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Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer hints at meetings with Japanese developers

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Posted on March 11, 2014 AT 06:35pm

It’s hard to imagine now, but at the launch of the Xbox 360 in late 2005, a big selling point was the involvementsometimes on an exclusive basisof Japanese developers. That’s changed with the Xbox One. To date, just one game on the console, Grounding’s Crimson Dragon, was developed by a Japanese team (for those of you thinking Dead Rising 3 counts, that one was handled by a largely Western team at Capcom Vancouver).

That’s a far cry from the early days of the Xbox 360, where several Japanese-developed titles released on the console in its first few months, including a handful of exclusives. Over the next few years, several exclusive or timed-exclusive Japanese RPGs hit the platform, including Enchanted Arms, Blue Dragon, Eternal Sonata, Lost Odyssey, and Tales of Vesperia.

We haven’t heard much about Japanese development on Microsoft’s new-gen system, but on Twitter, Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer implied that could be changing soon. “This week had unannounced in playing builds, conversation in Japanese,” Spencer said. “Can’t wait to announce these guys.”

Spencer would only clarify that a new Shenmue game from Sega wouldn’t be one of those titles, but it sounds like we’ll have to wait for E3 in June for any official announcements. While it’s clear that Sony and the PlayStation 4 will have the bulk of Japanese-developed games this generation, the industry will be stronger if Microsoft continues its relationship with Japan and manages to release anticipated titles on its own platform.

Andrew Fitch, Managing Editor
Andrew Fitch, a proud Japanese RPG and serial-comma enthusiast, has been attending E3 for close to a decade now. His least-proud moment? That time in 2004 when, suffering from utter exhaustion, he decided to take a break on the creepy, dilapidated—and possibly cursed—La-Z-Boy at Konami’s Silent Hill booth. Follow Andrew’s adventures in avoiding cursed furniture at his Twitter feed: @twittch. Meet the rest of the crew.

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