressed the topic of Helldivers 2 not being present on the Xbox platform. He said, “I’m not exactly sure who it helps in the industry by not being on Xbox”. He seems to be implying that Sony could help Helldivers 2 become even bigger by making it available on Xbox. 

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This is in line with the decision shared on the Xbox Official Podcast to bring four exclusive games to other platforms. Spencer theorized he could leverage the player base of other platforms to grow Xbox franchises. While this may seem like a fairly reasonable statement, it rubbed Tyler the wrong way. In response to an article discussing Spencer’s statements, he made the following tweet. 

This is about Microsoft’s actions back in January of 2024 when they let go of 1,900 Activision Blizzard employees. The cut comprised 8% of the overall Microsoft Gaming division and was a topic of contention in the gaming sphere for a long time. Raking up this issue as a retort to Spencer bemoaning exclusivity is definitely a strong critique of Microsoft’s decisions. 

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Xbox Games are Breaking Exclusivity and Spencer May Want Other Companies to Follow Suite

The decision to migrate Xbox exclusives was announced during the Xbox Official Podcast
The decision to migrate Xbox exclusives was announced during the Xbox Official Podcast.

While Spencer confirmed it’s not big names such as Starfield or Indiana Jones jumping from the Xbox platform, the news is still a big deal. Exclusivity is how companies acquire and retain their player base. Sony has ported some games over to PC, such as God of War and The Last of Us, but it was done many, many years after their initial launch. 

Helldivers 2 has been blowing up, and Spencer is feeling the pressure when it comes to the attention share in the market. Sony has been making all the right moves recently, and public opinion against Xbox has been on a steady decline for a while. It’s only a matter of time before some drastic moves are required to establish Xbox as a gaming pioneer. 

With the Xbox facing harsh criticism from fans and Sony’s trajectory climbing ever higher, do you feel Spencer needs to rethink his strategy? Let us know in the comments below.

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Sagar Nerala

Written by Sagar Nerala

Articles Published: 141

Gaming was one of my earliest passions then along came writing, and here we are. I've been in the content creation space for several years now and as gamer for even longer. From understanding the complexities of a multilayer narrative to the simply joy of "big gun go boom", my goal is to capture all the emotions in between and put them down in an engaging manner.