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Spencer: MGS today is "as strong as it's ever been"

The new Microsoft Game Studios boss explains his confidence for the year ahead

Phil Spencer, the new head of Microsoft Game Studios, has told that he believes the company he's taking over is "as strong as it's ever been," with a solid line-up and a clear strategy.

Talking shortly before the announcement of his promotion from Europe chief up to Shane Kim's former role, he was buoyant over the schedule for the rest of this year.

"Well, as we look at the Holiday, we have lined up Fable 2, Banjo, Gears of War 2 - I think we've got a good mix of developers and new IP as well as IP that's been extremely successful - I think it's as strong today as it's ever been," he said.

But he was circumspect over speculation regarding Microsoft's direction on close studio partnerships following Bungie's decision to go independent and the purchase of Bizarre Creations last year.

"Relationships in the games industry between developers and publishers change over time - that's part of the business," he mused. "It's a creative business, and part of our job at MGS is to make sure that at any given time we feel like we've got the right creative talent on the right game, to help us build the exciting line-up for the Xbox 360.

"And when I look ahead to the stuff that we're working on, both in the near-term and a little further out, our line-up is very strong."

However, on the subject of continuing the company policy of key releases spread out over time, he was clear.

"It's a key part of our strategy to release big, impactful games on a regular timescale so that customers of the Xbox 360 - our gamers out there - come to expect that first party will be a key source of entertainment for them.

"And when I think about what we've done previously it's part of how we manage our portfolio - breadth of genres, the developers we work with - that what first party is all about. I look at the year ahead and I still think we're very well set up."

Spencer's new role was announced earlier, alongside news that Shane Kim had been promoted to a new strategic and business development role, while former marketing VP Jeff Bell had left the company.

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