Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer has recognized the need for Microsoft to catch up with its competitors in the realm of bringing its gaming franchises to TV and film. In an interview with The Washington Post, Spencer admitted that Microsoft is still in the early stages of adapting its franchises for other mediums.
When compared to Sony, which operates a massive film and TV studio and has its own gaming-specific label called PlayStation Productions responsible for projects like HBO’s The Last of Us, Microsoft falls behind. Nintendo has also recently partnered with Universal for the highly successful The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
While Microsoft does have the Halo TV series in production with Paramount, it had previously attempted to make a Halo movie with The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, which ultimately fell through. Looking ahead, Microsoft is collaborating with Netflix for a Gears of War movie and anime, as well as a Minecraft movie featuring Jason Momoa, and a Fallout series from the creators of Westworld.
“We don’t possess the extensive expertise that Sony has with their world-class movie studios, and Nintendo has done a great job as well,” Spencer acknowledged. “However, it is crucial for the worlds we create in games to expand beyond the gaming medium. Our creators are just as capable as creators in any other medium, and video game stories will continue to grow in importance.”
In the past, Microsoft had a different approach with the launch of Xbox Entertainment Studios, which enlisted industry veterans and secured several high-profile projects. However, the division was closed in 2014.
In addition to the mentioned projects, Xbox boss Matt Booty has hinted at more announcements to come. “There are some things that we’ve got going on as well that I can’t, you know, they’re not public yet, but there’s a lot there,” Booty revealed in June 2023 when asked about plans to adapt Starfield.