The Moore Interview: On Japan, Sony, And Halo 3
July 20, 2007 Page 2 of 4
Can you speak to Microsoft's strategies in Japan at all? How is that looking forward?
PM: There's so many layers of what we're doing there. There's the consumer layer where we just do the standard business model of working in the Japanese market with consumers to buy an Xbox 360 and games and to get them on Xbox Live from a standard model. The deeper model that we're doing in Japan is that we have the greatest respect for the development and publishing community there.
We're spending a lot of time with the developers over there, and we've got publishing partners working with them to globalize their content to make sure that games like Resident Evil and Devil May Cry find their home on the platform. A lot of the Japanese publishing community looks to the success of Capcom with both Dead Rising and Lost Planet as being very successful for them. Having that ability to broaden their horizons past Japan is now important to Japanese publishers.
The Japanese market has been flatly declining for many years now, and for them to continue their business, they need to globalize. They look at us as the market leader outside of Japan, and realize that we need to be a strong partner.
It's certainly been a tactic for a number of people. It seems that a lot of Japanese game makers are making their large-budget games specifically for the U.S., because those big-budget games don't have a high sell-through on any next-gen platform.
PM: That's right. We're making sure that they all show up on the 360.
I found it interesting that Trusty Bell sold more 360s than Blue Dragon did.
PM: I know that's not the case, because we had a Blue Dragon bundle. The Blue Dragon bundle sold a lot. It was a 29,000 yen bundle that put Blue Dragon in there. The numbers were a little more than [80,000]. Trusty Bell did well. I love Trusty Bell -- it's a great game, and it moved a lot of 360s just two or three weeks ago, but not as much as Blue Dragon.
I was surprised by its success. It seemed to come out of left field, but I guess that's where it needs to come from.
PM: Well, we showed it at TGS last year, and it's a gorgeous looking game. It's one of those games where you look at it as a Westerner and you just don't know. Who knew? The Japanese gamer has such intricate, interesting tastes. You look at a game and you think, "I have no idea why anyone will buy it." I'm not saying that about Trusty Bell -- it was a beautiful game, but not something that moves the needle over here.
It seems like it's tough to know what's going to stick in that market from this perspective.
PM: We rely on our Japanese folks that trusted us that this is going to sell well. It's done well, and we got behind it, and it makes us very happy.
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