This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
It has been rumored that Microsoft has approached several Japan-based game developers " from small to big" in an effort to win over Japanese gaming fans.
According to a Bloomberg report, Microsoft is trying to counter rival Sony by strengthening its position in Japan. While both the Xbox Series X/S and PS5 are likely to struggle in Japan, where the Nintendo Switch has an advantage in family-friendly games, the former has "virtually zero presence in the country," so there's plenty of room for it to gain market share, according to the analysis.
Apart from the acquisition rumors, the article also reports that Xbox Partnership Representative (the position overseeing relations with game creators) Sarah Bond has said that the company has been stepping up discussions with Japan-based game developers about releasing titles on the Xbox. One of those companies is Koei Tecmo Games, as well as positive statements from President Hisashi Koinuma.
Although the contact between Microsoft and Japan-based game developers has already been reported in other media (this is probably the first time we've heard of an acquisition rumor), what's interesting about this article is that it reports on the rumors that Sony's PlayStation division is increasingly shifting its focus away from Japan.
Firstly, according to anonymous employees, Sony has placed more importance on the U.S. market after the PlayStation 4’s disappointing performance in Japan. They also reportedly said that the U.S. side was frustrated by the failure of the Japan marketing team to sell as many PlayStation 4 units as expected, as a result, Japan has been sidelined in planning the PlayStation 5’s promotion, and employees in Tokyo have been left awaiting instructions from California (the headquarters of the PlayStation business).
There are also rumors that Sony is weakening its development structure in Japan, with its Japan-based developer support teams have been reduced by as much as a third from their peak, and the rolling contracts of many game creators at Japan Studio, one of the company's oldest game production divisions, haven’t been renewed. And an employee at the California headquarters has reportedly said that the U.S. office believes the PlayStation business doesn’t need games that only do well in Japan.
While not all of the Bloomberg report has been corroborated, This is a nod to the fact that the decision button was unified to "X" worldwide in PS5, and the "○ button for decision", which has been so familiar in Japan for so long, has been replaced by this one. Anyway, if it's true that Microsoft's money is pouring into the Japan-based game developer, it must be good news, and we can expect to see a lot of ambitious new games for the Xbox Series X/S.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.