A new report suggests Microsoft is looking to buy out some Japanese studios for Xbox game development, including “big” options as well.
A new report suggests that Microsoft is eyeing developers both big and small from Japan to add to its roster of Xbox game development studios – and, apparently, the company has already approached several companies about buying their businesses. Microsoft is about to launch its Xbox Series X|S next-gen consoles, which release tomorrow, November 10, 2020, though the launch is notable for not containing any real exclusives that could serve as the deciding factor in luring consumers onto the platform.
Perhaps in part because of that lack of exclusives, Microsoft has been aggressive in its pursuit of acquiring what it perceives to be quality game studios to add to its Xbox Studios family. That aggression paid off in a huge way earlier this year when Microsoft announced it had acquired ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda. Fans immediately began to ponder major what-if scenarios, especially with regards to whether or not The Elder Scrolls 6 will be an Xbox exclusive, but even if that doesn’t end up being the case, it’s a clear message from Microsoft and Xbox: the next-gen Xbox Series X will not have the same problem its predecessor did in terms of generating strong exclusives, at least if that’s the route Xbox wants to take. The company has also expressed interested in making cross-platform more widespread, so it will be interesting to see how Xbox Series X exclusivity plays out in the future.
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In the present, however, it appears Microsoft is interested in growing the Xbox game studio roster even more by acquiring Japanese studios. In a report from Bloomberg, anonymous companies testified to the fact that they have been approached by Microsoft about buying them. According to the report, Microsoft is also ramping up potential talks with Japanese game developers regarding Xbox releases. Rumors previously swirled around the potential of a SEGA sale to Microsoft – given the report, that might have been something being discussed that eventually fell through.
There are plenty of tantalizing prospects in Japan when it comes to quality game studios, but it’s also about establishing competition to Sony, which, as a Japanese corporation, has always enjoyed closer ties to the Japanese game development scene. It’s likely that more games developed by Japanese studios would also help establish the Xbox Series X better in that country than its predecessors have fared. The Japanese console market is a notoriously difficult climate to succeed in recently, and any connection to it, however tenuous or stretched, is better than nothing for Xbox.
Whether or not anything comes of Microsoft’s forays into attempting to purchase Japanese video game developers, the fact that there have already been talks is an encouraging sign for Xbox fans. Phil Spencer has stated that he feels the Xbox Series X will do a better job of establishing the brand there, and it looks like Microsoft wants to strengthen that chance even further by purchasing some studios who probably have a good idea of what fans might want from Xbox moving forward in that region.
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