Xbox boss on studio acquisitions: ‘I think we have a hole in Asia’
Phil Spencer says acquiring Asian talent “a real opportunity” for Microsoft
Microsoft’s spending spree on game development studios may be slowing down, but Xbox head Phil Spencer has reiterated he’d like to purchase an Asian studio.
Over the past 18 months Xbox has aggressively expanded its portfolio of first-party studios ahead of the release of Xbox Scarlett in 2020.
And while Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty said this week the platform holder is “shifting focus” from studio acquisitions to a new phase of “execution and delivery”, the head of Microsoft’s games business isn’t ruling out acquiring an Asian developer.
Spencer said in June “it would be nice” if Microsoft acquired an Asian developer, “in particular a Japanese studio”, and he reiterated that Xbox is still on the hunt for one in a new interview with Eurogamer.
“I think we have a hole in Asia,” he said. “I’ve said that both to Matt and publicly. I would love to have more of an influence in our own first-party team from Asian creators. There’s nothing that’s imminent, so it’s not a pre-announce of something. But if you just plotted where we are on the map with our first-party, that’s a real opportunity for us.
“I love the fact we can stand here and announce Yakuza and Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy coming,” Spencer continued. “That’s through third-party relationships, which take time. And we’ve been really focused on that. But I think we could have stronger first-party creation capability there. We have in the past and I think we should again.”
Following its purchase of Spider-Man developer Insomniac, Sony Interactive Entertainment is open to further studio acquisitions as the firm seeks to grow its first-party content ahead of PlayStation 5, Sony’s chief financial officer said in October.