Following his acknowledgment that the Xbox division needs to do more to encourage the development of original titles, Xbox head Phil Spencer is now addressing Microsoft’s struggles to attract Japanese developers.
In response to a question on Twitter regarding whether or not we can expect to see any JRPGs for Xbox on display at E3 2018, Spencer replied, “As of now, yes. Things can change but like last year I wanted to make sure we supported our Japanese publishers on our stage and this year we are working to do the same. It’s important to us.”
Historically, Microsoft has struggled to promote the Xbox in Japan. While some have stated that the company’s failure to make a dent in that market is due to Japanese consumers’ desire to only play on Japanese-made consoles, Spencer himself has stated that he believes it has more to do with Microsoft’s failure to encourage the development of the types of games that traditionally sell well in Japan (including JRPGs). This latest update from Spencer suggests that Microsoft is actively addressing the problem and will be ready to show more at E3 2018.
On the topic of courting more Japanese developers, Spencer also spoke about his personal interest in doing more with Sega.
“Sega has a lot of good franchises that would be cool to see come over,” said Spencer in regards to a question about the Yakuza franchise coming to Xbox. However, Spencer stopped short of actually confirming that Sega is working to bring any existing – or new – franchises to Xbox.
Some fans might remember that Microsoft previously struck a deal with notable Japanese developer PlatinumGames to work on an exclusive action title called Scalebound. However, Scalebound was canceled in early 2017. Since then, Microsoft hasn’t announced any major new titles from Japanese developers.
We’ll see if that changes at E3 2018.