Phil Spencer promises more exclusives like the Xbox 360 JRPGs that totally ruled

 Blue Dragon.
Blue Dragon.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently claimed players could expect more Microsoft-published games coming from Japanese developers.

In an interview with website Game Watch, Spencer was asked whether the company would publish more big-budget Japanese games, such as the Xbox 360 RPGs Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey. “You can count on it,” Spencer replied, while also name-dropping the rhythmic action slasher Hi-Fi Rush as an example of a recent Xbox-published game to come from a Japanese developer. Speaking of Hi-Fi Rush, though, a recent leak claimed that team would happily be tackling a JRPG next.

“Japanese creators are also part of Microsoft Game Studios,” Spencer continued, “and although there are some titles that cannot be announced yet, we are working with Japanese teams to develop new games. The development environment is growing, including first and third party, so I think we can expect more Japanese titles to appear in the future.”

The acknowledgment of Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon are particularly interesting. Both were Xbox 360-era exclusives from developer Mistwalker and director Hironobu Sakaguchi, the original creator of Final Fantasy. And both were surprisingly great, emulating and expanding upon what made early Final Fantasies so endearing. Sakaguchi had previously expressed desire to return to Blue Dragon (fingers crossed!), but for now, the cult classics are available to play on Xbox Series X|S.

Elsewhere in the interview, Spencer was asked about the company’s upcoming game from famed developer Hideo Kojima, since we haven’t gotten an update on the mysterious project since last year. “I’m actually planning to visit Kojima-san next week… I think the project is going well so far,” explained Spencer. “However, Kojima is an innovative game creator, and he’s trying something new with this project. I think it’s necessary to work on realising that vision away from the spotlight.” So it sounds like we’ll need to wait a while to see the nebulous project, especially since Kojima is likely busy with his postal sim sequel Death Stranding 2.

While we wait for these mysterious projects, check out the upcoming games of 2023 and beyond. Or, if you want to be more specific, The best JRPGs to play this year.