Namco Bandai Shift New Game Development Back To Japan


In light of half their recent software being unprofitable, Namco Bandai are taking a leaf out of Capcom’s book and shifting development of new games back to their development studios in Japan, according to a report at Bloomberg.


“We found the quality and development speed of titles made for us by the overseas studios to be lacking,” president, Shukuo Ishikawa, said during an interview yesterday. “Foreign studios can still propose and develop games, but our Japanese staff will control the process more closely.”


Currently, a 70% of Namco’s revenue comes from Japan, which perhaps isn’t very surprising, considering some of the licenses they can work with. Bloomberg’s report states that the decision to shift development back to domestic studios was made in light of several of Namco’s games failing to reach the 1 million sales mark in overseas territories.


Clash of the Titans, for instance, has sold 250,000 units as of October 31st — well below the desired 700,000. Dead to Rights: Retribution — also forecast for 700k units — sold only 350,000. Following their performance, Namco Bandai also lowered their forecast on games such as Splatterhouse and Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom.


In 2008, Namco Bandai established their “Surge” label, under which they intended to develop games in-house that were targeted at a western audience. The Surge label saw its first game in the form of Afro Samurai, developed at a studio at Santa Clara, CA. As of 2010, it remains the only game produced under the Surge brand.


By 2016, however, Namco Bandai hope to have overseas sales account for half of their global revenue. Earlier today, the company pulled the curtain back on their latest Tales of RPG, Tales of Xillia, for the PlayStation 3.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.