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Namco to cash in on iPhone "gold rush"

At least one new game announcement a week expected from new dedicated division

Namco Bandai is to focus on iPhone development, calling the growing gaming sector a "gold rush".

The company, which announced plans to open a new division dedicated solely to creating iPhone games earlier this week, has also brought in Jonathan Kromley, ex-Apple games producer and designer, to head up the development of games for the format.

This week, Kromley told Kotaku, will probably be the only one of the year that doesn't see an announcement from the company about new content or games for the iPhone.

"There is a gold rush to do apps for the App Store," he said. "And Namco is at the forefront of that movement."

While Namco titles for the iPhone have so far been comprised mostly of its arcade classics, moving forwards it expects to be releasing new IPs, as well as looking at other Namco franchises. Games such as Tekken and Soul Calibur are being considered, said Kromley, but the controls are a challenge.

He didn't want to discuss specific pricing for the new games, but expressed his philosophy that a game's length should be an indicator of its cost.

"If you are going to play a very casual light game for an hour, that's worth a dollar," he said. "Games that are bigger, that have peer-to-peer play, that are expandable, that are maybe four to five hours to play, that's a USD 5 price tag.

"Super, super duper brands that have all of those qualities, those will justify more."

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