Microsoft Gaming CEO stresses company’s confidence in future of Xbox even without Activision

February 28, 2023

Microsoft’s continuous struggle to close the Activision megadeal led some to doubt the future of Xbox, with some rumors claiming Microsoft could soon sell it off. Nonetheless, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer repeated the company’s certainty in the future of Xbox even if the deal fails.

On Monday, VGC editor and owner Andy Robinson shared a tweet about the possibility of Microsoft letting go of its Xbox business, saying, “regardless of Spencer’s words, I know a lot of industry pundits think MS selling off Xbox is a genuine possibility should this be blocked (I still expect it to go through with concessions).” This caused a flow of comments from other users on the platform, stressing how such a possibility is very unlikely and irrational.

“Not sure who these industry pundits are, but they’re clearly clueless,” commented The Verge’s Tom Warren. “You don’t strategically acquire Mojang and Bethesda and form a Microsoft Gaming division if you’re gonna sell off the Xbox business if your giant $69 billion deal doesn’t go through.”

“There is no logical reason for Xbox to ever be sold and let alone anyone that could afford its value,” said Carlo Pasquale of 4GQTV. “Xbox will remain regardless of whatever happens with the deal, which I think will go through. If regs are reviewing the ABK deal this close, imagine how quickly they would block Xbox from being bought?”

Robinson’s statement refers to Spencer’s recent interview with The Times, where the Xbox Head shared the challenges Microsoft faces in the midst of the Activision deal battle. According to Spencer, while the merger is essential for the company, it won’t dictate the future existence of Xbox.

“This is an important acquisition for us. It’s not some linchpin to the long term — Xbox will exist if this deal doesn’t go through,” Spencer told The Times.

Spencer’s words reflect the same statement provided by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella last year, stressing the position of Xbox in the gaming industry even if the merger doesn’t get approved.

“We have been in gaming for decades,” Nadella said. “We will be in gaming going forward.”

While the executives are firm about keeping the Xbox business even if the Activision deal falls through, it is hard to deny that Activision will be a significant tool for Microsoft to be a better competitor in the gaming industry, which is still being dominated by Sony and Tencent. Sony, however, is still determined to take all possible ways to encourage regulators to block the deal, and watchdogs are still in doubt about the merger. With this, is it really the time for Microsoft to vision the future without the aid of Activision Blizzard?

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