New interviews with the head of Xbox reveal the company is looking to buy more developers but not necessarily any Japanese ones.
With the remake of Demon’s Souls being such a prominent launch game for the PlayStation 5 it’s a reminder that we still know virtually nothing about Elden Ring, the next game from original creators FromSoftware.
Announced back in June 2019, the only thing that’s ever been shown publicly about Elden Ring is a brief teaser trailer, with very few rumours since on what the game is or when it’s going to be released.
But it turns out the Xbox boss Phil Spencer has played ‘quite a bit of the game’ and according to an interview with GameSpot he’s definitely impressed by what he describes as the ‘most ambitious game’ that director Hidetaka Miyazaki has ever made.
‘I love his games, but seeing some of the gameplay mechanics stuff that he’s tackling, he and the team are tackling this time, of the setting, working with another creator in terms of story. I love it’, said Spencer.
The other creator he’s referring to is Game Of Thrones novelist George R. R. Martin, whose involvement may well be one of the reasons the game seems to be taking so long.
All we know for sure about Elden Ring is that Miyazaki considers it a ‘natural evolution’ of the Soul series and that it will feature an open world with horseback riding – but not role-playing game style populated towns.
Following rumours that Microsoft is looking to purchase a number of Japanese companies, FromSoftware is one name that has come up as a likely candidate, although they’re actually owned by a larger Japanese company that Microsoft is less likely to be interested in acquiring.
Although you can’t help wondering under what circumstances Spencer has seen the game and whether that means he was interested in acquiring From, or perhaps securing some kind of Xbox exclusivity or Game Pass deal.
Despite the rumours, Spencer has denied he’s looking to buy any Japanese companies, even though the Xbox has never been a success in the country and as a result has always been lacking in strong support from local publishers and developers.
Buying a Japanese studio makes a lot more sense than yet another American one and yet in the same interview Spencer suggests the reports are, to his knowledge, ‘not accurate’.
However, in an interview with Bloomberg published the same day he again talks about acquiring more developers to boost Microsoft’s first party stables.
‘Games are what gamers play. We build these platforms and services to deliver the best games to gamers everywhere, so we need a great supply of first party teams’, said Spencer.
‘Bethesda nearly doubles the size of our first party studios, meaning the studios that build games as part of Xbox, and we’re still out there looking for other teams. It’s important that we have a continued supply of great games for our gaming subscription and platforms.’
The first thing to say here is that you should probably take anything a console boss says with a pinch of salt, especially when they’re launching a new console, as they won’t want to give anything away to their competitors.
What seems certain though, is that Bethesda won’t be the last big purchase that Microsoft make and if they don’t at least attempt to acquire a Japanese developer then they will have missed a key opportunity to diversify their line-up.
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