Microsoft is looking to make moves in Japan, and reportedly, this means acquiring a studio or three. The tech giant has looked into deals with several developers, though nothing has landed.
In a report on Microsoft’s strategy for the Japanese market, Bloomberg states the company is actively trying to negotiate some acquisitions, having talked with a number of outfits. According to the piece, “several Japan-based game developers, from small to big” have been approached by Microsoft to buy their teams. The studios didn’t comment on how these conversations went, and have chosen to remain anonymous. Microsoft neither confirmed nor denied inquiries, Jeremy Hinton, head of Xbox operations in Asia, stating that “acquisitions are a possibility but there are no announcements to share at this time”.
After falling short with Japanese players on the Xbox One, where the console released a year after the US and never made up lost ground to Sony and Nintendo, Microsoft’s hoping that the Xbox Series S, the Xbox Series X‘s disc-less sibling, and an emphasis on Xbox Game Pass will help garner interest. The subscription service allows players to access games on multiple devices, including PC, and its library is updated monthly. Deals with large publishers like EA are making Game Pass an increasingly strong investment, even if sometimes there’s a disparity between what’s on console and what’s on PC.
Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media, the parent company of publisher Bethesda, for $7.5 billion USD in August, so all bets are off on what the brand is willing to spend for the right level of name of IP. Bethesda’s entire library – including Doom Eternal, Skyrim, and Fallout 4 – is now headed to Game Pass, and there’s doubt that the publisher’s upcoming games will still comes out on the PlayStation 5.
We’ll see what happens, this console generation’s already interesting, and they haven’t even been properly released yet. Maybe what Microsoft really needs to do is start sending Japanese celebrities their own Xbox One X fridge.