Hideki Kamiya, director at Platinum Games, has suggested that the Xbox is not tailored to Japanese tastes for entertainment and hardware.
The admission comes from an interview with Video Games Chronicle, in which Hideki Kamiya and executive director Atsushi Inaba expressed little interest in an acquisition by any partner which would “limit our freedom.” The studio is now independent, following an investment injection from Tencent Holdings, and will continue to work away on its own independent ambitions. “I did read some rumours about Xbox wanting to purchase Platinum Games, and I thought, ‘people on the internet write the craziest stuff,’ because that conversation has not come to our doorstep at all,” said Inaba.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has admitted that the Xbox brand and console struggles to break into the Japanese market, and he has focused on building relationships with Japanese developers and publishers to ameliorate this. When asked what more Xbox could do to improve its image in Japan, Kamiya suggested that the company should “market towards actual Japanese gamers’ tastes” for their console.
“I would say that ever since the Xbox has been introduced to the Japanese market it’s always felt like something foreign and far away. It doesn’t feel like it’s ever been cultivated for Japanese tastes,” explained the director. “It reminds me of the NES and Super NES days when I had to go to these really niche game stores to get foreign games you could only get through import. They weren’t localised to Japan or anything, they were just imports that you were kind of buying just to have this rare token as a gamer.”
“I agree with the foreign feeling nature of the hardware,” added Inaba. “But I also admire that Phil wants to try hard in Japan. I would love to give him some advice, but I also feel that the success route into Japan has not always been about having the best hardware… It’s a tough question that I don’t know the answer to.”