Xbox’s general manager, Aaron Greenberg, commented about Microsoft’s relationship with Japan, which, as you might recall, has always been somewhat troubled. According to Greenberg, the platform owner still has an interest in the country, though it’s not clear where this takes the company in the future.
A few weeks ago the vice-president of Gaming at Microsoft, Phil Spencer, shared he would like to have a Japanese development team on board in the new Xbox Game Studios. Both figureheads are hinting at having a more intimate relationship with Japan or at least wanting to have one.
Talking about Phantasy Star Online 2 coming to Xbox One, Greenberg told Twinfinite that “it’s great for us. It’s great for Sega, and kudos to Phil for building these partnerships, and taking the time to go to Japan over and over and meet with those teams.”
He acknowledged that “some of the best creators in the world are in Japan,” so “if we can help bring their creations and their creativity to a broader market, I think that’s a great thing.”
Of course, we’re talking about partnerships and not acquisition in this case. A huge challenge for Microsoft’s next console, Project Scarlett, could be offering a believable platform for Japanese developers. They already have their choice between the PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Switch.
Perhaps, acquiring a new team and building something like the Mistwalker stint in the Xbox 360 era could help. But that’s something Microsoft would need to believe in and invest for the future. Paradoxically, that would help more in Western territories than in Japan, if you look at how much more appreciated Japanese games are around the world.