A Eurogamer interview with Microsoft Executive Vice President of Gaming Phil Spencer got into the possibility of an Asian developer perhaps being acquired by the company. When asked if the current Microsoft studio acquisition trend was at an end, Spencer said no. He then went on to bring up the noticeable absence of an Asian Microsoft first-party studio and how he’d “love to have more of an influence in [their] first-party team from Asian creators.”
To be more specific, Spencer said that Microsoft’s goal is to have the studios it acquires “build great games.” He also emphasized that this isn’t about just collecting developers. In particular, he said, “They’re not trading cards. They’re studios.” He also noted the company isn’t done and is looking to continue building up its team.
It is then that Spencer got into the current balance of studios under the Xbox Game Studios umbrella. He brought up where ones are currently situated. He brought up European studios owned by the company, which referred to Ninja Theory, Playground Games, and Rare in England and Mojang in Sweden, as well as Canadian developers like The Coalition and Compulsion Games. However, he then mentioned how Microsoft doesn’t have any Asian studios under its umbrella yet.
Here is Spencer’s exact quote:
I look at the geographic diversity of our studios. I love the fact we now have three studios here in the UK. You can go back decades… you could argue the UK is as strong as any country in terms of its impact on the history of video games. I love that we’re here in such strength. Now we have studios in Canada, studios in other parts of the US. I think we have a hole in Asia. 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. 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.