Xbox Game Studios Exec Says Its Main Focus Is Diversity

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Microsoft’s recent Xbox & Bethesda showcase at E3 gave a glimpse into the company’s publishing strategy, with its broad mix of big titles, new games, ports, and varied indie games. A new interview with Xbox Game Studios head of publishing Peter Wyse by Polygon has given further insight into those plans–with the exec pointing to diversity as one of the company’s biggest goals.

Xbox Game Studios has spent years getting to where it’s at now, building a strategy that transcends the Xbox console itself. As well as its many studio acquisitions, including the mammoth Bethesda purchase, Xbox has also been investing a lot into the Xbox Game Pass and Cloud Gaming, increasing the number of ways its games can be played.

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Wyse says Xbox is also prioritising diversity in the traditional sense, drawing attention to some of the company’s initiatives around inclusivity. “You can see this come to focus in a game like Tell Me Why,” Wyse told Polygon. “We’re super proud of that game. It speaks to our values around LGBTQIA+ representation, mental health awareness, and more.”

These practices extend to both Xbox’s third-party partnerships and internal recruiting processes, Wyse says, citing Microsoft’s relationship with non-profit Gameheads, a mentorship program for people of color and low-income people aged 15 to 25 who are looking to get into the games industry.

Wyse also spent some time talking about Xbox’s investments in cloud gaming, a part of the company’s step away from the traditional console-centric business model and towards gaming on whatever device a player has available. Wyse said that the company is aiming to develop “cloud-native games,” though he added that “we don’t know exactly what that looks like today, or what that even plays like.”

For Wyse, cloud gaming is an important part of the company’s “mission of bringing our Xbox games to connect 3 billion gamers to play our games,” adding that that number will include players on all different platforms. “I do get super excited about the idea of high-fidelity gaming on a phone… that’s the carrot I keep chasing, for sure.”

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