Shortly after acquiring Bethesda, Microsoft is reportedly in talks to buy a handful of video game development studios in Japan, Bloomberg says.
According to Bloomberg, Microsoft is currently looking for new development studios to buy, and in particular in Japan. As a reminder, the Redmond firm had already bought ZeniMax Media – the mother ship of Bethesda Softworks, id Software, Arkane Studios, MachineGames and others – for 7.5 billion dollars. Before Phil Spencer claimed that Bethesda games would ultimately be exclusive to Xbox
Japan, third-largest video game market in the world
“Several Japanese-based game developers, large to small, have said that [Microsoft] has approached them to buy their businesses,” Bloomberg’s Takashi Mochizuki said. Microsoft – or rather, Xbox – would like to tackle the third largest video game market in the world, namely, Japan. A country that is also the home of its biggest competitor, Sony Interactive Entertainment, the company that obviously develops the PlayStation 5.
If we do not know the names of the Japanese studios that Microsoft would like to buy, the company has nothing to lose. On the contrary. It has been in an unenviable position on Japanese soil for years: according to Famitsu, in Japan, only 0.1% of console sales in 2020 went to the Xbox One. But both the Xbox Series S (small enough to fit in rather cramped Japanese living rooms) and the Xbox Game Pass (video game Netflix, Xbox style) could help them improve their position in this market.
Although China and the United States are the two largest markets in the sector, Japan is the largest in terms of per capita spending. And whatever happens, the thirst for Microsoft – which had previously bought out Mojang, Double Fine Productions, inXile Entertainment and Obsidian – seems inexhaustible. In addition, the firm already has a small hand in the market: the recent acquisition of ZeniMax Media included the Japanese studio Tango Gameworks, responsible for The Evil Within or the future Ghostwire Tokyo. And according to Phil Spencer, Xbox Game Pass could even see the light of day on Nintendo Switch and PS4, reaching even more people.