Phil Spencer (Xbox) full of praise for The Last of Us

Microsoft and Sony are in the middle of a public dispute over the former’s attempt to buy Activision Blizzard. However, the unfriendly atmosphere between the two companies has not stopped Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, from praising the television adaptation of HBO and HBO Max’s The Last of Us, based on the PlayStation-exclusive Naughty Dog games.

In a recent interview with IGN, Spencer highlighted the work of the developers in charge of the video games that the series is inspired by. In particular, for his ability to faithfully carry the most important elements of his franchise to represent and expand them on the small screen.

Asked if, despite being a production clearly linked to the competition, he was paying attention to The Last of Us, the CEO of Microsoft Gaming did not mince words. “Is fantastic. They have done a great job adapting a formidable game to the television screen. We must congratulate the team, all the teams that worked on it. Obviously, the foundation of this is the work that Naughty Dog did in building the franchise,” said the chief executive of Xbox.

In addition, Phil Spencer was very complimentary of Neil Druckmann, co-creator of The Last of Us and one of those responsible for the series. “Seeing him apply his creative talents to the television realm, I think he’s really cool. It’s great for him and for the team,” he said.

Xbox boss is full of praise for The Last of Us

Phil Spencer, Xbox leader.

With his concepts, the top manager of Microsoft Gaming aimed to give value to the creatives who today work in game development, but who have the talent to expand into other areas of the entertainment industry. An important fact, considering that, according to Phil Spencer, there has always been a certain envy from video game studios towards the world of cinema and TV, and even a feeling of inferiority.

“The fact that you take one of the best creators in our industry and he can succeed in another medium, I think it shows that in the gaming realm you have some amazing storytellers and creators, both in-house and third-party studios. I think it’s a great time to see the success they’re having with the franchise, and you have to congratulate them,” he said in final praise for The Last of Us.

However, Spencer’s remarks also take on a different dimension when considering the issues Xbox has faced with the Halo television adaptation. A production that promised long before its premiere on Paramount +, but that in its first season did not satisfy the fans of Master Chief.

When addressing whether season two should aim to reach a level similar to The Last of Us, Spencer was blunt. “I want the best for everything we work on, including the Halo TV series. I think there are some differences there, but if you ask, ‘Hey, with The Last of Us out there setting an incredibly high bar, should we all aim to reach that same bar with the work we do in television?’ Absolutely. […] We are always inspired by the work around us, without a doubt,” he explained.

The Last of Us series has just released its third episode, which stands out for being a love story in the middle of the apocalypse. Certainly, the long-awaited participation of Nick Offerman has not disappointed. And let’s not forget that HBO has already confirmed the second season of the production, which will cover the events of Naughty Dog’s second game.