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Head of Xbox Phil Spencer Would Like to Acquire a Japanese Studio - VGChartz
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer Would Like to Acquire a Japanese Studio

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer Would Like to Acquire a Japanese Studio - News

by William D'Angelo , posted 4 days ago / 2,190 Views

Microsoft has been on a spending spree the last couple of year acquires many video game studios with the latest, Double Fine, announced at E3 2019.

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer in an interview with GamesIndustry revealed he is not done acquiring studios and is in particular looking to acquire a studio from Japan.

"One of the things I love about Tim [Schafer] and the team at Double Fine is that they build different games to what our other studios build," said Spencer. "And that's a strength. Because just like in video, just like in music, there isn't one song that everybody loves. There isn't one movie, or even a genre that everybody loves. So with Game Pass, we think about millions of different players and the different kind of games they will play. That diversity is really important."

"I think it would be nice if we found an Asian studio, in particular a Japanese studio, to add [to our studios]. I liked it when we had some first-party capability in Japan," Spencer continued. "We have a small team there, but I think we can do more. That said, through our trips to Japan, I love having Phantasy Star back on our stage with Sega -- I thought that was fantastic. Miyazaki-San, before with Dark Souls and now having Elden Ring on our stage... the Japanese creators have shown up more and more."


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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44 Comments

Ganoncrotch (5 days ago)

All they are doing is spending money to make it so that games can't appear on other platforms rather than spending money to create games in the industry. Why not invest this money in buying some office space in Japan and opening up CV offers to game developers who are out of work there or up and coming developers and create a new studio with this same bag of cash you're waving around the place. I think given the Xbox's stance right now in terms of being very much the minorities platform of choice 6:1 this sort of news annoys 6 gamers to every one that it might please.... and that would be even worse in real world numbers because the majority of those 1's who are on the X1 side aren't going to be interested in MS spending money on Japanese games.


LMU Uncle Alfred (5 days ago)

Pretty much. Nailed it.^


  • 0
FloatingWaffles (5 days ago)

That's not true though, a lot of the the studios they bought had known financial struggles before being acquired and have said how it will allow them to create games they never could before. If it provides financial security and the ability for the studios to do things they couldn't before, whereas for all we know they might have shut down eventually otherwise, then I don't see what the issue is. Sure, maybe you won't like the games becoming Xbox/PC exclusive but it's a better alternative to the studios going bankrupt. Plus, it's not like Microsoft is pointing a gun to their heads and forcing them to accept their deal, they all agreed themselves to become part of Xbox Game Studios, so obviously they see the
positives in it.

I do think what you said about what they could do for a Japan studio is a good idea though, especially because I have no idea which Japanese developer would wanna be acquired by Microsoft given how the Xbox sells over there.


  • +7
Barkley (5 days ago)

Xbox will never be big in Japan, stop it.


crissindahouse (5 days ago)

Didn't know games from Japan are only for people from Japan.

How about the idea to offer exclusive Japanese games to fans of these games to make the Xbox brand stronger everywhere?


  • -1
Barkley (5 days ago)

Xbox fans aren't fans of Japanese games, if they were they wouldn't be Xbox fans.


  • +4
khotboat (5 days ago)

True, the vita sells more in Japan than the xbox one


  • +1
Darwinianevolution (5 days ago)

Why not create one from scratch?


shikamaru317 (5 days ago)

Not enough time now. If they want to have strong decent sales in Japan at the start of next-gen, they have to buy an already established studio.


  • +2
Shiken (5 days ago)

Japanese games do not sell on X1, so all they would be doing is preventing whatever studio they aquire from putting out anything good on a platform that they do sell on, if he is talking about anything that has to do with jrpgs anyway.


jason1637 (5 days ago)

Gamepass would give it a big playerbase.


  • +4
khotboat (5 days ago)

Yeah but idk the exact numbers of people who use gamepass but its not much considering ps now makes up 50% of subscription services on console and Sony said 700,000 people use ps now so not many people use gamepass


  • 0
Azzanation (4 days ago)

Erm Xbox is also on PC and GamePass adds to that. Its not always about the console. Besides having a Jap dev doesnt mean it has to be successful in Japan. It creates a style of game across there world wide eco system. Basically Sony and Nintendo own Studios in Japan yet there big game sales dont come from Japan alone.


  • +2
estebxx (5 days ago)

Oh fuck no... i hope they dont get Falcom or some other somewhat "niche" studio that i really care about, that would piss me off inmensly, im not buying another console just for that one game and yes i know they would be on PC as well, but to be quite honest i just prefer to play on console. Havent they already aquired enough studios? how about you grow the ones you already have or make your own.


Loneken (5 days ago)

The best option for Microsoft is buy Mystwalker. They produce Lost Oddyssey and Blue Dragon for de xbox 360.


  • +2
coolbeans (5 days ago)

They already are growing ones that they have and also making their own too.


  • +4
DonFerrari (5 days ago)

Well perhaps that game would end up in gamepass and xcloud, and you would pay 5 bucks to play it to the end instead of 60, but at a lower quality.


  • 0
Signalstar (4 days ago)

They should have done this way before the original Xbox even came out. Better late than never.


khotboat (5 days ago)

How about developing the studios you already bought first(7 new ones i think) and making proper AAA games instead of buying more studios to actually compete with Sony and Nintendo.


Mr Puggsly (4 days ago)

They could also do the same with a Japanese studio. They will buy From Software and Platinum games very soon.


  • 0
UltimateGamer1982 (4 days ago)

Lol kadokawa owns from software. And platinum is in bed with Nintendo. Bayonetta, wonderful 101, astral chain.

If Microsoft gets a Japanese Dev, it'll be something small and mostly unknown.


  • 0
IamAwsome (4 days ago)

It's only been a year. How do you know they're not doing that already?


  • +2
LMU Uncle Alfred (5 days ago)

I can feel my blood pressure go up and sense the life force of Japanese developers waning every time he mentions something about Japan. It's never worked out well for the Japanese developer to my knowledge whenever MS had an exclusive deal. Lost Odyssey is the best case scenario despite selling only ok...but we barely ever heard from Sakaguchi (the creator of FF) after that besides The Last Story on Wii and a single (once again to my knowledge, single) mobile game in Terra Wars.


IamAwsome (4 days ago)

Mistwalker's current fate is because of them, not Microsoft.


  • +1
Azzanation (5 days ago)

Its a smart buisness decision. Have a dedicated Japanese output can prove successful. When they had a japanese focus they produced some of the best JRPGs around. Plus we can garentee a Lost Odyessey 2.


Loneken (5 days ago)

Lost Odyssey is the best final fantasy game since FF 12 and Blue Dragon was a solid jrpg. Myst Walker is the best posible option, they only have mobile games now and can use some bigger budget.


  • +2
NSS7 (4 days ago)

I doubt any Japanese developer want their games to become exclusives on console with less than 100k userbase. Xbox One even losing to PS4 in US,UK. Switch will overtake Xbox One soon. Most people who care about Japanese games owned PS4/Switch.


Angelv577 (5 days ago)

Unless proven otherwise, all these studios acquired scream quantity over quality to me thanks to gamepass.


crissindahouse (4 days ago)

Ehh, do we speak about the same studios? Playground, inExile, Obsidian, Double Fine, Ninja Theory...they all released pretty good games the last years. Undead Labs doesn't get great Metascores but many gamers love what they do. Compulsion is the only studio yet which is like mehhhh

I guess you meant MS bought quality already and it has to be proven to be only about quantity


  • +2
Angelv577 (2 days ago)

They are just name. Out of those, the only one that you might have evidence of good games is playground but as far as I know, they are just popular in racing games. Dont kniw any notable quality franchise from them. Ninja theory blew it for me with bleeding edge. Thing is, I dont have faith in MS because I feel all those developers have one purpose. Pump out games as fast as they can for gamepass. Obsidian needs to prove themselves aside from that fallout game that was released a long time ago.


  • 0
RJTM1991 (5 days ago)

If they can offer creative freedom and won't censor anything, I say go for it. People always complain about the lack of Japanese games on Xbox.


Mystro-Sama (5 days ago)

Are they finally dipping their toes in the Japanese market again?


hunter_alien (4 days ago)

Yeah.... considering what studios they bought up, it would probably be a niche developer and nothing major. Some small , exclusive Japanese game would bolster the diversity for gamepass, but doubt that it would be popular enough for it to be warranted.


RaptorChrist (5 days ago)

They have already tried that route.


BraLoD (4 days ago)

Yes, keep buying them instead of developing yourself.


UltimateGamer1982 (4 days ago)

Don't know why. Most Japanese games don't sell well on the Xbox platform. Even big ones like kingdom hearts 3, mgs5, FFVX didn't sell that well. Xbox is a platform for western games, mostly shooters and sports. Sony and Nintendo have the Japanese games covered.


DonFerrari (5 days ago)

They have money so they could easily buy a japanese studio. On the Double Fine, I don't like they purchasing them because I liked their games, but have been a long time since I had (besides their remake of Full Throttle, Grim Fandango and that one about twins).


Comments below voting threshold

Walbert (4 days ago)

why do i sense in about 5 years Microsoft will be closing down some of their acquired studios.


Ayla (5 days ago)

Buy Platinum Games and From Software.


Jranation (5 days ago)

Please save them from Sony censorship!


Mospeada21CA (4 days ago)

Please make Freedom Wars 2!!


Mr Puggsly (5 days ago)

Buy Platinum games and finish Scalebound.


Ashadelo (5 days ago)

Squaresoft


Jigsawx1 (5 days ago)

If it pushes xbox sales a little bit its ok but i really dont need any japanese studio or any of the japanese games especially jrpgs........


  • -12