With the Xbox One not being exactly successful in Japan for the moment, some are wondering why Microsoft keeps trying to sell its consoles, and Xbox Division Head Phil Spencer explained exactly that in an interview on The Inner Circle Podcast.
One of the primary reasons I want to make sure that Xbox is in Japan is so that mantain good relationships with the third party publishers and the studios over there, because I’m with you: I want great Japanese games to be built for the Japanese audience and those of us that love Japanese games and don’t live in Japan.
Just the amount of console development going on in Japan right now…there’s not a ton. You’ve got obviously Capcom, Sega… You’ve got some of the big publishers, and we’re doing obviously Scalebound with Platinum, and Platinum is a great Japanese studio, but I remember fifteen years ago, when I went to Tokyo, and there were tons of console developers in Japan…there just aren’t as many as there used to be.
He continued by explaining that Microsoft is already in talks with local developers to do something more in Japan:
You talk about JRPGs, and there just aren’t as many built as they used to be. I’ll tell you this. We’re in active discussions with Japanese studios about games. I wanna make sure that the Japanese console development community stays strong and grows back to where it was. If we can help, that’s great, by opening up a western audience.
I’m with you on getting Japanese studios signed up. We’re not the strongest platform in Japan, but keeping those relationships with studios and publishers there is really important, and if we can help bringing great Japanese content to the planet, that’s a good thing.
Spencer also mentioned that it was fun to work on Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey, and while they’re investments that don’t necessarily pay off in how many units of the game you sell, he thinks about the mark they can make. Working with great Japanese studios is something he wants to be part of and he feels that it’s important to global gaming because Japanese studios have something unique to bring to gamers all over the world.
… And I personally can’t agree more. Bring them on, Phil.