Several notable game industry insiders have been teasing about a supposed major studio acquisition by Xbox within the next month. Under the brilliant leadership of Phil Spencer, it is currently one of the top video game publishers.
Besides launching the Game Pass and making all Xbox games more accessible, Phil Spencer has expanded the value of Xbox as a brand by making strategic acquisitions and letting the studios express their vision freely.
One of the biggest acquisitions, not only in the history of Xbox but in the history of the games industry, was the $7.5 billion acquisition of Zenimax Interactive. This brought not only major studios such as Bethesda Softworks, Id Software, Arkane, and Machine Games under the banner of Xbox but also major IPs such as Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Dishonored, Doom, and Wolfenstein.
Rumors of a major Xbox acquisition is heating up, could it be a Japanese studio?
Currently, Xbox has 23 first-party studios across the world under its banner. With these studios, Xbox has expanded into most gaming genres, from AAA RPG to the first-person shooter, to racing, strategy, and indie titles.
However, one region that Xbox has always lacked is the Japanese region. Bar the recent acquisition of Tango GameWorks, the studio behind The Evil Within led by horror veteran Shinji Mikami, Xbox never had any major Japanese studio, left alone Japanese-centric video games.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has expressed his interest in having a first-party Japanese studio under the Xbox brand. Still, he has also previously shut down rumors of a Japanese studio acquisition.
Quite recently, several notable industry insiders started teasing a major Xbox acquisition in the upcoming months. SKULLZI, a noteworthy game industry leaker, recently tweeted out,
I am hearing some CRAZY RUMORS regarding another huge potential Microsoft acquisition. I don't want to say any specifics as I don't even know if all this is true yet, but damn.
Later, ACG also tweeted about a major acquisition, followed by Tom Warren (Verge) and Shpeshal Nick adding fuel to the fire by tweeting meaningful GIFs. The speculation mill has been running wild from Rockster to Ubisoft to Xbox’s previous Japanese collaborators Sega and Squire Enix.
ACG mentioned the announcement within a month, indicating towards Tokyo Game Show and Xbox’s presence at the event.
Xbox at Tokyo Game Show
Tokyo Game Show is one of the most significant gaming events, where primarily Japanese studios showcase games targeted towards the Japanese audience. Similar to last year, Tokyo Game Show 2021, or TGS 21, will be taking place entirely online, and Xbox has already confirmed its presence at the event on September 30, 2021. The timing for the event for different time zones is as follows,
- 06.00 PM JST
- 02.00 PM IST
- 02.30 AM PT
- 05.00 AM ET
It is uncertain if Xbox will announce any acquisition, which is still only a rumor, at the event. However, if Xbox added a Japanese studio to its family, Tokyo Game Show would be the best event to announce it.