Namco Bandai Makes An Aggressive Bid For D3 Publisher

By Spencer . February 12, 2009 . 9:08am

d3pAnother corporate takeover is looming. Namco Bandai plans to purchase niche publisher D3 by buying a majority if not all of the shares of stock for 62,000 yen ($689) per share. Fields, a majority shareholder with 12,000 shares (57.04% of the total shares), and a number of other key shareholders have already come into agreement with Namco Bandai. A total of 21,037 shares of stock are available which values the buyout at $14.5 million. If a buyout happens D3 Publisher will act as a subsidiary of Namco Bandai.


Why does Namco Bandai want to buy D3? Many reasons. One of them is their success with the Ben 10 franchise which Bandai makes action figures for. Another is the use of engines and overseas technology developed by D3 Publisher. Namco Bandai also plans to push mobile game content, cooperate on developing casual games with Namco Bandai characters, and creation of new games based on synergy between the two companies.

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  • jarrodand

    WTF! It’s takeover mania all of a sudden again?!

  • M’iau M’iaut

    D3 gets them the puzzle quest series too, that odd title which sells to both casual and more serious gamers.

    It definitely seems in both these cases, the real goal is to strengthen the respective companies footprint with developers and titles that are based outside of Japan.

    • jarrodand

      D3 seems more relevant with Japan though I’d think? SIMPLE Series is pretty huge. Plus, unlike SE’s Eidos bid, they don’t actually have any internal or owned developers, everything’s always outsourced anyway iirc (Tamsoft, Sandlot, Vingt-en-un-Systems, Sims, Land Ho, Skonec, Warashi, Digital Extremes, Vicious Cycle, High Voltage, Infinite Interactive, Sensory Sweep, Altron, HuneX, Tomcat System, Yuki Enterprise, TOSE Software, Agenda, etc, etc). D3 doesn’t really have much in terms of marketable IP, Puzzle Quest, Onechinbara and EDF probably being their biggest (that aren’t licenses). Really, the more I think about, the more bizarre this seems? :/

      I also wonder what effect this would have on D3 distribution deals (Naruto Wii/DS in the west, ESP worldwide)?

      • Yeah the Simple series collaboration could be a bigger hit by attaching Namco Bandai characters. Especially for kids software and such. I believe D3 owns one developer or should I say D3P America. They bought Vicious Cycle, the team that made Dead Head Fred. If Namco Bandai gets this deal they can probably make Naruto games for Wii/DS and Naruto is another huge money maker for Namco Bandai.

        • jarrodand

          Oh, I wasn’t aware they bought Vicious Cycle. Makes sense though, I think they also did some of the Puzzle Quest ports.

          I hadn’t thought of Namco IPs in the SIMPLE line though… stuff like Pac-Man, Druaga and Galaga makes a lot of sense there. Maybe even a dedicated classics line, like Sega Ages?

          Also, D3’s Naruto deal is just for western distribution… Tomy still handles all the development, and since they’ve started a US branch, I suspect they might just look for a new partner or something?

          • Ah! That’s right. Tomy still owns the rights and it’s a partnership with D3. I guess Tomy can self publish the Naruto games then like they’re starting to do with other Tomy Japan products.

          • pressstart

            Actually, from what I read from the pro Naruto gamers, D3 actually license’s Tomy’s game (and its fighting engine) and develops their own version. That’s why Naruto Shippuuden EX3 takes some ideas from Clash of Ninja Revolution 2, which came out before EX3 and implemented some of its own ideas before Tomy did.

          • daizyujin

            Honestly, I would more see them attaching the Bandai properties to the Simple Series. Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, and every damn anime you can think of, the list goes on of the rediculously long line of properties that Bandai can pull from After all since they own Sunrise they own Gundam lock stock and barrel. Gundam Shogi anyone?

        • daizyujin

          I can see it now, “Heroine Battle” with all the heroines from Super Sentai in bikinis duking it out…………I need to shut up before I give Namco/Bandai any ideas.

  • wario4ever

    nooo! stay away useless company!

  • I think Namco Bandai ate up Banpresto and Gust at some point last year. I remember there was worry on certain forums that Ar Tonelico 2 wouldn’t come to the US because of the merger/buyout/dissolve.

    Either way, this economy is ripe for the big guys to absorb the little guys. Whether that will prove beneficial or not is anybody’s guess; we’ll see if they limit what types of games leave Japan.

    • jarrodand

      Bandai always owned Banpresto, I think they just consolidated publishing last year. I didn’t know about Gust though?

      If this goes through then BNGI will own…

      -Namco Hometek (US Studio)
      -Namco Tales Studio
      -D3 Publisher
      -Vicious Cycle Software

      …pretty big group of developers and publishers right there.

      • Hmm, you’re probably right about just consolidating. I probably have my info wrong about Gust in that case! o_O All I know is there was a big hubbub last year about Namco Bandai, Banpresto, and Gust.

        Odds are they’ve left Gust alone and just consolidated with Banpresto, as you said. Hard to imagine Namco Bandai really wanting them, of all developers.

      • daizyujin

        Honestly though, I wonder if the biggest thing they own is Sunrise Studios. Having complete control of Gundam is like a license to print money no matter who develops the game.

  • My main fear is Namco Bandai’s HORRIBLE oversea score. They tend to ignore Europe most of the time and US sometimes. If this affects D3 Publisher (whom I’ve grown quite fond of because of various reasons, Bangai-O Spirits, Onechanbara and Earth Defence Force being three) and their ability to publish niche titles in Europe I will cry blood.

    Namco Bandai refused to release Culdcept Saga in Europe for example, maybe this will change if D3 gets bought? Then they can release it as a budget price title because of their experience with PAL publishing…

    Nippon Ichi Europe (Spencer, look it up, Nippon Ichi opens europe office!), Square Enix publishing Persona 4 and Rising Star Games gives me hope for interesting titles in Europe. NamcoBandai buying D3 makes me lose some.

    • Actually, we wrote about NIS Europe way back in April 2008 when they were forming the subsidiary and before any titles were announced.


      We try to keep an out for Europe too :)

      • Ah, before I started actively RSS:ing Siliconera :P damn, that means Eurogamer is SLOW!

        Anyways, thanks for trying for Europe too! NISE are gonna release Mana Khemia and Mana Khemia: Student Alliance so I’m psyched. I’m really hoping for Ar Tonelico 2 though.. and anything I don’t already know about and that kicks ass

  • shion16

    The big companies are trying to eat the little ones

  • None

    Klonoa’s games O_O; Namco Bandai? Ahhh…. hmm… :P “PacMan”
    PacMan = Klonoa games?? the two Namco Bandai. :D

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