Namco Bandai and the shotgun Soulcalibur IV strategy

By Spencer . June 6, 2008 . 1:56pm


Apparently, Darth Vader has an apprentice who will be a key character in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Instead of debuting in LucasArts’ game the Secret Apprentice will make his first appearance as a playable character in both versions of Soulcalibur IV. After reading the press release regarding this cross promotion, I wondered if Namco Bandai was required to include the Secret Apprentice as a condition for getting Yoda and Darth Vader. This would be an astute way for LucasArts to draw Soulcalibur fans to Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and a chance for Namco Bandai to pull Star Wars fans into Soucalibur IV.


The Star Wars characters are getting lots of attention in North America. However, other new combatants created by popular manga artists are a draw for Japan. Shura was a designed by Hiroya Oku, the creator of Gantz. Ashlotte was drawn by Oh!great who is also known for his work on Tenjho Tenge. Angol Fear was created by Mine Yoshizaki who developed the iconic frog Keroro. Yutaka Izubuchi, the creator of RahXephon, was the guest artist for Scheherazade. All of the artists and franchises linked to Soulcalibur IV make the game appeal to a broader audience. It’s more subtle than an outright crossover like Mortal Kombat vs. DC, but Namco Bandai is trying to have something for everyone. Well, not everyone, but core fans of particular artist or franchise.


To date, Hilde is the only new character in Soulcalibur IV designed by Namco Bandai.


Images courtesy of Namco Bandai.

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  • Daizyujin

    I honestly go back and forth. I really don’t know what I think of all this. I guess it will just have to wait till I buy it. Honestly the exclusive version characters bother me more than anything. It made more sense with at least Link in Soul Calibur 2 being a Nintendo character. This on the other hand makes almost none. I can’t see too many people buying both versions.

  • Gringo2K8

    @ Daizyujin :
    I for one, would consider gettin both versions… only if it would magicaly enable Yoda vs Vader fights ;)
    But seriously, I agree on the nonsense of those “platform exclusives”
    I mean, when Todd McFarlane helped on SC2, Spawn was available on Xbox. As Link was on the GC and Heihachi on PS2 for Tekken fans. THAT was kinda logic.
    Now, if they have Izumi or Kurono from Gantz on the PS3 version I’ll defo have to get both :P

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