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News video games 10 May 2024, 05:10

author: Jacob Blazewicz

Words of Xbox’s CEO Didn’t Win Applause. Sarah Bond Justifies Microsoft’s Decisions and Promises Support for Game Pass

Sarah Bond unspecifically explained the reasons for the closure of Tango Gameworks. She did, however, confirm the future of Game Pass and the imminent debut of Microsoft's mobile game store.

Source: Sarah Bond / Bloomberg / Activision

Mike Ybarra wasn't the only one who tried to reassure players after Microsoft's recent decisions. Sarah Bond also verified that all upcoming games from Microsoft-owned studios will be available on the Game Pass service.

The head of Xbox gave an interview to Dina Bass from Bloomberg agency and answered questions about the future of the brand. At least in theory (via YouTube / XboxEra).

One of the discussion points concerned the future of Microsoft's subscription. In response to the question of whether the company will continue to offer its titles in Game Pass on the day of release, Bond answered affirmatively.

And then the last piece is about game pass. We know our core users love Game Pass. Game Pass is a gaming subscription. You get a whole portfolio of games, but importantly, you get every single one of our games that we build day one in Game Pass and the breadth of those games has only been going up over time and you're going to see some more really big games going into Game Pass later this year.

A moment later, Bond confirmed that this also included titles from the Activision Blizzard portfolio. She didn't mention any series by name, but she implied that it was about titles "from the entire list." For some journalists, this is enough confirmation that Microsoft wants to include Call of Duty in its subscription offer.

Players mock the excuses of the Xbox boss

However, this assurance wasn't enough and most players aren't thrilled with Bond's words. Mainly because the Xbox CEO essentially didn't answer questions about the reasons for closing Tango Gameworks.

The head of Xbox simply stated that this is the outcome of the industry's current condition (which is difficult to deny; just look at the long list of layoffs beyond Microsoft). She said such decisions are "difficult," but the studio closures are the result of a "commitment to ensuring that the business is healthy for the long term." She quickly added that Microsoft is still determined to work with both "large and small" studios.

The players interpreted Bond's responses as evasive and mocked the statements of the Xbox boss. Industry journalists (including Tom Henderson) and the Pirate Software studio (which actively comments on all reports regarding Microsoft's recent layoffs) also leave no stone unturned on the CEO.

Xbox mobile already in July

Apart from that, Bond shared some information about the future of Xbox. Basically, she didn't say much about Microsoft's next consoles (or even whether they would be created at all), but she did mention the issue of multiplatform: in line with Spencer's well-known motto to let players play "anywhere."

Part of this initiative includes the July launch of the mobile Xbox store, which will be accessible through the browser (not as an app). At first, it will offer Microsoft titles, including Minecraft and Candy Crush Saga, and only over time will it include "partner" titles.

Let's recall that last year Phil Spencer reassured that while Xbox must be "big" on mobile devices, the company has no intention of turning its brands into mobile or free-to-play games. Another issue is whether, in the context of recent information, should we believe that Xbox bosses will actually have the last word on this matter?

Jacob Blazewicz

Jacob Blazewicz

Graduated with a master's degree in Polish Studies from the University of Warsaw with a thesis dedicated to this very subject. Started his adventure with in 2015, writing in the Newsroom and later also in the film and technology sections (also contributed to the Encyclopedia). Interested in video games (and not only video games) for years. He began with platform games and, to this day, remains a big fan of them (including Metroidvania). Also shows interest in card games (including paper), fighting games, soulslikes, and basically everything about games as such. Marvels at pixelated characters from games dating back to the time of the Game Boy (if not older).