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Former Squaresoft COO takes the helm at Xbox Japan

Microsoft has named a new general manager for its Japanese Xbox division, with former Squaresoft Inc chief operating officer Yoshihiro Maruyama taking the helm at the troubled team from next Wednesday.

Maruyama-san is tasked with improving the fortunes of the Xbox console and the Xbox Live service in Japan - quite a task, given that the system is still being regularly outsold by the eight year old PSone on a week-to-week basis.

He will report directly to Peter Moore, the former Sega of America boss who is now Microsoft's vice president for worldwide retail sales and marketing in Japan and Europe for the Home and Entertainment Division.

Maruyama-san joined Squaresoft Inc, the US arm of giant Japanese publisher Square (now Square Enix) in 1995, and is credited as one of the key figures behind the success of Square in establishing a US market presence in the late nineties.

He replaces Par Singh, who was serving as the interim general manager for Xbox Japan, and will now be moving to a new position as director of advanced planning for Japan and Europe. Singh presided over a difficult time for the Japanese Xbox team, as internal rifts caused serious contention within the division following the dismissal of some 30 staff earlier this year.

Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.