In September, Microsoft announced that it is acquiring ZeniMax Media. Later in the month rumours of the company acquiring Sega surfaced, which the company didn’t completely shoot down. New reports have surface suggesting that the company is in the market to buy Japanese development studios.
A new Bloomberg report says that Microsoft has approached Japanese studios of various sizes for that. Jeremy Hinton, Xbox head of operations in Asia, said that acquisitions are a possibility, but the company has nothing to announce just yet.
The acquisition talks are part of the company’s strategy to expand in Japan, the home of its main competitor, Sony. The Bloomberg report also mentions that it’s a market that Sony itself is no longer prioritising. Evidence to this includes the standardisation of using X to confirm and O to cancel, a mostly western control scheme. Sony naturally denies that it is shifting its focus away from Japan.
At any rate, it remains to be seen if Microsoft can make the inroads in Japan that it wants to. After all, surpassing the locals is no small feat. While the Xbox One accounted for 0.1% of console sales in Japan this year, the PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Switch are at 110.1% and 89.8%, respectively. Maybe the company should take a look at the Malaysian market, where some of its console’s components are made to begin with.