Bandai Namco Holdings published a press release stating its intent to withdraw from the amusement facility business in North America by transferring related assets to three unnamed companies. [Thanks, DenFamiNico Gamer.]
The company group made the decision to withdraw as the COVID-19 pandemic heavily impacted business . Its subsidiary company, Namco USA Inc, handled the group’s amusement facilities since its establishment in July 1990. It directly owned 35 stores in total, with one of them being uniquely classified as a large store. It also handled 760 locations with shared revenues.
Bandai Namco will officially transfer all of the aforementioned assets to three other companies on March 31, 2021. It will include the losses and expenses from the ailing business into the extraordinary loss of 13 billion yen at the end of the current fiscal year on the same day.
However, this does not mean Bandai Namco will withdraw from arcade games completely. The group is still retaining Bandai Namco Amusement America, the subsidiary that sells arcade games in the region. Namco USA Inc is expected to merge with the former in the next fiscal year, which runs from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022.
We have seen a similar situation occur with Sega in Japan at the end of 2020. The company effectively transferred the ownership of Sega Entertainment, the subsidiary that handles its amusement facilities, to Genda. Sega still produces and releases arcade games on its own, with its latest title, Initial D The Arcade, launched in Japan in late February 2021 and internationally in Summer 2021.