Japanese media and toy firm Bandai has announced that it is to launch a new Bandai Games subsidiary in North America, which will take charge of the publishing of the company's videogames in that territory.
The firm is responsible for a number of hugely successful franchises, including the DragonBall and Gundam titles which have so far been released in the west under a successful co-publishing deal with Atari.
For now, it seems, those titles will remain in Atari's portfolio; Bandai Games has announced three titles that it will launch before the end of the year, none of them from either of those major franchises.
Instead, its schedule has a game based on the immensely popular One Piece animated series, a fighting game called Zatch Bell, which is also based on an animated franchise (Konjiki no Gash Bell) and an action title based on new Bandai property DICE.
In the long term, though, it's hard to see Bandai continuing to publish its two largest franchises via Atari when it operates a perfectly capable North American publishing division of its own - which could leave Atari with a major gap in its revenues.
"The mission of Bandai Games Inc. is to know what the North American market wants and deliver the best new games here," according to Bandai Games marketing manager John Soller. "This is an exciting beginning for us because we have many new titles with wide appeal that will be introduced this year."