The ongoing legal dispute between Epic and Apple is being live broadcasted this week, and a lot of incredible stuff has come out of it already. Tim Sweeney, Epic’s founder and CEO, has been repeatedly asked to identify consoles; the money Epic paid out for their first nine months of free games on the Epic Games Store was revealed; and we’ve also got that really passive-aggressive email in which Epic attempts to sort of convince, sort of threaten Sony into adding cross-play to Fortnite.
It’s already been bombshell after bombshell from a bunch of well-paid execs who email people like they’re telling a misbehaving child to do their homework, but it turns out that one exec in particular is actually, maybe, quite pleasant behind the scenes.
That man is Phil Spencer, Xbox Head, who’s recently been maybe teasing some kind of Xbox-Nintendo collab. Most people think that collab will turn out to be xCloud, Xbox’s cloud gaming service, on Switch — and, if we read between the lines in Phil’s email, that could just be the case. It looks like he’s been pitching xCloud to other platform holders — that would be Sony and Nintendo — since at least August 2020.
But the biggest reveal (for our money, anyway) is that Phil Spencer sends very nice emails. He apologises multiple times for falling behind (we can relate to that) and he doesn’t even use that much corporate jargon to get his point across! Sure, maybe he only speaks like that to other CEO-type-folks, but still — the art of a good email is worth appreciating.
Here’s the email text, with some extra formatting for readability:
“I owe you a bunch of things and I’m behind. I apologize for that, just a lot going on but that’s not an excuse.
You’ve obviously seen our Samsung announce, and now our back and forth with Apple. At the highest levels of [Microsoft], we are committed to pushing on these policies and continuing to expand our console platforms capabilities. You can chime in as you feel comfortable.
But I did want to just let you know that I have your point on xCloud on other consoles (haven’t given up), [Free to Play games] outside of [Xbox Gold] (we will get there, and I want to partner with you), and our Store entitlement ideas as items I’m going to review with you to make progress. I’m committed to that, just behind.
Hope you are well,
We bet Phil Spencer is really good at breaking up with people in a nice way.