Xbox Head Says Report on Japanese Studio Acquisition Talks Is "Not Accurate"

Xbox Head Says Report on Japanese Studio Acquisition Talks Is "Not Accurate"

Phil Spencer says Microsoft isn't "out there with [its] business card" courting teams in Japan.

In the past, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has talked about how he'd like to add a Japanese developer to Microsoft's roster of first-party studios, and a new Bloomberg report released earlier this week indicated movement on that front. That, Spencer says, was "not accurate" to his knowledge.

Speaking with GameSpot's Tamoor Hussain, Spencer says that he's not been involved with any preliminary talks of purchasing a Japanese studio of late. "I mean, I'm not in every meeting that every team has," Spencer says, "but I'll say not from me. 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."

The Bloomberg article in question indicated that Microsoft has been discussing acquisition with "several" studios in Japan ranging "from small to big," though all asked not to be identified. Xbox's head of operations in Asia Jeremy Hinton told the publication that Microsoft remains interested in discussions of this sort but currently has nothing to announce.

With a nod to Tokyo's Tango Gameworks, which will be joining Xbox Game Studios once the $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax and Bethesda closes, Spencer also reiterates his longstanding interest in working more closely with Japanese studios-still, though, he says that more talks to that end aren't happening right now:

I've talked about my affinity for Japanese studios and thinking back in the day when we had more games that were created in Japan as part of our first party, I'm excited when the deal closes to get to spend more time with Tango and the work that they're doing. So it's an area that I'm interested in, but no, I don't think it's... I think that's not accurate.

At the very least, the massive ZeniMax acquisition hasn't closed off the possibility of more Xbox Game Studios expansion either in Japan or elsewhere. Just a day after the Bethesda news broke, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the company is still open to buying more studios.

Funnily enough, with Tango set to join Xbox Game Studios next year, it's next release isn't currently slated to come to the Xbox. Both Ghostwire: Tokyo and Deathloop (from Prey and Dishonored developer Arkane) are set to launch as PlayStation 5 console exclusives in 2021.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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