Xbox’s Phil Spencer floats cross-platform account banning and blocking

The future of cross-platform gaming could involve cross-platform bans.

Image via Microsoft

Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, would like to see more overlap between major console platforms when it comes to banning and blocking accounts. With cross-platform gameplay on the rise, this could be what’s next for the industry in terms of how platforms interact with each other.

During an interview with Kara Swisher, host of the New York Times’ show Sway, Spencer briefly outlined his hope for bettering the experience of gaming between consoles. “But just as I think as an industry, voice conversations and how do we monitor quickly, that’s an investment that we have a lot of work going on right now,” Spencer said. “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?”

Floating the idea of cross-platform bans also pairs with account blocking, another area in which Spencer would like to see consoles overlap. “Or 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,” Spencer said. “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.”

Assuming this new cross-play functionality were to come to fruition, these types of bans and blocks could lead to a more enjoyable experience for gamers. Knowing that you won’t bump into the same people across platforms could provide relief for some gamers and provide a more comfortable setting. But getting console makers involved could be difficult.

Given how challenging making cross-platform gaming a reality proved to be, cross-platform bans are likely a ways away. Spencer didn’t provide any timeline or detail any specific investment aside from monitoring voice conversations. But given that Spencer was one of the more consistent proponents of cross-play coming to games like Fortnite, he’ll likely play a key role in this mechanic’s inception if it sees the light of day.

A full transcript of Spencer’s Sway interview is available over at the New York Times.