Spencer: CrossPlay/Buy/Save Battle Isn’t Won Yet; I’d Love to Revive MechAssault at Some Point


Phil Spencer participated in a hour-long podcast with IGN Unlocked (Episode 437), where the head of gaming at Microsoft delved into a great number of topics, such as the Xbox Series X price, the inevitable comparison with the PlayStation 5 tech reveal, and much more.

For instance, on the increasing spread of features like crossplay, cross buy and cross save, Spencer commented that the battle isn't won yet as these features (which Microsoft believes should be mandatory in the year 2020) haven't been implemented in all games so far.

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I will say it kind of comes back to sentiment, you should be able to play with the people you want to play with. And if we can support that, and we can be advocates and champions for that, great. Tim Sweeney has been out there pushing hard on this. We think cross play, cross progression, cross buy are things that people should be able to expect in this year with the digital currencies and economies that are out there, but yeah, I feel really good that cross place growing in popularity. I still don't see it everywhere, so the battle is not won.

Later in the interview, Spencer was asked which IP from Microsoft's portfolio he was personally interested in bringing back and he had no hesitation in his reply.

Mech, that's easy. I just think from the rights standpoint it's a little bit messy as there are some other people working on the games, but I think about MechAssault. The IPs that Jordan Weisman created, Crimson Skies and Shadowrun and Mech, it's just really deep, really rich stories and characters to go play in and I think it would be really cool at some point if we could do something with it. obviously I'd pick something where we're not working on right now just on that kind of teasing something but yeah, that's a pretty easy one for me because I just if I go from commander to warrior to assault like if I could take the whole thing back, I just think there's such an amazingly rich place there for somebody to go and create. Maybe someday we'll find all the rights will line up in the right way.

Quite a few games set in the BattleTech universe were released in the last few years, from the turn-based strategy game BattleTech (developed by Harebrained Schemes, whose founder is none other than IP creator Jordan Weisman) to the first-person shooter MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries. None of them, however, had any involvement from Microsoft, that had licensed the IP to the respective developers.