Speaking to IGN Japan, Xbox’s business lead for Asia, Jeremy Hinton, was asked how the company views Japanese indie developers, given that it usually has a booth at the Japanese indie expo BitSummit.
“Recently, we’ve been connecting with more and more Japanese indie developers, and we’ve never seen so many Japanese indie developers with our development kits before,” Hinton replied.
“The indie scene in Japan is growing, and we are paying close attention.”
Hinton also reiterated that the Japanese market is important to Xbox, and that despite the platform holder’s continued failure to see sizeable sales in the region he sees its decision to supply Series X and S consoles to Japan during a time of limited stock as a justified one.
“At Xbox, we’re not only looking at markets that are already successful, but also markets that are still growing, and it’s clear that Japan is a market that we can’t ignore,” he explained.
“Japan is currently the largest and fastest growing market in the world, with particularly strong growth in the last 12 months.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Hinton stated that Xbox plans to localise all first-party games for Japan going forwards, and revealed that the company feels the Series S will be more in demand because he’s “seen a lot of Japanese users on Twitter tweeting about how cute and compact the console is”.
Major Japanese retailers quickly sold out of their initial Xbox Series X and S pre-orders when they went up last September, in what appeared to be a positive start for Microsoft’s next-gen consoles in the region.
Given Xbox’s historically poor market performance in Japan, Series X and S stock allocation is unlikely to have been high for the region’s pre-orders. Regardless, it’s a positive start in a country where Xbox has typically struggled, but one which it claimed last year had become its fastest-growing.
Commenting on the pre-order performance at the time, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said he was humbled but added that it was “the first step in a much longer marathon.”