Xbox CEO Phil Spencer’s Reveals His Message For Gamers After Winning Lifetime Achievement Award
Last week, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer received the Lifetime Achievement Award at DICE 2022, putting an exclamation mark on a nearly 35-year career that has taken him from intern to one of the gaming industry’s most influential leaders. Speaking to IGN following his acceptance speech, Spencer addressed the gaming community directly, urging them to respect creators above all else.
“Keep playing, keep using your voice, understand the power of creativity, the power of community,” Spencer said. I think that very often, creations can be a kind of weapon and used in battles between platforms and other things. I look to everyone who is brave enough to create something, release it…let their peers, the industry, the players play and analyze and talk about what they are doing and let’s celebrate the fact that there is so much to come in wonderful games. from so many creators, and to understand that this is such a basis for where this industry will go.”
Spencer’s comments followed a speech in which he called out toxicity in games, stating that the games industry has a “responsibility to billions of players.”
“We have a responsibility to everyone in this business. We are responsible to society. And we have a responsibility to ourselves,” Spencer said. “Our responsibility is simple: to do everything possible to ensure that this entire industry treats every person with dignity and respect.”
Toxicity was the main theme of DICE, an industry conference that brought executives and developers together for a week of networking and discussion, culminating in the DICE Awards. In her keynote speech, EA senior vice president Laura Miele called for the dismissal of leaders “who don’t live up to basic standards,” in what appeared to be a reference to the accusations that rocked Activision Blizzard last year.
Spencer, who is set to integrate Activision Blizzard into Xbox after the publisher’s recent acquisition, said he still believes games are “a force for good in this world.” However, he also called on both “players and employees” to provide a safe and inclusive environment for everyone in the gaming industry.
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“We fail when we cannot provide a safe and inclusive environment for every person working in our industry. We fail when we allow abuse. We fail every time someone feels unwanted in our industry and in our communities. We must, and we will do better,” Spencer said.
Spencer has consistently advocated for more inclusive gaming, making Xbox one of the industry leaders inaccessible. He also recalled what he called a “painful” moment when women talked about their Xbox experiences and “to feel emotion, anger, disappointment.”
Spencer’s speech was one of the show’s highlights, with It Takes Two receiving its second major Game of the Year award, and Ratchet & Clank, Forza Horizon 5, and Halo Infinite were also among the night’s big winners. You can read our full DICE awards report here.
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN.