Microsoft is looking to buy Japanese studios, according to report

Xbox Game Studios
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Fresh from acquiring Bethesda, Microsoft are apparently in talks to buy some studios in Japan, Bloomberg have reported: "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, 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 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.

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. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.