Big or small
These days, it feels like Xbox has its eyes set on everyone. Studios are getting gobbled up by Microsoft’s gaming division, and Xbox is fresh off of its crown jewel acquisition: Buying Bethesda for $7.5 billion. A dent in anyone’s wallet for sure, but it’s not slowing Xbox down.
Bloomberg reports that Xbox is aggressively trying to buy a Japanese developer. Several studios have confirmed that they’ve had meetings with Xbox where acquisition is the primary discussion. These teams are said to be “from small to big.” No studios were named because the talks were private, but it seems as though no deals have been struck.
Xbox has a few goals in mind when it comes to Japan. There’s an ever-pressing need to add to the stable of Xbox Game Studios developers, the in-house teams who will develop first-party titles for Xbox Game Pass. But, it’s said that Microsoft is also looking to expand its presence in Japan. Xbox has been notoriously poor-selling in Japan (Xbox One represents .1 percent of all Japanese console sales in 2020) and Microsoft thinks it can make up some ground there by investing in the Japanese audience. It’s not going to overthrow PlayStation in the foreseeable future, but there’s nowhere to go but up.
Rumors have come and gone in recent years over Xbox’s efforts to acquire a big-name Japanese studio. Platinum was at the center of a lot of those rumblings, but that idea appears to have fallen apart. Sega has been in the conversation recently too, although it’s unclear if there’s any foundation to that gossip. Regardless, Xbox is certainly willing to put its money where its mouth is. That’s a bit easier when you have Microsoft cash to play around with.