Xbox 360 Chief in Japan: Gone in 60 Seconds

In corporate double-speak, executives in high places are usually never fired in the stark naked view of the public, they are merely transitioned. One such individual is Yoshihiro Maruyama. You don™t know who he is? Maybe you™ve never heard of his name, but you are certainly familiar with what he does, or as the case may be, what he didn™t do. Mr. Maruyama was in charge of Microsoft™s disastrous push to sell the Xbox 360 in Japan. While the industry already knew that Japan was the claimed turf of Sony and Nintendo, and that selling the Xbox 360 would be an uphill battle, no one knew that it would turn into a public relations nightmare for Microsoft. Let™s just say that there were no shortages of 360s in the Land of the Rising Sun. Sales figures at the end of December of last year reported that almost half of the allotted 159,000 Xbox 360s for Japan remained on store shelves, collecting dust. Even more embarrassing was the game machine to game sales ratio. For every Xbox 360 sold in Japan, the average customer bought 0.91 games. What this means is that some of the 360 purchasers didn™t buy a game at all”just the console. Microsoft has had the distasteful job of constantly trying to put a positive spin on the dismal numbers. Apparently, the bad press has finally led to the transition of Maruyama. In a statement given by Microsoft vice president, Peter Moore, he said that: "Mr. Maruyama played a key role in launching Xbox 360 in Japan. He secured vital partner relationships that are crucial to the long-term success of the business in the region. Having achieved this, Mr. Maruyama will transition to a new role where his unique vision and foresight will be applied in a strategic capacity within the Entertainment and Devices organization." If we may be so bold as to make an observation upon this situation, we think that Mr. Maruyama was fired from his duties. Pardon us, he was transitioned from his duties. The fault doesn™t lie totally with Maruyama, when everything is considered. Reports of launch titles being cancelled right and left did not instill confidence with the Japanese buying public. Maruyama said previously, "It [the launch] was a lot more difficult than we had imagined. We couldn’t prepare the launch titles that we had promised, and it made an impact." Maruyama also pointed to the problems of marketing the 360, "We also received some criticisms toward our promotions, saying that people don’t understand what high definition is. The Xbox 360’s main appeal is high definition, but we couldn’t successfully convey it." Maruyama will be replaced by Takashi Sensui. Peter Moore said of the new manager, Mr. Sensui will lead the business forward in Japan to build momentum at a time when key Japanese-developed games for Xbox 360 will soon be available. If we were you, Mr. Sensui, we™d start preparing a new resume right now. Just in case we were transitioned at a later date.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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