Since its inception, the Xbox brand hasn’t had much cache in Japan, and that’s largely down to Microsoft themselves. Their efforts at securing an audience in Japan have been wildly inconsistent, and the early years of the Xbox One generation in particular were ones that saw Japanese developers and audiences alike skipping the system altogether quite often.
That’s something that Microsoft execs – including Xbox boss Phil Spencer – have said they want to address going forward on multiple occasions, and speaking recently in an interview with Jeux Video, Spencer re-iterated that. After remarking that Microsoft is “working very hard to build relationships”, he said that they want Xbox to be “a platform of choice for these games.” He went on to note the strong Japanese presence there’s been at Microsoft’s E3 shows over the last couple of years – the likes of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Tales of Arise, Devil May Cry 5, and Elden Ring have all debuted at Microsoft events – and though the upcoming Xbox Games Showcase is not an E3 show, Spencer says it, too, will have a Japanese presence.
“Our Xbox team in Japan is working very hard to build relationships,” Spencer said. “We know players around the world are clamoring for amazing games from some of the best creators on the planet. We also know many of those are Japanese developers. We want to be a platform of choice for these games. I am proud of our progress over the past four or five years. At E3, we’ve had a strong presence of Japanese games on stage. We know that we are not a Japanese platform company, we know that we must work to rebuild a climate of trust with Japanese designers. We believe that will happen over time, continuing to listen to what they need to reach a large audience around the world.”
“I’m proud of what we’re going to show on July 23, I like our roadmap for working directly with Japanese creators to build great Xbox games, you will hear more about that in the future,” he continued. “We know it’s vitally important in our strategy to make sure we have compelling Japanese developers, and that they know Xbox is a platform they can be successful on.”
Elden Ring was announced at Microsoft’s E3 press conference last year, and we’ve seen absolutely nothing of the game since then. Could we perhaps see the game rearing its head once more at Microsoft’s event later this week? Keep your fingers crossed, I guess.