Microsoft’s Xbox Head Phil Spencer is currently in Japan for the week to speak with Japanese developers. Spencer will be briefed about the upcoming games in development at Japanese studios. Phil shares his travel plans on Twitter, saying he would speak with Japanese developers to get an idea about what they are working on.
Xbox One has struggled to with first-party content but with the upcoming Xbox Scarlett, things will change. Microsoft acquired a handful of studios earlier this year for first-party content. Microsoft acquired Ninja Theory, Playground Games, Undead Labs and Compulsion Games to handle first party development.
Additionally, third-party parternships are taking place across the globe including Japan. Microsoft’s relationship with Japanese studios hasn’t been productive in the past years. Platinum Games was in charge of Scalebound but Microsoft had to cancel the title (reportedly the game is back in development at a different studio). The lack of first-party content is something Microsoft doesn’t want for Xbox Scarlett.
Especially, the single-player narrative driven exepriences are a prime focus for the company. This could be why Microsoft is appraching Japanese developers. Strong narrative mixed with excellent gameplay design is what Japan is known for. Microsoft’s change of direction is inspired by games like Horizon Zero Dawn.
I’m not deaf to the meme out there regarding our content and our need to invest more. Definitely, we are at a point where we’re investing more and we’ll continue to do that, Phil Spencer said.
Rumor has it that Microsoft plans to announce the new Xbox Scarlett later this year with a full reveal at E3 2019. It seems unlikely Microsoft will roll out another console so soon but considering the state of Xbox games and sales, the life cycles seems to be end of its road.