Can Microsoft help Japan as much as Japan could help Xbox?
While Microsoft has dominated North America and always stood its ground in Europe with the Xbox brand, one major area the Xbox has just never managed to get a foothold on is Japan. While the country has declined somewhat in the overall scope of gaming, it’s still a major market. We know that Xbox head Phil Spencer has tried to make some headway with Japanese developers, and the closeness of architecture between the PS4 and Xbox One has made it easier for Japanese developers to port titles to Microsoft’s console. They seemingly haven’t given up on the idea, though, as Xbox Games Marketing General Manager thinks they can help broaden Japanese game’s appeal.
In an interview with Twinfinite, Aaron Greenberg said a situation like the one with Sega and Phantasy Star 2‘s surprise Xbox One localization is mutually beneficial, as it provides Microsoft with Japanese-themed content and exposes a certain audience to the game, hopefully rewarding Japanese creativity even more.
“It’s great for us. It’s great for Sega, and kudos to Phil for building these partnerships, and taking the time to go to Japan over and over and meet with those teams.
What’s great is if you go on those types of trips with Phil, he sits down there with the dev team, plays the games, he’s deep into the weeds…
It’s fun. That’s what makes this industry so fun. It’s the love of games and how games bring joy to people’s lives. Some of the best creators in the world are in Japan, and if we can help bring their creations and their creativity to a broader market, I think that’s a great thing.”
While it’s doubtful at this point the Xbox brand will have a major impact on that market, as the industry consolidates more and subscription services become the bulk of the market, even a small presence can be invaluable.