Video games: the growing European ambitions of the Japanese Bandai Namco
Posted Apr 28, 2023, 9:52 AM It is a franchise that validates the strategy deployed…
Posted Apr 28, 2023, 9:52 AM
It is a franchise that validates the strategy deployed by the Japanese Bandai Namco on the Old Continent in recent years. Six years after its launch, Little Nightmares (split into two games on consoles and another on mobile) has just reached the milestone of 12 million sales.
A success to the credit of the European subsidiary of Bandai Namco which published the two titles on consoles developed by the Swedish studio Tarsier. The latter is currently working on the third part of Little Nightmares; an illustration of Bandai Namco’s growing ambitions in Europe where its head office is located in Lyon.
“It has been our historic base in Europe since the acquisition of the distribution activity of Atari-Infogrames in 2009, recalls Arnaud Muller, CEO of Bandai Namco Europe, Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Bandai Namco today generates 20% of its turnover outside of Japan. The objective is to be 50/50 in 2027 and this requires an acceleration of our video game activity in Europe. »
Two takeovers since 2020
In its domestic market, this entertainment giant is present in toys and concerts as well as in arcades, and its market capitalization exceeds 15 billion dollars in Tokyo. Last year, the group also met with worldwide success with the video game “Elden Ring” (published by him and developed by the Japanese studio FromSoftware) which was the flagship title of 2022.
For its part, Bandai Namco Europe has gradually increased in power. For a long time, this entity was confined to a European distributor activity for titles published and/or developed by the parent company in Japan. The latter owns historical licenses such as Pac-Man or Tekken and also has control over the video game adaptation rights of XXL franchises such as Naruto, Dragon Ball or One Piece. The European branch also sold licensing rights. But for several years, this entity has more free rein.
A real cultural revolution since Japanese groups have never been very fond of this type of decentralization. In October, Bandai Namco thus became the majority shareholder of the German studio Limbic, which will launch “Park Beyond”, an amu*****t park management game, in June. At the end of 2020, the group got their hands on the Canadian studio Reflector, which is working on the title “Unknown 9” (action-adventure). “We have other games in development, specifies Arnaud Muller who sits on the group’s board of directors in Tokyo and does not close the door to new acquisitions. Everything will depend on the opportunities. »