As Gamescom 2018 continues to bombard the gaming world with the latest trailers and announcements, Aaron Greenberg, the Marketing General Manager for Microsoft's Xbox division, sat down with DualShockers to talk about the company's commitment to improving its first-party lineup and continued efforts to build relationships with Japanese developers.
On the topic of first-party titles, Microsoft made waves earlier in 2018, when it announced that it was adding five new studios to its portfolio in a bid to bolster its first-party offerings. That signaled that the Xbox team was getting serious about reacting to player feedback, and it's only the start. In speaking with DualShockers, Greenberg stressed that the company is focused on stepping up to the plate when it comes to growing its content.
It's an exciting time. While we don't pre-announce things, I think you're seeing that the level of commitment is there, and that we believe in continuing to grow that content.
Know that the company is focused and investing to continuing to grow our content, and we're gonna be bringing more and more games to our fans no matter what device they're playing on, and growing services like Xbox Game Pass.
Looking forward, Microsoft is leaning on these studios to bring more diversity to its lineup, and more single-player experiences are a part of that plan.
We love single player games. […] It's something that we absolutely believe in, and you're right. I think the thing about these studios that makes them unique is really first and foremost, they are incredibly talented developers that make really high quality games. Most of these tend to be focused — If you think about Compulsion, or Ninja Theory, or Undead — they're make games that are uniquely different from what we're doing today in our first-party studios.
These games are different than Forza, or Halo, or Gears, or some of the franchises that people know us for. That's gonna add to the diversity of the content.
One area where Xbox has been a little weak this generation is attracting third-party titles from Japan. However, Greenberg says the Xbox team is stepping things up there as well, highlighting the time Microsoft gave to Japanese games on stage at E3 and Xbox lead Phil Spencer's engagement with Japanese developers.
I think our commitment and our support from Japanese developers has never been stronger, and we wanna help them succeed on the global stage, and that continues to be our focus. We know our fans want those great Japanese games. That's why even some of the games we got later, we made sure that we showed them at E3, we made sure we highlighted them so you know they matter to our fans.
Again, we always take that lens of putting our fans first as we think about content, and we know Japanese content is important and that's why you see us grow our content, and we'll continue to focus on that.
These renewed efforts across Xbox come as gaming is becoming an increasingly important part of Microsoft's business strategy. Phil Spencer now reports directly to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella after his promotion to the company's senior leadership team last year. And in recent quarters, the Xbox division has seen impressive gains in revenue.
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