Back in June, Sony shocked the world when they announced a series of surprises including a sequel to the legendary Shenmue series. But when it comes to Xbox’s head honcho, Spencer was not at all surprised by the announcement. In an interview with Gameblog, Phil Spencer discussed Yu Suzuki and the Shenmue III deal, as well as the close-knit community of the video game industry.
“The Shenmue 3 announcement was not a real surprise to me. Our industry is not that big you know, we are aware of most of the deals which are being established. Yu Suzuki and the games he made represent an important part of gaming history. It’s cool that he succeeded in his kickstarter, although I think a lot of work is remaining to give to the fans the Shenmue they expect. I know he stays very focused.” — Phil Spencer
When it comes to Shenmue III coming to Xbox One, Spencer says that he did have discussions with Yu Suzuki prior to Suzuki’s announcement but says that certain decisions had to be made.
“Yes I have talked to Suzuki [before the deal]. As I said before, our industry is a tiny world. Whether you are from Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft or a developer… we all know each other. We talk with everyone, but we can’t make marketing deals with everyone. It’s just impossible. So you have to choose the games you think are going to have the biggest impact on your gaming system.” — Phil Spencer
Instead of worrying about third party titles, Spencer says he is currently focused on making their first party titles spectacular.
“Personally I’m focused on one goal : raise our first party titles. You saw our catalog this year… all the time and money you spend in marketing deals on short-term take you away from what you could do with your own games. I want to concentrate on our exclusive titles for our Xbox fans.” — Phil Spencer
While I personally disagree about Spencer’s decision to exclude Shenmue III from his console, I do understand that there are risks some companies would rather not take with franchises like Shenmue. After breaking multiple Guinness World Records, hopefully it will pay off for the suits at Sony. Do you think Phil Spencer made the right decision by not helping Suzuki with Shenmue III? Sound off in the comments below!