Xbox boss Phil Spencer has been quite transparent through the years since taking the helm of Microsoft’s gaming plans, including talking about branching out the Xbox library beyond western titles. With Yakuza: Like a Dragon available on Xbox, the interest in Japanese franchises is once more at a high, sparking reports that Microsoft has been in talks with several Japanese studios for possible acquisition. Spencer is speaking out against those reports, stating that there is no truth to the conversation surrounding current goals.
Speaking with the folks over at GameSpot, Spencer mentioned that, as far as he is aware, there are no talks happening currently with Japan-based studios. “I don’t think so,” he told the site. “I mean, I’m not in every meeting that every team has, but I’ll say not from me.”
It’s easy to see where a report like this could spawn from, and even easier to assume it’s true. Spencer has never been quiet about his love for Japanese studios and the amazing games they create. With the recent acquisition news of ZeniMax, and by proxy Bethesda, the topic of who will be coming under the Microsoft umbrella next has been a popular point of conversation.
At this time, there is no real need to “push” for any Japanese acquisitions, says Spencer. “Most of the opportunities that we’ve had to date have been a long-lasting relationship, and so, I don’t think we’re out there with our business card, throwing them out on the corner, trying to find people.”
He specifically calls out Bloomberg’s recent Xbox report when talking about the acquisition of Shinji Mikami’s Tango Gameworks studio, the studio behind The Evil Within franchise: “I’m excited when the deal closes to get to spend more time with Tango and the work that they’re doing.” Regarding the report from Bloomberg, Spencer added: “I think that’s not accurate.”
Microsoft and Sony are both doing wildly different things with this new generation in terms of marketing strategy, economic strategy, and goals moving forward. For those interested, we did a deep dive into those differing strategies with our previous coverage here.