“We know Japanese content is important and that’s why you see us grow our content.”
Of the many criticisms people tend to level at Microsoft and Xbox, one of the most prominent has to be their lack of support for Japanese developers and games. While they made some great strides in that area in the first half of the Xbox 360’s life cycle by turning previously PlayStation exclusive Japanese franchises into multiplatform titles, and by netting a handful of notable Japanese developed exclusive titles, the Xbox 360’s continued underperformance in Japan resulted in that slowly fading away.
Recently, though, Microsoft have been visibly more committed to recapturing the interest of Japanese developers and audiences for the Xbox One, though. For instance, at E3 2018, their conference played host to reveals for heavyweight titles such as Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Jump Force, and Devil May Cry 5, not to mention the release of Nier: Automata on the Xbox One.
And none of that is a co-incidence, in case you hadn’t caught on already. Continued focus on Japanese support is something Microsoft have placed a renewed focus on, and according to Xbox Games’ marketing general manager Aaron Greenberg, that’s going that’s only going to expand going forward.
“We love Japan,” Greenberg said while speaking with DualShockers. “Phil goes there every year and in many cases multiple times a year. If you looked at our E3 briefing we had the most Japanese content we’ve ever shown in our briefing ever.”
“I think that is speaking to the partnerships and relationships we’ve built,” he said of the improvements Microsoft’s relationships with Japanese developers and publishers have seen recently. “Right behind you, we have hands-on Kingdom Hearts III from our partners at Square Enix here at Gamescom. That’s a franchise that we know is love, and being able to announce a world premiere of something like Jump Force from our partners at Bandai Namco, it’s great.”
“I think our commitment and our support from Japanese developers has never been stronger, and we wanna help them succeed on the global stage, and that continues to be our focus,” he continued. “We know our fans want those great Japanese games. That’s why even some of the games we got later, we made sure that we showed them at E3, we made sure we highlighted them so you know they matter to our fans. Again, we always take that lens of putting our fans first as we think about content, and we know Japanese content is important and that’s why you see us grow our content, and we’ll continue to focus on that.”
They’re definitely moving in the right direction. I hate to drag out the the rotten corpse of a sourly cancelled game, but the cloud of Scalebound still hangs over Xbox to this day. Continuing to move in this direction is definitely the rest decision by Microsoft, and if they keep on doing well, perhaps that cloud will dissipate soon.