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Namco Bandai: We'll be a top 5 publisher worldwide

Thu 10 Sep 2009 7:00am GMT / 3:00am EDT / 12:00am PDT
BusinessPublishing

New franchises and genres will help aggressive Euro expansion plans, says UK VP John Galloway

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With its purchase of Atari's Distribution Partners global business complete, Namco Bandai now has its sights set on becoming one of the world's top five publishers, UK vice president John Galloway has told GamesIndustry.biz.

And in order to do that, the company will focus on growing its market, following in the footsteps of other successful Japanese companies such as Sega and Square Enix.

"From Namco Bandai's side, in their home market of Japan they are a major player," said Galloway. "The weak link really was Europe, because they weren't here other than through distribution. So from their side as a company, if you're going to grow, you have to grow your new markets - and Europe was a new market to them."

The aim is to tailor product flow to Western as well as Eastern gamers - something which was kicked off with a series of announcements at Gamescom, for a Clash of the Titans movie game and a new partnership with Ninja Theory.

"That will certainly grow our share - and the plans are very aggressive. In the next three-to-five years we aim to be one of the top five publishers, and we're not going to do that by selling more of the current product. You need to look at new genres and franchises, and obviously ones the European consumers will like."

According to Galloway, now it the perfect time for the company to be making its move since "there isn't one person owning 25 per cent of the market any more." Along with making sure it has the right product flow, it also won't rule out taking the big players on in core sectors it hadn't previously inhabited.

"Are we going to take on Konami and EA on football games? Probably not. But will we take on Activision in war games? Potentially," said Galloway.

When it comes to growth the right products are key, he added. "We're not going to get that growth solely on Microsoft selling more hardware - we need to bring in the right products, and this is the first step."

Picking up the right movie licences is important too, he points out, because "there have been a lot of bad ones in the past".

Movie games are an expensive business though, even if, like the real movie business, not every game needs to be a hit, he reveals.

"It's a little bit like the movie industry... one in ten will actually become a hit, and if that one hit is big enough to cover the costs of the other nine, then great."

You can read the full interview with John Galloway, where the VP also shares his views on the future of bricks-and-mortar retail, and on Namco Bandai's plans to work with independent developers outside of Japan, here.

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