Xbox head Phil Spencer would like to acquire 'a Japanese studio,' confirms continued growth

What you need to know

  • Microsoft's "spending spree" to acquire more teams for Xbox Game Pass isn't over.
  • The company is following a similar model to Netflix.
  • Japanese games aren't that common on the Xbox One.
  • Head of Xbox Phil Spencer would love to acquire a Japanese developer.

At Microsoft's Xbox E3 2019 Briefing, the company revealed a number of Japanese games like Elden Ring. While all of them appear to be multiplatform, many gamers have been asking for exclusive titles from Japanese developers for quite some time now. The Xbox 360 received a number of excellent exclusives from the country like Lost Odyssey, but the Xbox One has been severely lacking in this area.

At E3 2019, Microsoft revealed that it had acquired Double Fine Productions, the team behind the beloved Psychonauts franchise. It seems like the studio acquisition don't end there, because Head of Xbox Phil Spencer admitted to GamesIndustry that the "spending spree" isn't over. The outlet said there "is no acquisition quota... to hit. Instead, the aim is to find developers that can add something different" to Xbox Game Pass.

Since Japanese role-playing games aren't that common on the platform, buying an established team in Japan would be a great investment. Spencer agreed when he was asked about the possibility. Keep in mind that there are rumors floating around that Microsoft is in talks with PlatinumGames, the makers of Bayonetta and other experiences. He said the following to GamesIndustry.

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. 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.

Microsoft should also try to pursue an acquisition of FromSoftware, the team behind games like Dark Souls, Elden Ring, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. That studio is by far the most prominent developer out of them all in my opinion.

Whether a Japanese studio joins Xbox Game Studios will have to be seen. It's good to know that it's not outside the realm of possibility. Acquiring a team like FromSoftware or PlatinumGames would be on the level of Obsidian Entertainment or Playground Games because they're experienced developers who have a reputation of making stellar titles.

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Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

9 Comments
  • That will be something I would love to see. I love From software and platinumGames.
  • Microsoft acquiring FromSoftware is wishful thinking. They would need to offer a very lucrative deal because I don't think they're hurting for money.
  • Microsoft better not go anywhere near FromSoftware.
  • Sega would be a great acquisition. Imagine virtua cop, crazy taxi, sonic, sor and a mobile dr robotnik mean bean machine sequel.
  • The fact that Phil mentions this to GameIndustry means that negotiations are already under way for one of the Japanese studios. We'll probably hear something about it more in the coming months. Phil doesn't strike me as someone who speaks off the cuff with out having something up their sleeve already. I'm thinking Phil wants to have a well rounded assortment of different game studios under the Microsoft Studios Umbrella to appeal to everyone, especially if they want to kick off a new game on game pass every 3 months. My guess is 18-24 studios especially now that PC games are now part of game pass.
  • It's a very ambitious goal, it also means each studio will have to a project in the works constantly effectively releasing a game on rotation. The lead time to create games can be a major stumbling block as well.
  • Of course, it would be interesting
    More than a name of a studio, it's people who want work for Xbox
    To make japanese games ? Others, style adaptation ?
    It must be seen with the process of creating games in Japan for developers
    Since the japanse market is essential for Sony, its also damaging
    It would require association of japanese culture and the western touch of play
  • Studio Ghibli!
    Of course I'm kidding. Curious to see what else Phil Spencer has up his sleeve. As I agree Sal98, don't think Phil Spencer will ever speak off the cuff without having something concrete in play.
  • It's world with poesy, and you comes with blows or impacts