Talking to Gamasutra, Microsoft Game Studios corporate vice president Shane Kim has been discussing the Xbox 360's Japanese outreach, suggesting that "I think we're very realistic about our prospects" in the territory, which the firm has struggled to gain sales penetration in.
In his comments, revealed as part of a larger Gamasutra interview with the exec
published today, Kim firstly confirmed that Microsoft is still funding Japanese development projects. He went on to say:
"I think we're very realistic about our prospects in Japan. When we launched Xbox 360 there, we didn't say we're going to win Japan. We said we need to do better in Japan, and for a couple of reasons. One, it's a big market. Two, we know that in order to do more there, we've got to develop more great Japanese content from Japanese developers, and that's why the partnership with [Hironobu] Sakaguchi is so important."
Gamasutra recently ran a dual interview discussing the Xbox 360's fortunes in the territory
, noting along the way that "Blue Dragon
, a flagship product funded by Microsoft and overseen by Final Fantasy
creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, has sold around 133,000 copies in Japan since its December release... Japanese hardware sales [as of the beginning of February] were at a life-to-date total of just over 330,000 consoles sold."
However, Microsoft's Kim went on the point out that it's not just sales success in the Japanese territory that Microsoft is aiming for, commenting: "It's also important to do well there because there are great Japanese creators and developers. I think developers and publishers in Japan are looking at the success the Xbox 360 is having in the West with titles that came from Japan like Dead Rising
and Lost Planet
, and realizing that it's an important business opportunity for them."
The Microsoft executive concluded: "That all feeds on itself, and I think that while our expectations in Japan are still very realistic -- Blue Dragon
was a big success for us, and I think Lost Odyssey
will be an important success -- those titles will also do well in the West." Blue Dragon
is currently due for North American release in August 2007.