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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Xbox boss Phil Spencer somehow managed to 100% Vampire Survivors while managing the biggest videogame acquisition in history

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Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer can’t be too concerned about how the Activision acquisition is going, because he’s dedicated over ten days of his life to getting every single achievement in Vampire Survivors, including the ones in its Legacy of the Moonspell DLC. Spencer ticked off the Victory Sword achievement—held by a mere 4.74% of Xbox players at time of writing—last Sunday evening, thereby ascending to the pantheon of S-Rank Vampire Survivors players and finally proving himself better than me at playing videogames. Which was probably his intention.

All current achievements completed. Fantastic game @poncle_vampire #VampireSurvivors #XboxShare pic.twitter.com/LPqA5MZu3QFebruary 26, 2023

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Assuming we can take old Phil at his word, this also means he holds the coveted EXTRA: Chaos Malachite achievement, currently held by a mere 1.87% of players and the rarest one going (so far as I can tell). If you’d like to translate those stats into something more familiar to the likes of you and me, the Victory Sword and Chaos Malachite achievements are held by 8.7% and 2.7% of Steam users, respectively.

Spencer is an avowed Vampire Survivors fanatic who had already managed to clock in 233 hours of the game on Xbox by December 20 last year. I have to assume Spencer, in his position as Xbox suzerain, used access to a pre-release version of the game to amass that hour count. If he didn’t, then he somehow managed to find 233 hours of spare time to dedicate to the game between its November 10 Xbox release date and just before Christmas. Either that or one day we’ll learn that the biggest videogame acquisition in history fell through because one of its key executives got too distracted fighting Dracula.

If you’re curious, Spencer is a garlic man, and he also wielded a King Bible, Santa Water, and a magic wand in his run to unlock the game’s final achievement. That’s not everything he used, mind you, but I literally don’t even recognise the rest of the weapons listed in his armoury in the screenshot he posted to Twitter. In fairness to me, I have a paltry 20 hours in Vampire Survivors, not even 10% of Spencer’s total.

As for the Activision acquisition, it continues to trudge through an often tedious and sometimes absurd regulatory quagmire. Most recently, the UK Competition and Markets Authority suggested that Activision Blizzard should be broken up before it would give the deal its stamp of approval, while the union organising Activision’s workers wrote to European regulators to urge them to give the acquisition the green light. Meanwhile, Microsoft is running around signing 10-year deals with anyone and everyone to bring Activision’s games to other platforms if the deal goes through in a desperate bid to show regulators it can be trusted to act responsibly. No wonder Phil’s keeping his head down and levelling up the garlic.

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