Phil Spencer:” Toxic Behavior Hurts The Whole Industry”; Comments On Infamous GDC Party

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Feb 22, 2018
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During his keynote at DICE, Xbox boss Phil Spencer talkked about toxic behavior, which, according to him, damages the industry as aw whole.

During his speech, Phil Spencer touched upon the difficult times when he was appointed head of the Xbox operation.

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We hadn’t done our best work with the launch of Xbox One. Market share was taking a nosedive. It was painful to read all the headlines. The team thought the leadership team had gone tone-deaf about what our customers expected from us.

We needed a reboot. Morale was at a low. We kept missing big trends. Infighting and fiefdoms were so famous, people made fun of it. It would have been funny if it hasn’t been so true. So we hit refresh on everything, a comprehensive rethinking and rebuilding of our culture.

Spencer also commented on the infamous GDC 2016 party, which was met with a huge backlash. The fiasco was an important turning point.

The backlash was justifiable and furious. The internal backlash was almost harder. The easy thing would have been for us to sidestep responsibility. Instead we bet on who we were and what we stood for. We don’t stand for any employee or partner who offends others. We communicated that we stand for inclusivity. I personally committed to do better. It’s the leader’s job to take personal accountability and to be clear about our culture, who we are and what we stand for.

In trying to improve their own approach, Phil Spencer noted that companies have the responsibility of limiting toxic behavior, as it damages the industry as a whole.

Toxic behavior doesn’t just hurt the individual, it hurts our entire industry,” he said. “We have to ask ourselves, ‘Am I building worlds where all of us can thrive and achieve more?’ Culture can be the tool that enables us to realize the true potential and power of gaming. The time to get our culture right is right now. It’s our increasing responsibility to make gaming for everyone. Representation isn’t just good common sense; it’s good business sense.

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