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Xbox Allegedly Isn't Done Buying Developers

Lately, Microsoft has been making up for lost time by purchasing numerous developers. Companies such as ZeniMax Media have recently been bought by Xbox, and if rumors are true, Microsoft might soon gobble up some companies in Sony's home turf.

Even though the Xbox brand had a very rocky start in Japan, the company has the opportunity to turn things around. Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute in Tokyo, recently told Bloomberg, "The Xbox has a chance to make Japan its second-largest market after the U.S.," if the company plays its cards right. According to Yasuda, PlayStation fans have noticed Sony is "drifting away" from Japan, and Microsoft can fill that empty niche. One way to accomplish this is by partnering with native companies.

According to Bloomberg, Microsoft has been eyeing Japanese studios and has talked with these companies about releasing their games on the Xbox. For instance, the president of Koei Tecmo, Hisashi Koinuma, is open to releasing more games on Microsoft's consoles. Some talks are even allegedly along the lines of outright buying studios. Bloomberg claimed Microsoft approached a variety of Japanese companies with the intent of bringing them under the Xbox umbrella. 

The article didn't name any names, but Bloomberg stated the companies ranged "from big to small." Furthermore, Bloomberg reached out to the head of Xbox operations in Asia, Jeremy Hinton, for confirmation. He was as cagey as the Japanese companies and stated that acquisitions were possible, but he didn't want to make any announcements just yet.

Microsoft isn't focused solely on amassing Japanese talent, however. The company's biggest weapon in Japan might ironically be its smallest console. Hideki Yasuda told Bloomberg that a major complaint among Japanese gamers was the size of previous Xbox platforms; specifically, they were "too large for Japanese living rooms." Microsoft believes the Xbox Series S' tiny volumetric footprint will win over Japanese families, where entertainment space headroom is at a premium. Moreover, Microsoft is hoping to make it big in Japan with Game Pass Ultimate, especially through its streaming service xCloud — and accompanying cloud streaming sticks. Japan is home to an ever-growing population of mobile gamers, and Microsoft postulates that a subscription service that lets gamers stream hundreds of titles (i.e., Game Pass Ultimate) will be too good to pass up.

While Microsoft has yet to comment on ongoing discussions, it seems that the company will not give up trying to grow a Japanese audience. Do not be surprised if Microsoft purchases some leading Japanese studios to create Xbox-exclusive titles in the near future.