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Atari, Namco Bandai sign Euro co-publishing deal

Atari has announced a new co-publishing deal with recently merged Japanese publisher Namco Bandai, offering European gamers a selection of handheld titles previously unavailable on these shores.

Atari has announced a new co-publishing deal with recently merged Japanese publisher Namco Bandai, offering European gamers a selection of handheld titles previously unavailable on these shores.

Prior to the completion of the merger, which resulted in the formation of dedicated US subsidiary Namco Bandai Games, neither publisher held a particularly strong European publishing arm and relied instead on partners such as Sony, EA and Nintendo for high profile titles which received a European release - such as Namco's Soul Calibur series.

Jean-Michel Perbet, president of Atari Europe, commented: "Thanks to our efficient European distribution network, European gamers will be able to discover and play these games for the first time this summer," said

The co-publishing deal initially extends to six handheld titles - one for the Nintendo DS and five GBA titles - which have previously seen a release in Japan and the US in 2005. The line-up includes: Ace Combat Advance, Atomic Betty, Popeye: Rush for Spinach, Sigma Star Saga, and Rebelstar: Tactical Command on the GBA, and Dig Dug Digging Strike on the DS.

All titles will see an EU release this summer and the co-publishing partnership expected to continue with further European releases later in the year.

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Paul Loughrey

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