Asked by Jeux Video about the importance of Japanese games, Spencer said: “I’m proud of what we’re going to show on the 23rd, I like our roadmap of working directly with Japanese creators to build great Xbox games: you’ll hear more about that in the future. “
Spencer has been publicly open with regards to his desire to improve Xbox’s position in Japan.
Earlier this year the Xbox boss said that he felt the platform’s market position in Japan wasn’t acceptable and pledged to do “a much better job” with the Series X launch in the region. It was later confirmed that Xbox Series X would launch in Japan during the 2020 holiday season.
Spencer has also stated multiple times that he’d like to add a Japanese developer to Xbox’s first-party studio line-up, in order to create content that better appeals to the Japanese audience.
In the Jeux Video interview, Spencer said the Xbox Japan team had been working “really hard” to build relationships with developers in the region.
“We know gamers worldwide want amazing games from some of the best creators in the world and we know many of those are Japanese creators,” he said.
“I’ve been proud of our progress that we’ve made over the past 4 or 5 years. At E3, we’ve always had a really strong showing of Japanese-created games on our stage.
“We know we are not a Japanese platform company. We know we will have to work to rebuild trust with Japanese creators. And we think that happens over time, and continuing to listen to what they’re looking for and what they need in order to reach that global audience.”
He added: “We know it’s a critically important to our strategy to make sure that amazing creators in Japan feel that Xbox is a platform where they can have success.”
According to market research company IDC, Xbox One has made just 0.3% of its global sales in the region. In Famitsu’s annual sales report for 2018, it’s claimed that Xbox One sold just 15,339 units during the entire year (compared to 1.7 million for PS4 and 3.5 million for Switch).
“If I were to share my innocent opinion as a gamer, I would say that ever since the Xbox has been introduced to the Japanese market it’s always felt like something foreign and far away,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like it’s ever been cultivated for Japanese tastes.”
PlatinumGames also suggested it likely would not be interested in any potential acquisition offer from Xbox Game Studios, following claims Xbox would like to add a Japanese studio to its first-party roster.