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Xbox’s Phil Spencer wants to enable cross-platform bans

Microsoft’s head of Xbox and executive VP of gaming, Phil Spencer, has spoken out about the idea of bringing in cross-platform bans. 

The Xbox exec discussed the challenges of applying user bans across multiple platforms in an interview with Kara Swisher for the New York Times’s Sway podcast

“Something I would love us to be able to do – this is a hard one as an industry –  is when somebody gets banned in one of our networks, is there a way for us to ban them across other networks?”, said Spencer. 

Spencer also discussed the possibility of allowing players to extend their own block lists across multiple platforms, eliminating the need to manually block users on more than one device or console when playing multi-platform games. 

“At least as a player, for me to be able to bring my banned user list, because I can always block people from my play. And I’d love to be able to bring them to other networks where I play. So this is the group of people that I choose not to play with. Because I don’t want to have to recreate that in every platform that I play video games on”. 

Of course, a feature like this would require platforms to share their user lists with each other – something which NintendoLife has already noted would be tough to navigate due to rules and legalities around user data. 

However, if Xbox do manage to collaborate with other platforms in implementing this feature, it could be handy when blocking abusive players across more than one console. 

Earlier in the podcast, Spencer also touched on the AI Microsoft uses to spot harassment on Xbox Live, along with how the company shares its tools with its other gaming platforms, such as Discord. 

“This will sound egotistical. I think we’ve invested, as Microsoft, in so many of these technologies. We share these technologies with other gaming partners out there. I don’t think gaming wins by one platform being safer and other platforms not being safe. Because to the uninformed, gaming is gaming. It’s a monolithic activity”.

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