Namco Bandai Cutting 630 Jobs After Huge Losses

By Spencer . February 2, 2010 . 9:20am

imageNamco Bandai expected to be in the black with a profit of 8.5 billion yen ($94 million). Instead they reported a total loss of 31 billion yen ($343 million).

 

Namco Bandai will go through through a major restructuring and cut 630 jobs out of their 7,000 employees by the end of their next fiscal year. These cuts will be across the company, including their video game division.

 

Their top selling video game this past holiday season may surprise you. It wasn’t Tekken 6 or Tales of Vesperia. It was Ben 10 Alien Force which moved 870,000 copies across all platforms. Ben 10 Protector of the Earth was number two with 540,000 copies sold. Both of these games come from D3 Publisher which Namco Bandai purchased last February.

 

Tales of Vesperia (PS3 and Xbox 360) was number four with 400,000 units in sales. Tekken 6 was number eight with 400,000 units, sandwiched between two games only for Japan, Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Gundam Next Plus and Taiko no Tatsujin Wii Do doon Ni-da-me!


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  • Soma

    Wow. That is seriously bad news. =(That is a pretty serious financial loss, and now lay-offs? Very harsh.
    I wonder if it was just lack of sales that contributed to such substantial losses? Probably a bunch of factors?

  • shion16

    mm what can i say
    ben 10 was cheaper =P

  • malek86

    Did they say which games underperformed?

    I expect Tekken 6 to be one of those.

    • jarrodand

      They actually said everything but Tekken 6 (in Japan)! lol!

      D3 really saved their ass this quarter…

  • Kris

    The Vesperia sales might have been higher with a US PS3 release, just sayin’.
    Bitching aside though, I feel terrible for the people who are going to get cut…

    • dv8shun

      I imagine it would have been a task to not translate the new content but also bring back all the same NA voice actors to record all the new lines. Maybe?

      And yes, it’s too bad about the soon-to-be unemployed. Nothing is more demoralizing than getting cut.

    • Hraesvelgr

      Sales probably wouldn’t be much higher, I think. It could get around what the 360 version did, 100k-ish, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it didn’t even pull that off.

  • zhemos

    I guess this is probably the nail in the coffin for PS3 Tales of Vesperia released state side unless Sony funds the localization.

    • http://twitter.com/Golii Cristóbal Escalona

      I guess this is probably the nail in the coffin for Tales of Graces released state side unless Nintendo funds the localization.

      • jarrodand

        Localization staff was already credited in the JP Graces release. It was the same for Vesperia 360, and isn’t the case with Vesperia PS3.

        • http://twitter.com/Golii Cristóbal Escalona

          Oh, that’s great then!
          I had no clue!

  • thebanditking

    Hmm…thats really unfortunate for those loosing their jobs, but Bamco made some really stupid business decisions in the past few years and the quality of their titles have slipped. Not to mention they are completely out of touch with their fanbase, and clearly no longer understand the videogame market.As for Vesperia on PS3 I would seriously hope this would not be the nail in the coffin, as minimal work ports have higher return on investment then funding new games. Vesperia would easily push 200k in US and Europe each, given the already established fanbase.

    • http://twitter.com/Golii Cristóbal Escalona

      I completely agree with your comment, I think the reason for their under-performing titles is because of poor marketing, I mean, you can’t expect games to sell well relying only on it’s fans, specially when you’re starting to lose them!

      And I’d rather get a new game like Tales of Graces than a port of another you can buy on another console… but that’s probably because my only non-handheld platform is a Wii.

  • dv8shun

    How is the Ben 10 thing surprising? The Ben 10 cartoons are hit shows on the Cartoon Network. Of course it was going to sell well.

  • Jaxx-Leviathan

    Tsch, damned watered-down franchise-crap… Ben 10 outperforming Tales is a figgin disgrace. I seriously hope this doesn’t stop any plans of bringing Graces to EU… *sacrifices catfish and metal buckets to Bamco*

  • nyobzoo

    bad marketing on their part, I suppose

  • http://gplus.to/rootbeerking RootBeerKing

    Great, even more bad news in relation to a ToV PS3 release…

  • BlueBlazer

    They deserve it for not localizing ANY tales game except Vesperia:(
    I hope they relize how foolish they are

    • masuto

      So true. I don’t know why they wouldn’t take any risks to deliver their games to US and Europe.

    • Hraesvelgr

      Agree, but Tales games outside of Japan wouldn’t make up for that loss, honestly.

  • kupomogli

    Let’s see. Tales of Vs, Tales of Vesperia PS3, Gundam Battle series, Mobile Suit Gundam Senki, Mobile Suit Gundam Gihren’s Ambition, Gundam vs Gundam.

    Bandai releases the worst Gundam game they’ve ever made into the US and expected it to sell, then doesn’t ever release another due to the awful sales. You don’t need to do mass voice acting in the series. Sure, the voice acting is nice, and they do an amazing job with it in the games they’ve released to the US, but it’s not needed as long as they translate all the text and be done with it(won’t know a thing they say during battle but what’s it matter much when only Gundam fans will probably buy into it.)

    The Tales games. Namco hates us. I like some of their games, but this is one of the companies I despise the most. I dislike a company like Disgaea because the majority of their games suck(in my opinion,) but I hate Namco because it’s rare that they ever release a good game to us. It’s always the over hyped games we end up getting because they know it’ll sell.

    Sucks for the people who lost their jobs though.

    • jarrodand

      Well, we still get Gundam Musou… er, yeah. :/

      I think no Tales of Vs can be blamed pretty squarely on Radiant Mythology flopping in the west. In fact, I think you can blame the lack of Innocence, RM2, Hearts and all the PS2-to-PSP ports on that game flopping. Sad. :(

    • Hraesvelgr

      I have never heard of this so-called “Disgaea” company.

  • http://twitter.com/charliesabers Carlos Escalante

    I’m so sorry for the laid off people. They’re probably not even the ones taking the bad decisions. Still, BAMCO had it coming. They’ve made some pretty big mistakes and had some pretty bad luck too. Along with SEGA (which is slowly redeeming itself in my eyes) they have probably one of the worst IP management in the industry and lack a truly global vision.

    Case in point:

    A) The Tales series. While I call these games “Stales”, I have to admit they have a small, yet fiercely loyal fanbase that’s not being catered to. Wake up, BAMCO. Tales will NEVER be Final Fantasy (heck, I don’t even know if FF is still the same juggernaut it was before)! Yet that’s not a bad thing. Several titles are released across diverse platforms (many which basically only require text translation) yearly. That’s a powerful opportunity to brand the name and captivate a segment of the market. If they released more of those game (following the Atlus or NISA model), the Tales name would become ever present through the year, and when the time comes to release the big, HD title, you have more of a chance to sell better. I still think that selling off to MS was one of the worst decisions for the franchise. That’s not your market!

    B) Tekken 6. It’s not a bad game…but it’s a game that belong back in 2007. It can’t stand out in a world were superior games are readily available. They made a huge mistake delaying it so much, and releasing a bad port on the “lead” console. Again, I don’t think succumbing to MS paid off.

    C) They have one of the richest pantheons of old school games, waiting of r revivial. Klonoa, Pac Man, Valkyrie, Mappy….they’re crying for a PSN HD remake!

    BAMCO really need to get their act together if they expect to survive this generation.

    • jarrodand

      To be fair with Vesperia, way back when it started development a lot of JRPGs were also headed to 360 (Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, Last Remnant, Infinite Undiscovery, Trusty Bell, Tengai Makyo, Enchanted Arms, Cry-On, etc) to try and build that market. It didn’t work out so well, but it looks more like Tales Studio just went with the flow than anything imo.

      And also to be fair, Tales’ prime western market has never been on the PlayStations anyway. In fact, pretty much everything bombed on PS1, PS2 and PSP here. Putting Vesperia on 360 only upfront was a stupid move obviously, but not putting Abyss on GameCube was an even dumber move. Vesperia 360 sold better than Abyss PS2 in the US even.

      And finally, Pac-Man CE, Galaga Legions and the Klonoa remake all rocked. <3

      • Hraesvelgr

        Yeah, the main market for Tales is Japan, but even that’s dying off, honestly. In North America, the better games have been released for PS2/360, but a lot of people associate “Tales” with “Nintendo”. The PS2 releases have the worst sales, so no one can say PlayStation is where the fanbase is.

  • Extra_Life

    Hmm… Localise all unlocalised Tales games, this would be a huge boon to RPG fans on the PSP and DS (5 and 3 games respectively), as well as players who never got to play Rebirth and Destiny 2 on PS2. Bring Vesperia on PS3 out of Japan. Do this, and that would be roughly £280 from me alone.

    This had better not mean no Graces – though to be honest, releasing it may help them claw back some money. Hell, I’ll buy two copies if it’ll help!

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