Microsoft Shuts Down Xbox 360 Fan Site Program In Japan

By Spencer . December 19, 2012 . 11:10pm

imageOne of the ways Microsoft promoted the Xbox 360, Games for Windows, and XNA titles in Japan was through its fans. Microsoft Japan actually made a program to support fan sites.


However, the program has been dormant for awhile. Now, it’s totally gone. An e-mail was sent to fansite operators thanking them for participating.


When the Xbox 360 launched, Microsoft aggressively promoted the console in Japan and signed deals with Japanese developers like Q? Entertainment and Game Republic. They funded Mistwalker’s games, Ninja Blade from FromSoftware before their Demon’s Souls fame and worked with tri-Ace… until they gave Infinite Undiscovery to Square Enix. Year after year, Microsoft keeps scaling back on Japan and it seems like even Japanese publishers are giving up on the console at home too. Konami passed on releasing Metal Gear Rising: Revengance and Silent Hill: Downpour. Namco Bandai didn’t release the Xbox 360 exclusive Dragon Ball Z for Kinect either.

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  • Does Japan have the same hang ups with the minimum print numbers that the US has? If so that might explain why these companies have decided not to release as they are unsure of the rate of return.

    • mikanko

      No, if anything it’s the opposite there where it is cheaper and easier for a Japanese publisher to release games on 360 than it is the PS3. This is partly why very small print run games like shmups and ADVs have been so prominent on the 360 in Japan.

      Under Defeat HD not getting a US release, but getting a release in Europe also hints that Europes restrictions are not as strict as the 50k number for a minimum print run seen in the US.

  • Aoshi00

    Not sure what this fan program is, but I think this is part of MS scaling down promotion toward the fan community in general. About several months ago, Inside Xbox was totally taken off by MS, first for US/Europe, then Jpn. I thought it was a shame, as I enjoyed watching those programs all the time, like Major doing a sales pitch, the UK guys chatting about games, Chobot for IGN strategize, or the other staff giving achievement hints.. now there’s still some new apps, like IGN and such, but it’s such a pain to get into.. instead of contents made specifically for fans, the whole dashboard is filled w/ advertisement now..

    Other than the earlier Jpn exclusives, the Jpn Inside Xbox was updated quite frequently as well, most prominently hosted by game writer Rolling Uchizawa and idol Yamaguchi Hikari for about 2 years (then Hikari-chan had an accident).. demoing and showcasing new releases, and interviewing w/ developers like Suda51, Takeuchi from Capcom, Asada Makoto from Cave, Shikura Chiyomaru from 5pb/Mages, etc.. much thought were put into those contents. Now there’s not much going on the Jpn XBL.. before I always checked for fun updates..

  • Pockystix

    It’s actually kind of sad, but at the same time I think the aggressive approach was just not going to work all that well to begin with. Partly do to the scaling back of many developers to the handheld market, and partly due the fact that most games on the system were very niche in Japan. It’s pretty much like every time Microsoft released a console in Japan, it was the wrong time/place.

    Maybe the next console generation will be better for Microsoft, but I can see that due to 2 strikes already, they may not really try with Japan anymore.

    If they do decide to keep pushing, they are seriously going to need some better plans to actually get the Japanese interested in their product.

  • carlospsp

    Even Visual Novels are being converted now for PS3. It is a fact. 360 is not a good vg to release things there, but if CAVE and others want to limitate their market, so do it.

  • Sinister Kahuna

    There are Japanese fans of the Xbox 360…?!? Really?

    All kidding aside, I see no real surprises here. Whenever I see a post over at 2ch (among other places), about this system, the issue of the RROD still comes up. And really I don’t blame them. And while the remodeled “slim” version (finally) fixed this, it’s too little, too late for the few fans the system had over there. Whatever the next Xbox ends up being, none of the members of the tiny enclave of Japanese Xbox otaku will buy it until they can be assured the console won’t have issues like RROD. Of course, this doesn’t get into the general xenophobic (and fickle) nature our friends in Nippon tend to have sometimes.

    Oh, and they apparently don’t like FPS games too much, either. Then again, there aren’t any FPS games featuring a parapara and/or Eurobeat soundtrack, the ability to date (or rape?) fanservice-soaked, magical Kawaii-Moe bikini girls with giant breasts and who all look 11 years old and drive (Japanese only!), sporty compact cars that can change into robots… or is there? If there is, please let me know. Thanks.

    What was this thread about again…? ^__^;

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