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Former Blizzard Chief Backs Xbox Head Amid Studio Closures



Former Blizzard Chief Backs Xbox Head Amid Studio Closures

In recent developments, Mike Ybarra, ex-president of Blizzard, has publicly supported Xbox’s Phil Spencer following Microsoft’s unexpected shutdown of several game studios, including Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks. The closures have sparked significant backlash on social media, with Spencer bearing the brunt of the criticism.

Ybarra took to Twitter to express his solidarity with Spencer, empathizing with the tough decisions involved in leadership. “I see a lot of shots at Phil over today’s Xbox announcements,” Ybarra stated. He emphasized his firsthand knowledge of Spencer’s character and commitment to the gaming community, having worked closely with him for over two decades.

The closures affected not just Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks but also impacted other studios under the Xbox and ZeniMax umbrella. Microsoft’s move, described internally as a “reprioritisation of titles and resources,” has led to job losses across various teams.

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Ybarra’s comments, while meant to humanize Spencer’s position, drew criticism for seemingly overshadowing the plight of the developers who lost their jobs. He later clarified his intent on Twitter, underscoring the accountability expected of Spencer but condemning personal attacks against him.

This controversy unfolds as the gaming industry grapples with the implications of these closures, hoping for clarity and a positive path forward for Xbox under Spencer’s leadership. The community awaits further comments from Spencer on this matter, which could provide more insight into the future direction of Xbox post-closures.