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News

11 Nov 2020

Phil Spencer Denies Claims Of Xbox Looking To Acquire Japanese Studios

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Lack Of Exclusives

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ZeniMax Acquisition

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Xbox To Acquire Japanese Studios

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Phil Spencer Responds

The Xbox Series X & Series S are finally here having launched on November 10th.

Xbox kicks off the next generation of consoles, with the Playstation 5 following on November 12th and 19th depending on the region.

Lack Of Exclusives

When it comes to purchasing a new console, the choice always comes down to 3 things.

Which console has the better controller, which one do your friends play, and which one has the better exclusives.

It is pretty universally agreed that the Playstation 4 had far superior exclusive titles, such as The Last Of Us 2, Ghost Of Tsushima, and God Of War.

the last of us part 2 delay screenshot 01 1
EXCLUSIVES: The Last Of Us is one of the key exclusives in the Playstation library

Xbox has its fair share of exclusives such as Halo, Forza, and Gears of War, but most can be played on PC too making them less exclusive.

Microsoft is also heavily focused on the Xbox ecosystem this generation, making the brand as accessible as possible.

This means that most titles won't remain locked onto the Series X, with most being playable on PC as well as some being playable on Xbox One and mobile via xCloud.

ZeniMax Acquisition

Earlier this year Microsoft acquired ZeniMax, the parent company of studios such as Bethesda and id Software.

This puts franchises such as The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, DOOM, The Evil Within, Dishonoured and Wolfenstein under the Microsoft umbrella.

Xbox Games with Gold April 2020 Predictions Doom
ACQUISITON: The ZeniMax acquisition puts franchises such as Doom, TES, and Fallout under the Microsoft umbrella.

It could also mean these franchise may be absent from the PS5 line-up when future titles are released.

The deal was worth $7.5 billion and was one of the largest acquisitions in the gaming industry for many years.

Xbox To Acquire Japanese Studios

In recent weeks rumours have begun that Xbox is looking to acquire some top Japanese studios to try and help the brand sell more consoles in Japan.

Xbox has always been largely unsuccessful in Japan, especially the Xbox One.

Some weeks the Xbox One would sell as little as single digit amount of units.

This played a part in the Xbox One failing the "console war" during the last generation.

Overall the PS4 has sold over 113 million units, while the Xbox One sold just over 50 million.

Reports claimed that Microsoft were looking to acquire a number of small to big Japanese studios and have them create games exclusively for the Xbox brand.

This would be done in the hope that the Japanese and Asian market would be more incentivised to choose the Xbox Series X over the PS5, or at least choose to own both.

Immediately after the rumours began fans began speculating which studios could in the sights of Xbox.

Studios such as Konami, Capcom, and Sega were discussed as possibilities.

Phil Spencer Responds

In an interview with Gamespot Phil Spencer responded to the rumours saying,

"I don't think so, I mean, I'm not in every meeting that every team has, 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."

He also added that he was excited to work closer with Japan-based studio Tango Gameworks, a studio Microsoft acquired in the ZeniMax deal.

Tango Gameworks is responsible for the Evil Within series of games, as well as the upcoming Ghostwire: Tokyo.

It is interesting that Ghostwire: Tokyo is scheduled to release in 2021 on Playstation 5 and Windows, but so far there has been no word on a Xbox Series X port.

Now that Tango Gameworks is owned by Microsoft it is possible the game will release on Xbox too.

Phil Spencer has said that games that are already scheduled to launch on the PS4 and PS5 will continue to do so, rather than being snatched away.

However, when it comes to future titles, such as Fallout 5, The Elder Scrolls 6 etc, Microsoft will take each game on a case by case basis and decide whether they want to release them on their competitors consoles.

But releasing future titles on the PS5 is not out of the question, something I doubt could be said if the tables were turned and Sony owned these studios.