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Xbox CEO Phil Spencer’s Reveals His Message For Gamers After Winning Lifetime Achievement Award

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Xbox CEO Phil Spencer received a Lifetime Achievement Award at DICE 2022 last week, putting an exclamation mark on a nearly 35-year career that has seen him rise from intern to one of the most powerful leaders in the games industry.

Speaking with IGN after his acceptance speech, Spencer directly addressed the gaming community, urging them to respect creators above all else.

“[K]eep playing, keep using your voice, understand the power of creativity, the power of community,” Spencer said. “And the other thing I would just say is, let’s respect creators. I think it’s very often that creations can be kind of weaponized and used in battles between platforms and other things. I look at everybody who is brave enough to create something, put it out…have their peers, the industry, players, play and analyze and talk about what they do, and let’s just celebrate the fact that so many great games are coming out from so many creators, and realize that’s such a foundation for where this industry is going to go.”

Spencer’s comments followed a speech in which he called out toxicity in gaming, saying that the games industry has a “responsibility to billions of players.”

“We have a responsibility to everyone in this business. We have a responsibility to society. And we have a responsibility to ourselves,” Spencer said. “Our responsibility is simple: do everything possible to ensure that this entire industry is about treating every single person with dignity and respect.”

Toxicity was a major theme throughout DICE, an industry-focused conference that brings together executives and developers for a week of networking and discussions culminating in the DICE Awards. In her keynote, EA Senior Vice President Laura Miele called for the removal of leaders “who fall short of basic standards” in what seemed to be a reference to the allegations that have roiled Activision Blizzard over the past year.

Spencer, who faces the task of integrating Activision Blizzard into Xbox following the publisher’s recent acquisition, said that he still believes gaming is a “force for good in this world.” However, he also called on both “players and employees” to provide a safe and inclusive environment for everyone in the games industry.

“We fall short when we fail to provide a safe and inclusive environment for every person who works in our industry. We fall short when we tolerate abuse. We fall short every single time someone feels unwelcome in our industry and in our communities. We can, we must, and we will do better,” Spencer said.

Spencer has consistently campaigned for greater inclusiveness in gaming, making Xbox one of the industry leaders in accessibility. He also recalled what he called the “painful” moment when women described their experiences at Xbox, and “feeling the emotion, the anger, the disappointment.”

Spencer’s speech was one of the highlights in a show that saw It Takes Two take home its second major Game of the Year Award, with Ratchet & Clank, Forza Horizon 5, and Halo Infinite also among big winners on the night. You can read our full recap of the DICE Awards here.

Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN


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