Phil Spencer, Microsoft Studios vice president, will take over as the head of Xbox, Microsoft announced.
Spencer will head up the Xbox brand, which includes Xbox, Xbox Live and creative teams including Xbox Music, Xbox Video and Microsoft Studios.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the decision in an email to employees and Spencer confirmed the news via the official Xbox website.
The restructuring will keep Microsoft’s Xbox gaming division separate from the company’s devices and services division, allowing both divisons to run smoothly. Many experts forecasted Nadella would attempt to sell off Microsoft’s Xbox brand.
Spencer promises Xbox fans that the focus going forward will be on gaming. Microsoft has taken criticism from gamers for Xbox One’s goal of being an “all-in-one entertainment” center. While Spencer acknowledges that entertainment apps are important for consumers, hardcore gaming will be a renewed focal point for Xbox under his leadership.
Hardcore gamers should be ecstatic to hear Spencer was chosen to take over Xbox. While he likely won’t prevent innovation with entertainment apps, Spencer will no doubt make Xbox One and Microsoft platforms a home for hardcore gaming. Look for Spencer to expand the ID@Xbox indie publishing program and establish relationships with triple-A game makers.