It’s become a cliche to point out how long it’s been since Bethesda Game Studios released a new game. Still, the studio’s output certainly feels like it slowed to a crawl after the underwhelming launch of Fallout 76 in 2018. Hopes that Xbox’s acquisition of Bethesda might move things along also appear to have been dashed, with Bethesda delaying two of its biggest games until next year.
Many people are understandably annoyed with the news that Bethesda is delaying Starfield and Redfall. Similarly, not everyone is satisfied with Phil Spencer’s comments on the subject. One of these people is God of War creator David Jaffe, who said the Xbox boss needs to “Go get some therapy.”
Bethesda recently announced that it is delaying the upcoming Starfield and Redfall until some point in the first half of 2023. Xbox head Phil Spencer commented on the delays soon after. He stated in a tweet, “These decisions are hard on teams making the games and our fans. While I fully support giving teams time to release these great games when they are ready, we hear the feedback. Delivering quality and consistency is expected, we will continue to work to better meet those expectations.” However, The God of War creator David Jaffe was not impressed with Phil Spencer’s statement, feeling that it was well past the point where a single tweet would have been enough.
Jeff was pretty hard on the Xbox Head during his three-hour YouTube live stream yesterday. “You suck, Phil Spencer,” said the veteran game developer after reading out Spencer’s Tweet on stream, “You are me when I was 28.” Jaffe compared Spencer’s current situation to his time working on a never-released project for Sony. He explained that it took him a while to learn that having commercially-viable ideas and knowing how to design a game are not always the same as actually producing one.
Jaffe argued that while he thinks Spencer is a great planner and real visionary, the Xbox head is simply unsuited for his position. Jaffe clarified that he does not want Phil Spencer fired but that Xbox desperately needs to find someone better at managing development. Jaffe acknowledges that the delays of Starfield and Redfall likely came from Bethesda’s own internal issues stretching back long before Microsoft acquired the publisher. However, Jaffe argues that it is Spencer’s responsibility to resolve these issues as the head of Xbox. Furthermore, Jaffe feels that Spencer is not doing enough to ensure that Microsoft’s games release on time.
While this might seem harsh, Jaffe argues that Bethesda’s delays are not an isolated incident. He mentions having made similar criticisms after the delay of Halo Infinite forced the Xbox Series X and Series S to launch without a major exclusive. Furthermore, these delays leave significant gaps in Xbox’s release schedule, which Jaffe argues is not sustainable in the modern AAA game industry.
According to Jaffe, a single big delay might not have been a problem during the PS2/Original Xbox era. However, that was because consoles usually had another major release to fall back on, which is no longer the case. Jaffe feels that this will become a major problem for Xbox and that Spencer’s leadership is to blame.
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