Recent job postings indicate that Microsoft has been quietly setting up a new Xbox team to work with game developers and publishers in Asian regions such as Japan, South Korea, and China. The goal of this team is to identify opportunities for the Xbox division to secure deals with game developers in these regions. Up until recently any kind of agreement such as bringing a game from a Japanese developer to Xbox or securing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on Xbox Game Pass required Phil Spencer or Chris Charla to make a trip to meet with these companies and close the deal personally. The new Microsoft Global Gaming Partnership & Development team (GGPD)will have the authority to make these agreements on their own.
While Xbox has never enjoyed a particularly large presence in Japan, the Xbox One has suffered from a dearth of games from that region. For example, Xbox One owners can look forward to Kingdom Hearts III fairly soon but there is no way to play earlier games from that series on an Xbox console. We have Ys Origins on Xbox One but Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is not available for that system despite having been published on Windows, the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and even the PlayStation Vita. It is a serious deficiency that has impacted Xbox One global sales.
The position that Microsoft is seeking to fill requires a lot of travel. The post specifies that this person will be in charge of several people and will travel between Shanghai, Tokyo and South Korea (presumably Seoul).
Ideally the new GGPD team will work to bring more games from Asian developers to both Xbox One and the Game Pass service. We may even see Xbox fund some exclusive games from publishers in Japan, China or South Korea.
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Thanks, Generacion Xbox.