This means she will take over the running of Xbox’s hardware and software platforms.
“To manage the platform of today, and build the platform of tomorrow, we are bringing together the teams that will make this possible,” Spencer said in the memo.
“Sarah Bond will lead this team as president of Xbox, bringing together Devices, Player & Creator Experiences, Platform Engineering, Strategy, Business Planning, Data & Analytics and Business Development.”
Spencer also announced that Matt Booty, the head of Xbox Game Studios, is being promoted to president of game content and studios. This will incorporate overseeing the work of ZeniMax and Bethesda.
When Microsoft acquired Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax in 2021, the agreement was that Bethesda would continue to run as a separate business, with the ability to continue publishing its own games.
Earlier this month, however, Bethesda’s head of publishing Pete Hines announced that he was leaving the company after nearly 25 years of employment.
According to Spencer’s memo, ZeniMax and Bethesda will continue to to work separately, but it will now ultimately report to Booty, meaning closer collaboration in future projects.
“ZeniMax will continue to operate as a limited integration entity led by Jamie Leder, President and CEO, reporting to Matt,” Spencer explained.
“We believe that an expanded gaming content organization — one that enables Xbox Game Studios and ZeniMax’s development studios to collaborate effectively together — will empower those world-class studios to do their best work in growing our portfolio of games players love.”
Following the release of the Bethesda-published Redfall and the negative reception it received, Spencer said in an interview that Xbox should have done more early in the game’s development, in terms of providing assistance to Arkane and setting expectations for what a first-party game needs to deliver.
“We didn’t do a good job early on in engaging Arkane Austin to really help them understand what it meant to be part of Xbox and part of first-party, and use some of our internal resources to help them move along that journey even faster,” Spencer told Kinda Funny Games at the time.
“We left them to work on the game… they’re a very talented team – I love that team, and I still do, and I will totally bet on them to do another great game.
“But when [Xbox Game Studios head] Matt Booty and [Zenimax president] Jamie Leder sit down, I think we can engage earlier with our different studios.
“And I do think there’s a difference when we come in when the creative is already set on a game – and that’s not washing our hands, every game we ship from our teams is an Xbox game, so we take full responsibility for it.”