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NIS America chief: Microsoft isn't very supportive of Japanese devs

"Honestly speaking, Microsoft's approach to Japanese games hasn't been very supportive," NIS America chief Takuro Yamashita tells MCV. "Their whole structure isn't really geared towards niche games."
"Honestly speaking, Microsoft's approach to Japanese games hasn't been very supportive."

- NIS America chief Takuro Yamashita, speaking to MCV.

Xbox consoles have never really been big in Japan, and the Xbox One is no exception.

That goes a long way towards explaining why the Xbox has never been a big showcase for Japanese games, but a recent conversation MCV had with some Japanese game execs suggests there are more practical concerns with bringing games to the Xbox platform.

"Honestly speaking, Microsoft's approach to Japanese games hasn't been very supportive," NIS America [Danganronpa V3, Ys VIII] CEO and president Takuro Yamashita told MCV.

"[They have] a minimum order quantity for their games, and their whole structure isn't really geared toward niche games or smaller games like Japanese titles. So they're not really supportive of Japanese games or developers."

While there are notable exceptions to this statement -- Tekken 7, Final Fantasy XV, and Dark Souls 3 are hard to call "niche games", and they were all released on Xbox One -- it's well in line with NIS America's work, and sheds light on why we don't see that work on Xbox.

Yamashita went on to say he wasn't opposed to releasing games on the Xbox in the future, but that it would be a sort of "chicken and egg problem" to determine when a given game would be big enough to justify the expense of bringing it to Xbox. 

Nihon Falcom [Ys VIII] president Toshihiro Kondo gave MCV much the same message, suggesting that the company is keeping an eye on the Xbox but does not yet believe it's popular enough to target as a primary platform.

"Falcom is obviously a Japan-focused developer and looking at the situation in Japan, the Xbox has had a difficult time," Kondo told MCV. "Because the market isn't there, we have to take a 'if things improve' attitude and just pay close attention to what's happening [...] if the Xbox was to have a sudden rise in the west, we'd obviously be open to considering it in that situation. I'd really like that to be the case."

The rest of his and Yamashita's comments (as well as a brief apperance by NISA's Alan Costa) are well worth reading in full over on MCV's website.

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