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Microsoft is looking to buy Japanese studios, according to report

Xbox Game Studios
(Image credit: Microsoft)
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Fresh from acquiring Bethesda, Microsoft are apparently in talks to buy some studios in Japan, Bloomberg have reported (opens in new tab): "Several Japan-based game developers, from small to big, said [Microsoft] had approached them about buying their businesses." The developers in question wished to remain anonymous, but this gels with a statement Xbox head Phil Spencer made last year (opens in new tab), that "it would be nice if we found an Asian studio, in particular a Japanese studio".

Microsoft are in an unenviable position in Japan. According to Famitsu, only 0.1 percent of this year's console sales in Japan have been for the Xbox One. But both the Xbox Series S (small enough to fit in cramped Japanese living rooms), and Xbox Game Pass could help them improve their position in the world's third-largest videogame market. If they were to outright buy, say, Platinum Games, that wouldn't hurt either. (Although rumors of Platinum being bought by Micorosoft have been shot down (opens in new tab) by studio head Atsushi Inaba in the past.)

As the report concludes, though China and the US are both bigger videogame markets these days, Japan is the biggest based on per-capita spending. And that's bound to be attractive to the company that's already snapped up Mojang, Double Fine Productions, inXile Entertainment, and Obsidian, and according to CEO Satya Nadella, isn't done yet (opens in new tab).

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games (opens in new tab). He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun (opens in new tab), The Big Issue, GamesRadar (opens in new tab), Zam (opens in new tab), Glixel (opens in new tab), Five Out of Ten Magazine (opens in new tab), and (opens in new tab), whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was published in 2015, he edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.