Xbox Boss: It Would Be Nice to Buy a Japanese Studio

Microsoft has been acquiring quite a lot of game developers recently – in the past year or so they’ve bought up at least seven or so independent developers. Now, the Redmond-based company is setting their sights on the far east – with a potential acquisition for an Asian developer.

Xbox head Phil Spencer likened their new approach to acquiring new developers as something like Netflix building up their own game development branch.

“I think it would be nice if we found an Asian studio, in particular a Japanese studio, to add [to our studios]. I liked it when we had some first-party capability in Japan. We have a small team there, but I think we can do more,” Spencer said in an interview with Gamesindustry.biz.

He name dropped a few studios they had on stage during their E3 2019 press conference. “That said, through our trips to Japan, I love having Phantasy Star back on our stage with Sega — I thought that was fantastic. Miyazaki-San, before with Dark Souls and now having Elden Ring on our stage… the Japanese creators have shown up more and more,” he said.

It’s worth noting for Microsoft to acquire From Software, they’d have to buy them out from Kadokawa Corporation, their current owner. Sega, on the other hand, would be much more expensive and maybe not possible at all. Regardless, Microsoft has a lot of cash and they’re dumping lots of it into their Xbox brand.

Spencer noted you “can look at our P&L of our company; we’re not spending $12 billion on video games today, but as the subscriptions grow and reach more customers, I do think it’s important for us to continue to invest in content. It’s not every year that we’ll add seven new studios, but I do think us looking at specific targets that we need is important.”

What Japanese game developers would make sense for Microsoft to acquire? Sound off in the comments below!

Brandon Orselli


Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.