The 25th Annual DICE Awards are taking place later this month, and the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences has announced head of Xbox, Phil Spencer will receive the prestigious AIAS Lifetime Achievement Award.
Presenting the award to Spencer will be industry luminary, and fellow Microsoft alumn Todd Howard, who was welcomed into the company through the acquisition of Bethesda Game Studios and its parent company ZeniMax Media, led by Spencer in 2019. In the announcement of the award recipient, the AIAS gave a summary of Phil’s history in the game industry including the new role of Microsoft Gaming CEO and the many studios he’s brought into the Xbox family.
“Phil Spencer was named CEO of Microsoft Gaming in January 2022, and has worked in technology and entertainment for more than 30 years, leading global business, creative and engineering teams. Since joining Microsoft in 1988 as an intern, Spencer has held numerous roles at the company, including Executive Vice President, Gaming; Head of Xbox; Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Studios; and General Manager, Microsoft Game Studios EMEA.
In his roles at Microsoft, Spencer has led the Xbox organization through multiple console launches, including Xbox One S, Xbox One X, Xbox One S All Digital Edition, and Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X; multiple acquisitions, including Mojang (parent company of Minecraft), Undead Labs, Ninja Theory, Playground Games, Compulsion Games, Obsidian Entertainment, inXile Entertainment and ZeniMax Media (parent company of Bethesda Softworks); and influenced global entertainment franchises including Halo, Gears of War and Forza, as well as Xbox Game Studios Publishing. He has also led the expansion of cross-platform gaming with the Xbox Network, investments in subscription business models with Xbox Game Pass, and Microsoft’s introduction of Xbox Cloud Gaming. With his team and colleagues, Spencer continues to push the boundaries of creativity, technical innovation, and fun across genres, audiences, and devices.”
The list of accomplishments is long, and many have only come about in the last few years. The AIAS describes the Lifetime Achievement Award as “reserved for individuals whose accomplishments span a broad range of disciplines over a lengthy career in the industry,” and individuals do not necessarily need to be hands-on with development. It’s safe to say Phil Spencer has been a very influential force in the direction Xbox is heading this generation with its focus on powerful console hardware, flexible ecosystems that span the Xbox, PC, Mobile, and elsewhere, and popular services like Xbox Game Pass.
Meggan Scavio, President of the AIAS, was quoted saying, “Phil Spencer has demonstrated both passion and leadership throughout his entire career at Microsoft. He’s responsible for countless impactful and pivotal initiatives that have reverberated throughout the entire gaming industry.” The award has been previously presented to Minoru Arakawa, Howard Lincoln, Ken Kutaragi, Doug Lowenstein, Bing Gordon, Satoru Iwata, and Genyo Takeda.
The 25th Annual DICE Awards will be held on February 24 at 8 p.m. Pacific at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.