In a recent interview Bandai Namco reveal how they wish to have at least half of their business to come from new IPs as well as shift their focus to more international markets and varied genres.
Bandai Namco Aim to Have 50% of Their Business from New IPs
While it’s common to see majority of publishers earning most of their business from well established franchises, it appears Bandai think differently in their approach. Bandai Namco have brought plenty of Japanese franchises that are not their own to the West including infamously known Naruto, Dragon Ball Z and One Piece.
However, they wish to bring in their own efforts focusing on new IPs. Not only launching upcoming titles such as Code Vein and 11-11: Memories Untold, but even building a new IP creation unit.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz at the last E3 conference, the marketing Vice President Hervé Hoerdt of European digital and marketing shared the challenge posed in focusing on newer franchises as the dominant side of their repertoire.
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 licences. 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.
Hoerdt explains that Bandai will be exploring other genres of gaming. But that’s not all in terms of games they’ll focus on. He shares that their efforts have in the past been more focused mainly on the Japanese market and wish to now bring in titles that are also developed more internationally, not just working internally but with developers outside of Bandai. Hoerdt goes on to share their business development team is “meeting more than 200 studios per year”.
The interview also touches upon working with developers such as the French team Dontnod and the similarities in terms of vision.
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.
This goes to show that their thinking is long-term, building an empire and growing with creative teams that are located globally. But what does that hold for Bandai Namco in future?
We are the king of the fighting segment, but that’s very small. We have RPGs, which is slightly bigger, but outside these there are lots of markets – platforming, sports, racing, action adventure – there are lots of possibilities for us. We’re successful today as a company but we have bigger ambitions. Just to conquer a two per cent market share in those other markets [would be great].
Bandai Namco’s latest IP Code Vein is set to launch next year 2019, after being announced to be delayed from it’s original 2018 release date. The “Souls” action-RPG is set to launch on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
If you want to learn more about Bandai Namco news find it here in Code Vein Delayed To 2019 Release. Read our article about Code Vein Pre-Order Details so you don’t miss out on some of the added bonuses for pre-order. You can also get a first hand look at some gameplay we experienced at E3 2018.