Categories: Gaming

Phil Spencer calls console tribalism as ‘one of the worst things’ in the industry

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Xbox boss Phil Spencer has decried the idea of “console tribalism.” He noted how it’s “one of the worst things” in an interview in the video game industry.

Speaking with The Verge, Phil Spencer spoke against tribalism in the industry. Specifically, he spoke about the toxicity of division across several platforms.

He even notes how this toxic tribalistic behavior will be the one that will make him quit.

Tribalism is the primary dividing line in video games

Platform tribalism is a common theme across the video game industry. When mentioned, the rift tends to be a console vs. console and a platform vs. platform. It tends to come from rabid members of all fanbases.

For example, the Xbox vs. Playstation existed since the creation of Microsoft’s console. Before Xbox, it was a battle between Nintendo and Sega in the old days.

Platform wars also tend to be heated in the face of trolling. The “glorious PC Gaming Master Race” comes to mind, which started as an off-hand joke from Yahtzee Croshaw’s Zero Punctuation.

Since then, gamers coopted the terminology and used it to create a distinct divide. Players like to call themselves the “Master Race.” At the same time, they like calling console gamers “dirty console peasants.”

While most of these are jokes, they can also translate into toxic tribalism and elitism in gaming. This is where Spencer draws the line.

“That tribalism in the industry, if there was anything that would ever drive me out of the industry, it’s actually that,” said Spencer on the Decoder podcast. “When a team releases something into the market for… the world to tear it apart on the internet, it’s just such a brave thing for a team to do.

“I’m never going to vote against any creative team or any product team to do poorly because I have a competitive product. It’s not in me. I don’t actually think it helps us in the long run in the industry.”

Sony and Nintendo are not a competition, says Spencer

Gamer diatribe can be problematic, especially when media likes creating artificial competition between console platforms. Phil Spencer said he doesn’t even treat Sony and Nintendo as competition.

“We’re in the entertainment business. The biggest competitor we have is apathy over the products and services, games that we build,” the Xbox chief noted. “But there is a core that just really hates the other consumer product. Man, that’s just so off-putting to me… To me, it’s one of the worst things about our industry.”

Phil Spencer asks the industry to focus more on the combined achievements of the industry instead. He pointed to details like crossplay as an important way to work away from the bitter competition.

Featured image courtesy of Xbox/Youtube Screenshot

Jerome Castro

Digital marketer and nerd culture writer with an inordinate love for gaming and cooking. Reads medical journals regularly. Loves to read esotericisms and Lovecraft.

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Jerome Castro

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