Author writes "Microsoft is on a crusade to turn the Xbox brand around, and adding Japanese game studios would be a huge statement of intent."
I think it's beneficial but buying a Japanese studio will be great to cement a presence there.
To broaden their library and outreach. If they can replicate their aggression shown in their early 360 days they'll be in a better place in future generations IF they sustain their push. There are many Xbox guys that would welcome titles from that region. The dude bro perception needs to go. . You'll never come out on top if you don't appeal to more and believe me. .ms would love to have greater appeal and numbers along with their gaas plans. I respect the fact they're making another effort after their failings in the region. . It may come to nothing but at least they tried. They just have to do better
They definitely need at least one studio out in the east if they are truly serious about doing better. The studio doesn't even need to focus on JRPGs, but games that have that eastern flavor or style that can also appeal to Western audiences would be ideal for Xbox. It would definitely benefit them along with their focus on single player games.
They will never resonate with Japan, they were aggressive during 360 era, secured some great IP but it only bolstered the Westerns appetite for Japanese games, they can own a Japanese company or two but Japan for XBOX is a lost cause.
Meh. This isn't big news. But everytime it happens some opinion piece drops that doesn't remember or even does the slightest bit of research to see this has happened already and will happen again and again. Nothing of merit comes from it. It's exploratory. It happens and is to be expected. MS should be making an effort to speak with game developers from all over the world. More games is good.
I think their GaaS, and more specifically their streaming plans fits very well into the Japanese market. It doesn't require they bother with the hardware as much, which has never been popular in Japan. But remove the hardware, and they can still get the user accounts, active users, and software sales. Best way to get that is to have games that appeal to the Japanese gamer. Signing up for a service to play a game one likes isn't anywhere near the commitment that buying into a console is, and Japan does have a really good internet infrastructure. On a side note....its amazing how Japanese devs became old news last gen by many in the media, and forums, only to become important again this gen. Why the change? Japanese games haven't changed have they?
I thought they already had one in Osaka already Another lie?
Another lie? Who lied about something you thought was true?
I am like 80% sure that last year supposedly there was a MS studio in Japan already, but If I am wrong then fool me
I think they have a game dev team out there in some MS division in the Osaka office. I'm not sure their scope or what games they work on. I'm not even sure that it's meant for Xbox games themselves, or just some support team for 3rd party Japanese dev liaisons You may also be thinking of a comment from 4-5 years ago where they mentioned they had some exclusives games being made for them out of Osaka, which was reported by a couple media outlets as them having their own studio there, despite those games being from independent 3rd party studios. Spencer I think clarified that in a tweet if I'm not mistaken. I remember the clarification tweet from Phil stating there was no MGS Osaka, but can't refer to context to which it was clarifying off the top of my head. I'm sure its available through Google, but I'm on mobile so it's a pain to look up.
OK. Lets assume that MS somehow buys a Japanese studio or three. Then what? Presumedly, they'd make a Japanese game or three. Then what? Well, I dunno what, because a Japanese game or three isn't going to mean much in the grand scheme of things, particularly since Nintendo reigns supreme in Japan, with Sony coming in at 2nd overall.....both with much more Japanese support and a significantly larger fan base to work off of. This leaves MS using those studios to leverage in the western markets, or maybe some asian markets. But, they're still in the same position of Sony and Nintendo having much more of a fan base since people that want those kinds of games know they will always get them in plenty on both those systems. So...what does that leave MS with from buying those studios? Well, it means they can have one or three games that will become exclusive to their service or system. That in itself can be good for them or it's user base, but its not going to cement any presence in Japan for them. At least not in relation to sales of the XBox. Of course, if they intend to push their services there outside the hardware, then it may make more sense. Japan's interenet infrastructure is quite good, so the streaming stuff could be popular there, and if the price is right, it means they get money, and users using their service for MAU's. Something that's important to them. Won't help them in the console market, but will help them in other areas. I can't see MS buying up some major Japanese dev....even if any were willing to sell. Japanese gamers can be just as hostile towards such things as Western gamers can be on such things, and realistically, buying up a popular dev isn't likely to drive their console sales either way.
I don't think Microsoft care much about console sales in Japan. The streaming service is the way to go. Mobile gaming is more popular in Japan. I just read that Capcom makes 85% of its revenue from America and Europe. Microsoft just want to get 3rd party exclusive on Xbox. The likes of Persona, Yakuza etc. That's my thinking on this. No buying studios, not opening studios. just trying to level the playing field with Sony in regards to 3rd party Japanese games.
I can see why they might want some Japanese studios to build games that the Japanese market would want to stream though. Not really sure how viable the market is over there for such things, but they're probably more open to it than some other parts of the world. Their internet infrastructure is actually pretty good over there. That being said, I'm sure MS also wants those games on their system for other parts of the world, because it does drive interest in the system. But they've done this for a couple console generations now, and ultimately, I think they'd have to buy up enough content to go against Sony or Nintendo, because those systems are pretty much entrenched in the Otaku game market. If they want more western games, they already get those, and I can't really think of any single franchise or two that would give them much of a competitive edge. So, they'd have to spend a lot of money to get more, and there comes a point where it just won't have the returns on investment, and that point is not really that many games IMO. These marginal games for the market from 5pb for insteance, aren't going to do it. Some good JRPG's aren't going to do it because of the plethora of exclusives on PS and Nintendo platforms. Sony and Nintendo just get those because those systems sell in Japan, and there's a market there. So the localization doesn't take as much for the publishers to greatly increase their sales. But it costs a lot more to port a game over. So, unless MS has an easy way to port those games, it's not as likely to happen. Sony and Nintendo both use a Vulcan and BSD/Unix OS. MS is pretty rigid with DirectX, and the two API's don't always make it easy to port. Hell, 75% of my job is writing tools to port games between the two API's. So basically, the added cost doesn't make it as feasible to release on Xbox.
I don't get the sense that folks that are interested in the JRPGs and such would be swayed to Xbox based on one or two studios. Dunno, that seems like a market that will take major investment before MS gets a payoff because they're SO far behind. I'd think they'd be better off focusing on winning more in the western markets where they have a chance. Just my opinion...
I think MS realizes that people aren't going to be swayed by a single genre in Japan. They thought that would happen with some good JRPG's in the 360 days and it didn't work, and they gave up. I don't know why they thought they'd get a lot out of 5pb, and their visual novels, especially since they couldn't keep them exclusive, but they tried with that too. MS would need a rather large and consistent release of Japanese exclusives to really entice those players into the XBox hardware, and even then, I think it would require buying out more than one or even five major IP's, and realistically, it'd be met with an extreme amount of hostility among the Japanese gamers. In the grand scheme of things, I don't think that kind of investment is worth it to them, because the cost would far outweigh the gains. Even the PS4, while selling decent enough, doesn't have such a large market that it warrants investing billions in trying to sell the hardware in that one market, and the development isn't going to net them enough gains worldwide either. Its fine that MS wants to grow in that market, at least on the games front, because it can mean getting more people on their system elsewhere. Sony didn't become what they did on their own software, but by having something for everyone, and that's what MS should strive for, and the japanese market is important to that. Moreso though, I think that with MS shift to services, it can fit well into the Japanese market, as it removes the hardware from the equation, and they only need to get the consumer to buy into the game itself. They essentially become what could be thought of as an independent publisher in the region, but get the gains of the user joining XBL, getting a software sale, and benefiting in everything that comes with it.
Mistwalker-Lost Odyssey, Blur dragon and the last story Access games-Deadly premonition and D4 Grasshopper manufacturer-No more hero's and shadow of the damned Artplay-Bloodstained These are studios ms should consider acquiring.
Mystwalker should have been aquired long ago. Definitely a miss by the old management regime. MS should create a studio and hire the old Ninja Gaiden guy, (Devil's Third) he hasn't been seen in a while, maybe he's looking for work.
Good shout. Snatch up some Indies too. Less risk but big potential rewards.
If with the recent news of Microsoft heavily investing in a streaming service, coupled with them making in-roads with eastern developers, I can see them really boosting their APAC presence. I don’t believe the vast Japense gaming community will ever go out buy an Xbox console, but since their network infrastructure is so much greater than ours and that they prefer mobile gaming, I think Microsoft can finally have decent chance of becoming a player (pun intended) over seas.
They go to Japan multiple times a year to look at games. People are hyping this up and setting themselves up for disappointment.
Glass half empty eh? With the recent aquisitions coming to light and rumors of more, plus with just having MS constantly going out there makes it seem like there might be a strong possibility that more niche type Japanese games will be appearing on Xbox in the future or maybe even a bigger stretch of a studio.
Hardly so. They have been doing it since the 360 era, if they're looking to acquire a new studio over there then that's a different argument. But this is business as per usual for MS.
@Sevir They had more Japanese support in the 360 era, which is not the case today. MS has a lot more to prove and deal with over in Japan then they did in the past.
I do hope your brethren don't stick to their guns on the downplay narrative of all things Japanesey, quirky and games that won't sell mega. Been hearing a lot over this gen. . . . Laud what you have and downplay what you lack which goes both ways so don't get me wrong it's just ms lack more. This past year has shown ms can listen even if it's late or forced. They're not immovable. . They can adjust. All they have to do is turn promise into fruition. They've done too much talking over this gen and from the back end of last gen . . They need these positive moves more than ever
@whyowhy "...downplay narrative of all things Japanesey, quirky and games that won't sell mega" Well considering that others expect their Western counterparts to always sell gangbusters but hold special niche passes for the eastern games, there's definitely a lot of double standards on each side of the road. MS has done a lot of talking, but that talking has turned into actual actions so I think we can start to actually believe all this talk and start believing some possibilities for the future which could mean getting back into the good graces of a lot more Japanese developers. There's already some niche, quirky Japanese titles for Xbox. But I wouldn't be mad or mind titles that never made their way to Xbox to start to appear, like DQ or Persona.
I'm a realist. Others can deal with wishes and dreams. That's not console specific. I pretty much told people to not get their hopes up with PSN id changes for this year, and look, it won't happen until next year. It's fine to have hope, but hype isn't going to make it anymore likely than being realistic and understanding that one thing happening over here doesn't snowball into others over there.
I guess it depends on which western game we're talking about when its said it has to sell gangbusters. Its the very notion that a game has to sell gangbusters, regardless of the scope or budget of the game to be considered successful that needs to go away altogether. There are games from all regions which can be successful selling to a minuscule portion of the user base. But the attitude that any game that isn't a mega blockbuster is not worth paying attention to is killing a lot of potential for Japanese games on the Xbox system, since most of those games are often seen as niche and not very enticing...at least to many vocal about it. The only exceptions to this would be the mega blockbuster Japanese games, such as Metal Gear or Resident Evil, because there are a lot of popular franchises from Japan that have a dwindling Japanese feel to them because they've been westernized starting last gen, because its what some of these Japanese publishers thought the western audience wanted. An attitude perpetuated and backed up by the media and some gamers last gen. There is a distinct difference in the way I see the VOCAL community discuss Japanese and Western games, and I see a lot of xbox fan boys, not necessarily fans, dismiss any Japanese game that isn't more western in feel, or a mega blockbuster AAA title, whereas the PS community seems to either like them, ignore them because they're not interested, or appreciate they offer up something more to more people. I can't recall that often where a PS gamer has said that the Japanese games weren't needed or wanted, but I do recall that coming from the Xbox camp. It's died off some this gen though, so there is hope, but I don't see a significant demand for these niche games on the system from the userbase itself. There were always quirky and niche Japanese titles on Xbox...all the way back to the original. They just never garnered much attention, whereas they could thrive and become well loved on the PS consoles. Consider that Persona was once quirky and niche, even for a Japanese game.
@Christopher Nothing wrong with being a realist, but there's a difference between 'hyping things up' and just plain old speculation and discussions on what MS could be doing especially given the amount of changes we have seen in the few months or so with Xbox. I mean it's not like we're talking about the impossible, like a console being able to background multiple games. pfffffft, no way. "PSN id changes for this year, and look, it won't happen until next year." But the point is it's happening. So in comparison, yes, the things Phil does over there in Japan may not amount to much or if it does, won't be seen for a while, but it could still be happening and it's still interesting to discuss the possibilities as long as they're grounded in reality. @Rainslacker "An attitude perpetuated and backed up by the media and some gamers last gen." An attitude backed up by sales and most of the more successful Japanese games have all had a more western influence or appeal to them. Leaving the more extremely Japanese type (niche) games to remain with modest sales or fail, even on the most successful system that caters to that audience. "There is a distinct difference in the way I see the VOCAL community discuss Japanese and Western games," I'm sure you see it that way, I also see fanboys, not fans, expecting a western game to sell huge and if not, consider it a flop no matter what, but then don't hold those same standards or principles to a Japanese game, instead giving the excuse it's niche, it's not suppose to sell well. "..whereas the PS community seems to either like them, ignore them because they're not interested, or appreciate they offer up something more to more people" You seem to have very narrow tunnel vision if that's all you see the PS community do when it comes to Japanese games compared to the Xbox community. I've personally seen gamers express not caring for a game wether it's from Japan or otherwise. Now how I go about classifying who belongs to what community, and then applying where I think they belong and then bringing my conclusions here, that would be a bit of a long stretch and not very accurate of the real truth especially if you are just taking the words of a very few VOCAL members here. "They just never garnered much attention, whereas they could thrive and become well loved on the PS consoles." Lets be honest, not a lot of smaller Japanese titles are heating up the gaming news conversations here either. A lot of those titles are not really thriving as a lot of them went to mobile to survive. This is why a lot of these vocal comments keep asking for the return of those old games that used to be a staple on consoles but now only appear on everyone's wishlist or hoping a remaster might sell well enough to get a sequel.
But the notion that sales had to be exceptionally high to even be successful or relevant became a big thing last gen, and was often used to downplay Japanese games. On top of that, the notion that Japanese game development wasn't advancing was strong last gen. This was heavily perpetuated by the media, many times in the form of discrediting a game due to the nature of its content being immature or offensive to western sensibilities. This was all done in comparison to western games, because they were constantly compared to such games, which just ignored the user bases wants for the Japanese games. That has died down some this gen, but there was a lot of hostility towards Japanese games last gen, which didn't do well on Xbox, but still did well enough on PS3, and certainly on DS/3DS. The reason that more successful Japanese games were because of their western influence ignores the fact that those western themed games also had the larger marketing budgets, typically from long standing franchises, and weren't completely panned by the gaming press or community. " I also see fanboys, not fans, expecting a western game to sell huge and if not, consider it a flop no matter what, [snip" I see this as well. And I see this more this gen against exclusive in particular than I do against Japanese games this gen. Even last gen, games that didn't sell COD or GTA numbers were considered flops. The whole percentages of user base who brought the game being a big one nowadays. It's completely idiotic this gen, and it was idiotic last gen. But I'm talking about last gen, so if you think this practice is not right now, then you have to agree that it wasn't right back then either. I don't deny that there are Xbox gamers that like Japanese games. Quite a few actually. I know there are several devout Xbox fan boys here who like them as well. But that isn't what this is really about. It's about @Why O Why discussion on the vocal disdain towards japanese games in general. Some of my other comments, particularly about game sales, were expanding on the misrepresentation of a games success due to sales. Otherwise, I can think of plenty of anecdotal instances which don't represent the norm, or what became a consensus of the vocal groups that existed, and i do feel that my comment about how PS gamers react to Japanese games tends to be fairly accurate to the gaming community as a whole. "not a lot of smaller Japanese titles are heating up the gaming news conversations here either." To this I will actually agree. But this community seems more driven by hostility and confrontation than it does about just discussing games. Go into those articles without the controversial heat attached, and the one's that do have people commenting, generally are talking about the game, and often discussing it in a positive manner, unless it's not a well loved game. Many niche games don't hit it big. But they can still be successful There's a reason that Sony, and Nintendo, get all sorts of Japanese games outside Japan. Maybe not tear up the charts, but do well. Sure, some went elsewhere, sometimes to the disdain of their fan base, but there are certainly enough success stories to not just dismiss them as an anomaly.
Microsoft needs to drop Japan. Console isn't selling well and they're wasting time.
Bring Cave Shoot em ups and all other Shoot em ups to the retro compatibility, or release a collection of all there Xbox 360 on a special edition for Xbox One, pump more Shoot em ups and beat em ups, that's that I want from Xbox Japan just like the Xbox 360.
Didn't you guys already write an article like this already, or are all of the opinion pieces pretty much repeating the same thing over and over? Swear I've already seen 2 opinion pieces like this that were pretty much identical.
Buy all the developers you want people dont want xbox , they are a dead brand in Asia and most of Europe.
Right. There's zero chance that this will be like all the other times MS has visited Japan. Zero chance. /s
Like the song goes.. Heard it all before!!
Yeah and what you supposed they should do? Stop their relationship with Japanese devs and stop selling their console in Japan?
that’s probably exactly what he wishes would happen.
That would probably be best,Japanese gamers don't see XB,never did.
It's not impossible that they're trying to expand their consumer demographic, although track record shows this could be little more than another publicity stunt with minimal follow through on shallow promises. Only time will tell.
MS regularly visits Japan. Despite not having much presence in the market there, they still have Japanese publishing partners, and all the major publishers put their bigger games on Xbox. Square Enix is a big publisher, and supports Xbox pretty well. Capcom, Konami when they cared, and so on all have relationships with MS. It's not abnormal to keep those kinds of relationships established for whatever MS is doing, because even if they're not looking to actively try and get the more niche Japanese games on their system, they certainly want the final fantasy's and Tomb Raiders from SE, the Resident Evils from Capcom, and....well Konami is kind of a bust, but maybe MS will manage to buy some of their IP's and make something useful out of them since Konami seems incapable and unwilling to do so. I don't think Spencer has promised anything on this trip to Japan. Nor do I really recall him making promises on the last trip that made the headlines. He talked it up for PR purposes, but any expectations born from that was really on the media and the community.
It's not. We've seen it time and again in the past. They just can't reconcile their lack of Japanese support with their primary demographic being utterly disinterested with Japanese games.
It's a poor excuse to be 15 plus years in the business and they have to travel to Japan looking for support. They should have already acquired or created a studio in that time frame with more money than nintendo and Sony combined. But nope. Sony don't need to travel. They have developers in each region to support those gamers with a variety of games to choose from. When Microsoft aren't willing to produce a game for their own console to boost sales in Japan, why would actual Japanese developers do so? Sure, some are willing to take a check for a one time deal. But as you see from last Gen, they didn't stick around to make any more or sequels to the ones they did make. Being serious about their games means keeping an actual presence there. Not when it suits them. Japanese consumers can see right through them. It's like this: If you are not willing to speak Japanese or even try, why should they speak back to you in English? Also, no. Microsoft's ecosystem is not better than Sony's. If it were, they would be selling better than they are and more than Sony. They're not.
I personally think it's kind of insulting to think that I should be excited for a brand just because they buy a hometown studio. i couldn't care less where a studio is based. I love various developers work from many places around the world. It's find it kind of offensive that anyone would think that a show of good faith like that would just earn trust and potential sales from a consumer. I'm not going to be offended for my Japanese gaming brethren, because MS doesn't seem to be trying that, nor made any comment that was their intent, but this notion that people think that MS is also so dumb seems to be getting out of hand. I think MS more than anyone knows that just buying up something Japanese doesn't really get you in with the consumers there. MS, for all their questionable decisions on design of the X1, and their strategy for their Xbox brand, I never thought were complete idiots. They go into things with game plans, and while they sometime misjudge, they aren't stupid. Its one thing to try and entice customers in Japan by trying to get the kinds of games they like on the system like they did on the 360, with the plan to keep doing that to build the brand there, as well as elsewhere, and a completely different thing to just do it because you think that it will be successful because people are stupid. MS made a good effort in the 360 days to build that relationship with the Japanese consumer, and try to attract others that like those kinds of games in the rest of the world. They just gave up too soon when it wasn't successful enough, or as quick as they may have liked. Sony had the virtue of being the best place for devs from all over the world to build the PS1, which was leveraged into a massive user base making it the only one needed for the PS2, to help build that relationship worldwide. MS was coming in at a disadvantage, and buying their way in didn't work like it did in other areas of their business. But if they had kept pushing along with the mentality of having something for everyone, instead of resorting to focusing in on more insular markets in the larger whole, they could have easily been ten years ahead of where they are now in terms of world-wide software support. MS has mostly succeeded on the growth of the western gaming market, and the size and power of the US and EU markets, and that's because those are the markets where most of the games on the system appeal to. If they had an equal number, or at least sufficient number of Japanese or Eastern titles on their system, those markets could also get them customers....but given their track record in those areas, and giving up rather quickly, they're again at a disadvantage because they have to build trust with those sub-markets.
“It's a poor excuse to be 15 plus years in the business and they have to travel to Japan looking for support.” You know why both Sony and Nintendo don’t need to travel to Japan? Because, surprise surprise, they both are based in Japan. I know, mad right? “Being serious about their games means keeping an actual presence there” But MS does have offices in Japan. Its how they distribute Xbox there after all. Phil just visit Japan to strengthen their relationship with Japanese devs. Or are you suggesting Phil should live in Japan instead?
Duh! List off all the Japanese games Microsoft has made this Gen? I'll make it easy. Name 5.... Then check and see what Sony games were made from Japan, America and European studios. There isn't a Japanese Microsoft studio making games. They should have created a studio years ago. That's why they are failing. If they aren't going to invest in Japan, why should Japan invest in them?
I’m an Xbox guy and couldn’t give a stuff. Bring us the Xbox version of The Last of Us. Ellie makes Master Chief look like a pussy
Why not just invest in Korean MMO developers? It fits with their crappy GaaS ideas.
Japan and most Asian countries are not that fond of Xbox brand but it never hurts to try.
This is like an endless loop. I have seen this article at least 3 times a year for the last 6 or 9 years with no actual positive result. This is like believing you are going to win the lottery for for buying one ticket.
I don’t think games like Final Fantasy, Code Vein, Kingdom Heart, and Tales of come to Xbox because of thin air.
More japanese developer shutting down ... didn't a few complain that going 360 exclusive was a dumb decision? Can't find anything about that, thought I had read this on that forum were trying to forget.
Any chance of getting phantasy star? Suiloden on xbox?
Well, over there trying to get more onboard for next gen or they're there for the amazing ramen and that giant Gundam statue.
Microsoft your XBONE IS DEAD in sales and in a coffin for this generation. Let it rest in peace. Stop feeding false hopes. In two years is impossible to deliver a great game when your market share is way too limited. This generation is over. That PR stunt is not useful anymore.
Once again, twinfinite can't ascertain the nature of what news is. MS "possibly working" with Japanese devs isn't big news. It's an assumption that they're working with Japanese devs. Nothing more. nothing less. The big news would be if they're actually working with those japanese devs, and more specifically, which devs they're working with, and what they're working on with those devs. Somehow, I doubt twinfinite will be the first to break any actual news on if MS is working with Japanese devs, or what they are working on with those Japanese devs, because they lack any real journalistic skill. MS will break that news on their own, to which, other news sites will simply relay the information. MS already works with Japanese devs on a variety of things, and by context of how these things seem to be framed, the big news seems more centered around them not so much working with Japanese devs, but rather what money they're going to throw at Japanese devs to try and get more Japanese games on the X1. Since the first half the 360, that's about the best MS seems to be able to do to get Japanese devs interested in the system beyond the typical AAA stuff made to appeal to a western audience more than a Japanese audience.
Or they could focus more on the west, and invest more into their first party.
Aren't they already doing that with their recent buy ups?
Xbox has been claiming to talk to Japanese debs since the xbo launched and they delivered nothing...
Why is it big news again you mean. They talked with JP devs for the OG Xbox, did it again with 360 and now are doing it one more time. No wait, didn't they just get done with talking with JP devs for XB1? Now they're doing it again... for the XB1? wtf?
Let’s hope they pick up a good studio who will release a great game