Bandai Namco Wants 50% Of Its Games To Be New IPs, And More Made Overseas

By Sato . July 23, 2018 . 8:00am

Code Vein

While Bandai Namco is known for working on games for established franchises, the publisher is looking into expanding with new IPs and they also want more titles to be developed outside of Japan.

 

Bandai Namco has already been working on establishing new IPs with a new IP creation unit and we’ve already seen efforts from the company with titles such as Code Vein and 11-11: Memories Untold. Speaking with Gameindustry.biz at E3 2018, European digital and marketing Vice President Hervé Hoerdt talked about new franchises:

“We want 50 per cent of our business to come from new IPs. Why is this? First, it’s to build a sustainable business because most of our IPs are franchises and licenses. To be a sustainable business, you need to have your own IP; every publisher is building their own IP. The other thing is the IP we have are always reaching the same marketing segment, like fighting and anime, but there’s much more to do in the video game market, much bigger genres.

Last but not least, we’re an entertainment company not just a video game company. We’re looking to explore those IP in 360-degrees. This is not something we can do with a licensed franchise like Naruto. If you look at Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball Z, we’re already a licensee. We want to create IP that we can explore in 360-degrees, like we’re doing with Little Nightmares, for example. There are a lot of things to come from this IP, and it’s no secret we’re talking with people around the world to make a movie out of it. At some point there might be other opportunities like escape rooms, and stuff like that.”

 

Bandai Namco said that it wants 50% of its titles to be developed outside of Japan, to which Hoerdt added that it won’t be happening in the next three to five years, but believes it “should definitely happen within the next decade. He also mentioned that the publisher meets more than 200 studios a year to see if they can match with any current projects.

 

Such a meeting with Life is Strange developer Dontnot Entertainment is what led to Little Nightmares and the recently announced Twin Mirror. Bandai Namco emphasizes that it’s not about releasing new titles but building new franchises that can expand beyond games.

 

Hoerdt shared more on Dontnot  and growing with IPs:

“Dontnod is really a rising star. We can see that from what they did early on with Remember Me and more recently with Vampyr.

We want to grow step-by-step. We’re not the sort of company to put $50m on the table to buy IP – we’re a Japanese company, so we’re slowly but surely moving [forward]. The fact that we have a strategic fit with Dontnod – we are growing, they are growing, they’ve proven they have something very strong with Life Is Strange and again with Vampyr.

Narrative, story-driven, emotional journeys are something we want to exploit. We will actually own this IP, so we hope to exploit this with a movie and so on. That’s another reason why we wanted to do this.”

 

And here’s a bit about the “All Bandai Namco” plan that is a region-specific plan to play to the company’s strengths than it has in the past:

“The strength of the company is that we’re one of the biggest toy makers in the world. In the UK, we have Namco Funscape and a lot of entertainment locations. There’s another entity that does VR zone, then there are our video games and our arcade machines. The idea of All Bandai Namco is to leverage all the synergies we can.

The consumer engages with an IP. If we can extend that experience in many different things, it would be better – both from a consumer perspective and from the company’s. So the idea is to leverage all this, to break the silo. Japanese companies are really silo companies – that’s not a secret. Any silo [we can break] is another way in which we can grow.

[We have] a clear vision of our limits as a company and we’re working on those limits. Every limit we push is turning into business and more consumers, which means more people engaged. It’s not about money or business, it’s about creating brands that people love and having more consumers around the world engage with them and experience them in 360-degrees.”


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