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Shane Kim: Japan is a "longer-term effort"

Newly-installed VP of Interactive Entertainment business strategy is hopeful of turning the Xbox 360's fortunes around

Shane Kim, the newly-promoted corporate VP for Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment business, has told GamesIndustry.biz that he's hopeful the company will "turn our fortunes around" in Japan - over time.

Following hot on the heels of the launch of a number of Square Enix and Namco Bandai RPG titles for the region earlier this week, Kim explained that the company was happy to take a long-term view in order to achieve success in the Sony and Nintendo homeland.

"We've been very realistic about our near-to-mid term opportunities in Japan, specifically with respect to the current console generation," he said in an interview shortly before his promotion was announced. "Obviously it's a challenging market with well entrenched competitors.

"I'm excited to see developments such as the new RPGs from Japanese developers - I think that's a recognition in the developer-publisher community that the Xbox 360 is a great platform, and we've got a great installed base in the rest of the world.

"From a business perspective I think they all know that they need to take the platform seriously, and my hope is that through that process we'll start to see more Japanese content that will stimulate greater demand in Japan and start to turn our fortunes around.

"I think that's a longer-term effort, to be frank," he added.

Kim also hinted at a greater focus on the region moving forward, and that the company had some idea of where it can make progress.

"Microsoft has always taken a long-term view on our various competitive battles, and Japan is no different," he said. "But at the same time I'm excited because I think there are opportunities that we haven't really attacked in an aggressive way - and I think that's going to be part of our future as well.

"While we still need to fight in Japan and try to continue to improve our results there we also need to look at other opportunities for growing the business."

Shane Kim was previously the head of Microsoft Game Studios, but will now work on strategy and business development across the whole Interactive Entertainment business, reporting directly to Don Mattrick.

Phil Spencer, formerly head of MGS Europe was announced as his replacement.

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Phil Elliott