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Phil Spencer says Microsoft isn't shopping around for Japanese studios

Phil Spencer
(Image credit: Microsoft)
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A Bloomberg report from earlier this week said that Microsoft, still feeling the warm afterglow of the Bethesda acquisition, is in the market for some Japanese game studios (opens in new tab). Several developers based in Japan had said they'd been approached by the company about a possible buyout, according to the report, although they all requested anonymity as the talks had not been publicly disclosed.

In an interview with Gamespot (opens in new tab), however, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that as far as he knows, that's not actually the case. 

"I don't think so... I mean, I'm not in every meeting that every team has, but I'll say not from me," he told the site. "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."

Microsoft very recently got its hands on Japanese studio Tango Gameworks, the developer of The Evil Within (opens in new tab) games, as part of the $7.5 billion Bethesda Softworks acquisition (opens in new tab). Spencer mentioned it as sort of a personal highlight of the deal, although he emphasized that it's not a sign of any larger, ongoing ambitions.

"I've talked about my affinity for Japanese studios and thinking back in the day when we had more games that were created in Japan as part of our first party, I'm excited when the deal closes to get to spend more time with Tango [Gameworks] and the work that they're doing," Spencer said. "So it's an area that I'm interested in, but no, I don't think it's... I think that's not accurate."

Tango Gameworks is currently working on Ghostwire: Tokyo (opens in new tab), an action-adventure announced in 2019 that looks to be a fair departure from the survival horror of The Evil Within. It's currently expected to be out sometime in 2021, and despite the studio's new ownership, it will remain a timed console exclusive on the PlayStation 5.

In the same interview, Spencer also revealed that he's played Elden Ring (opens in new tab), the mysterious new project in the works at FromSoftware. Apparently it's looking quite good (opens in new tab)

Andy Chalk
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.