• Akira Toriyama passed away

    Let's all commemorate together his legendary work and his impact here

BANDAI NAMCO // D3 Publisher BANDAI NAMCO // D3 OTOMEBU // GYAAR Studio // Don't Ask Me For Switch!

1st BANDAI NAMCO BATMAN ARKHAM CITY GAME OF THE YEAR EDITION

  • TALES OF ARISE BEYOND THE DAWN EDITION

    Votes: 4 44.4%
  • ONE PIECE: PIRATE WARRIORS 4 DELUXE EDITION

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • ACE COMBAT 7 PREMIUM EDITION

    Votes: 5 55.6%
  • ACE COMBAT 7 DELUXE EDITION

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    9
  • Poll closed .

KR_EP

Member
Expert
FEEL LIKE A PILOT. BE A LANDING HERO.

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Present your Bandai Namco Passport at the Entrance to this OP.​

How to Get a Bandai Namco Passport.​

Please ask the store staff.
Store Staff: Don't Ask Me For Shit!​

7832.T​
Investor Relations (IR)
Financial Year (FY)
Apr. 20XX - Mar. 20XX​
August 2017- The new company BXD Inc. is founded as a joint venture with Drecom Co.,Ltd.

April 2019 - BANDAI NAMCO Research Inc.
established as a research focused company to create new values and innovation.
BANDAI NAMCO Sevens Inc.
established as a company specialising in the field of Japanese slots and pachinko gaming machines.

October 2020 - Acquisition of Reflector Entertainment (consolidated into a subsidiary company)

June 2021 - Capital and business alliance established with double jump.tokyo Inc.
August 2021 - Capital and business alliance established with Tapirs.Co.Ltd
November 2021 - Capital and business alliance established with Soft Gear Co., Ltd.
December 2021 - Capital and business alliance established with SHOWROOM Inc.

June 2022 - Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc. and ILCA Inc., specializing in the field of image and art development, join forces to establish Bandai Namco Aces Inc.
Q1 FY3/2024 (April - June 2023)
[NSW/PS4/PS5/XB1/XBS/Steam] We Love Katamari Reroll+ Royal Reverie <ACT> (MonkeyCraft) {2023.06.01} (¥3.600)
Q2 FY3/2024 (July - September 2023)
[Steam] Sword Art Alone: Integral Factor <F2P> (ASOBIMO) {2023.08.21} *available on iOS/Android*
[PS4/PS5/XB1/XBS/Steam] ARMORED CORE VI FIRES OF RUBICON <ACT> (FROM SOFTWARE) {2023.08.25} *see Kadokawa Corporation // FROM SOFTWARE // Spike Chunsoft Output Strategy thread, 621*
[NSW] Baten Kaitos I & II HD Remaster <RPG> (logicalbeat) {2023.09.14}
[NSW/PS4/XB1/Steam] My Hero ULTRA RUMBLE <F2P> (BYKING) {2023.09.28} *Launch Content and Roadmap*

'It is a very strange feeling, and to tell the truth, it feels surreal. I have enjoyed playing the remastered titles of respected seniors in the industry, but I never had the thought of having the opportunity to be a part of a remaster project based on a title I was involved on.

When creating the key art for the remastered version, I faced the illustrations I drew in the past. Looking at Kalas in the drawings, I could vividly recall what I was thinking in the past when creating, the feeling of the tools I used, and the faces of the people who supported me. It really made me want to talk about each of my memories during development in the past, recall how much fun I had and how fortunate I was to have the opportunity to work on such a good title.'
- Nakaba Higurashi (Original Character Designer)​
Q4 FY3/2024 (January - March 2024)
[NSW/PS4/PS5/XB1/XBS/Steam] Jujutsu Kaisen Cursed Clash <ACT> (BYKING/GemDrops*) {2024.02.02} *Development Cooperation: GemDrops*
[NSW] Retro Game Challenge 1+2 Replay <ETC> (indieszero/MUTAN) {2024.02.24}
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[PS4/PS5/XBS/Steam] SAND LAND <ACT> (ILCA) {2024.04.25}

SAND LAND - System Trailer

Anime Series on Disney+ in Spring 2024 Disclaimer: BN owns minority stake in ANN.

Q1 FY3/25 (April - June 2024)
[PS4/PS5/XBS/Steam] ELDEN RING - Shadow of the Erdtree <RPG> (FROM SOFTWARE) {2024.06.21} *see Kadokawa Corporation // FROM SOFTWARE Output Strategy thread*
Release Date TBC
[PS5/XBS/Steam] DRAGON BALL: Sparking! ZERO <FTG> (Spike Chunsoft) {2024.xx.xx}
[PS5/XBS] Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 <ACT> (Dimps) {2024.xx.xx} *already released on PS4, XB1, Switch & Steam*
[NSW/PS4/PS5/Steam] Gundam Breaker 4 <ACT> (CRAFTS & MEISTER Co., Ltd) {2024.xx.xx}
[NSW/PS5/XBS/Steam] SWORD ART ONLINE Fractured Daydream <RPG> (DIMPS Inc.) {2024.xx.xx}
[PS5/XBS/Steam] Synduality: Echo of Ada <TPS> (Game Studio/Bandai Namco Entertainment) {xxxx.xx.xx} *read NJ Holdings // Game Studio // tri-Ace // Wit One // Xevious Program Star Output Ocean Strategy*
Bandai Namco Studios
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[PS5/XBS/Steam] TEKKEN 8 <FTG> (Tekken Project/Bandai Namco Studios) {2024.01.26}
Tekken 8 Demo December 14 (PS5) & December 21, 2023 (XBS/Steam)
Tekken 8 game director reveals details on new characters Reina and Victor
A design that emphasizes the duality in Reina‘s character.
We were eager to work with Ms. Mariko Shimazaki, who had previously contributed as a designer for characters like Kazumi and Josie for Tekken 7. We contacted her to handle the design during the early stages of brainstorming character concepts and keywords, despite giving her the challenging task of capturing a genuine martial artist’s appearance with a bold fighting style that blends elements of Taido and Mishima-style karate, while being a young woman who appears somewhat mysterious and has that duality. She delivered an exceptional design.

Victor’s unique fighting style – super spy-style CQB
Victor is an extraordinary combatant with combat knives, karambit knives, and optical weapons. He excels in dual-wielding, combining skills from military combat techniques, science fiction, ninjutsu, super spy tactics, and gentlemanly style. He can attack from a distance with firearms, strike from outside an opponent’s range with his long-reaching sword, and use his flashlight at close quarters to take opponents by surprise. He possesses remarkable spatial control abilities, particularly with his beloved sword, Takemikazuchi. With his “Iai Position” stance, he employs electromagnetic battōjutsu with superlative reach to break through an opponent’s defenses. His high-speed movements with optical camouflage allow him to effectively evade enemy attacks and launch counterattacks.
[iOS/Android] Little Nightmares <ADV> (Playdigious) {2023.12.12}
[Apple Arcade] Tamagotchi Adventure Kingdom <ETC> (Bandai Namco Mobile) {2024.01.04}
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BANDAI NAMCO Online
[PS5/XBS/Steam] Blue Protocol <F2P> (Bandai Namco Online/Bandai Namco Studios/Amazon Games) {2023.06.14}
JPN PC release 14th June, PS5/XBS in Japan on December 13, 2023, international release, 2024
Blue Protocol is Amazon's next punt on East meets West (July 25, 2023)
Is Blue Protocol’s controversial monetization system really ‘fun and fair’? We ask Amazon Games

Message

"Ace" has many meanings, such as "the best," "leading person," "excellent," and "amazing".
We will continue to focus on quality, where "the best and brightest = Aces" develop "many of the best contents and services = Aces", and create excitement for fans around the world.
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B.B. Studio Co., Ltd
(株)B.B.スタジオ【バンダイナムコグループ】
従業員 189名(2023年2月)​
[NSW/PS4/PS5/Steam] Dragon Quest X Offline: The Sleeping Hero and the Guiding Ally <RPG> (B.B Studio/Square Enix) {2023.05.26} (additional details via Gematsu)
[Steam] Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation 2 <F2P> (B.B Studio/bee tribe) {2023.05.31} *already released on PS4/PS5*​

Important Announcement for GUNDAM EVOLUTION Players

Thank you all for your continued support. This is Kazuya Mishima Maruyama, the Executive Producer for GUNDAM EVOLUTION.
It is with great sadness that we are announcing the conclusion of GUNDAM EVOLUTION.
PlayStation Plus Premium (Now Available to Purchase Individually)​
[PS4/PS5] Mr. Driller (Namco, 1999) // [PS4/PS5] Tekken 2 (Namco, 1996) // [PS4/PS5] Ridge Racer 2 (Bandai Namco, 2006) // [PS4/PS5] Ridge Racer Type 4 (Namco, 1998) {2023.08.15}
[PS4/PS5] Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny <FTG> (Project Soul/Bandai Namco, 2009) {2023.12.14} // [PS4/PS5] Tekken 6 <FTG> (Bandai Namco, 2009) {2023.12.14}​

License to Shill
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Taiko no Tatsujin RHYTHM CONNECT
Planned for release in Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, and
Macao (*Japanese alphabetical order)!
[iOS/Android] Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Connect (Line Corporation) {2023.11.01}
Arcade1UP​
FY (April 2023 - March 2024)
NAMCOT: [NSW/PS4] Dig Dug II (1985) // Cosmo Gang the Video (1992) // Galaga '88 (198 -- that's right you guessed it...1987) // Rolling Thunder 2 (1990) // BRAVOMAN (1988) // Splatter House (1988) // POLE POSITION (1982) // King & Balloon (1980) // Baraduke 2 (1988) // BOSCONIAN (1981) // Finest Hour (1989) // BURNING FORCE (1989) // WARP & WARP (1981) // POLE POSITION II (1983) // COSMO GANG THE PUZZLE (1992) // Face Off (1988) // Tank Battalion (1980)
BANPRESTRO: [NSW/PS4] Mazinger Z (1994)
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[NSW] Pui Pui Molcar Let's! Molcar Party! <ETC> (Groove Box Japan/Nighthawk Interactive) {2023.11.21}*
RIIIIIIIIDGE RAAAAAAACER! on Switch confirmed!

*for UK/EU eShop not US/CA because Ridge Racer Reasons
Nighthawk Interactive are bringing Pui Pui Molcar Let’s! Molcar Party! to EU/NA this November.
EDISON, NEW JERSEY – Oct. 10, 2023 – Based on the wildly popular animated series, the Molcars are hitting the road as party game Pui Pui Molcar Let’s! Molcar Party! pulls up to Nintendo Switch in North America and Europe this fall. Available now for preorder, this fast action miniature adventure centers on adorable guinea pigs who transformed into cars ("Molcar" combines "car" with "morumotto," the Japanese word for "guinea pig") as players liven up Moltown with rewards earned by throwing parties, playing games and racing.

Source: PR

Guess Bamco couldn't be bothered localising this one 🤷‍♂️

It did decentish numbers in Japan:

156./159. [NSW] Pui Pui Molcar Let's! Molcar Party! <ETC> (Bandai Namco Entertainment) {2021.12.16} (¥5.164) - 19.004 / 40.151 (-10%) (12.481 <37,63%>)
Q1 FY3/2024 (April - June 2023)
[PS5] THE Table Game Deluxe Pack -Mahjong, Go, Shogi, Tsume Shogi, Othello, Card, Hanafuda, Shisen Mahjong Solitaire, Chess, Backgammon- <PUZ> (D3 Publisher) {2023.05.25} *Switch version*
Q3 FY3/2024 (October - December 2023)
[NSW] Fushigi Dagashiya Zenitendou: Fushigi Dagashi Banashi 50-Sen <ADV> (D3 Publisher) {2023.11.09} *Famitsu via Gematsu*
Q4 FY4/2024 (January - March 2024)
[PS5] YEAH! YOU WANT "THOSE GAMES," RIGHT? SO HERE YOU GO! NOW, LET'S SEE YOU CLEAR THEM! {2024.01.11}
[NSW] 5-fun Go ni Igai na Ketsumatsu: Monochrome no Toshokan <ADV> (D3 Publisher) {2024.02.22}
Release Date FY3/25
[NSW/PS4/PS5] Earth Defense Force: World Brothers 2 <ACT> (Yuke’s) {2024.05.23} {2024.09.26}
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[PS5/Steam] CUSTOM MECH WARS <TPS> (D3 Publisher) {2023.12.14}
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@albert
Friendship ended with Armored Core 6.
Custom Mech Wars is my new best friend.


[NSW] 5-fun Go ni Igai na Ketsumatsu: Monochrome no Toshokan <ADV> (D3 Publisher) {2024.02.22}
“Sound novel” game based on the five million-selling 5-fun Go ni Igai na Ketsumatsu book series.
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The game features 100 game-original stories with unique graphics and sounds, described as sometimes fun, other times scary, and occasionally moving. Each story can be completed in five minutes and ends with an unexpected twist. The stories available to read are determined by speaking to the game’s two librarians—the angelic Whi and devilish Lack—allowing you to forge your own story depending on what kind of conversations you have. The librarians are designed by usi, who has done cover illustrations for the books. Source: Gematsu.
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[PS4/PS5/Steam/EGS] Earth Defence Force 6 <ACT> (SANDLOT) {2024.xx.xx}
Released Japan side wayback machine August 25, 2022 - the unfashionably late international version has kept baka gaijin barbarian humanity waiting until spring summer 2024 huh?​

  • Choose A Class – The return of the Ranger, Air Raider, Wing Diver, and Fencer classes armed with new abilities and equipment, empowering players to defend Earth effectively against emerging threats.
  • Fight for the Planet – Defend Earth and engage in intense battles against a wide range of deadly alien creatures and use cunning strategies to emerge victorious and protect the planet.
  • Missions Galore – Features an enormous amount of new content, including hundreds of new missions, weapons, and more for players to discover.
D3 OTOMEBU

[NSW] DesperaDrops <ADV> (Red Entertainment) {2023.11.30}
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GYAAR Studio
Sigh... Wouldn’t it be nice
to make amusing games.
Sign... Use the Threadmarks.
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Traveling Panda
A surefire way to cheer up any Sad Pandas looking forlorn in front of a fleet of yachts.
SAD PANDA BANDAI NAMCO WILL TRAVEL
FAR BEYOND THESE SHORES
BELIEVE IN THE UNKNOWN.

Bandai Namco Europe
Q1 FY3/2024 (April - June 2023)
[NSW] The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan <ADV> (Supermassive Games) {2023.05.04} *24fps Cinematic Shadow Drop*
Q3 FY3/2024 (April - June 2023)
[NSW] The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope <ADV> (Supermassive Games) {2023.10.05}
[NSW/PS4/PS5/XB1/XBS/Steam] PAC-MAN™ MEGA TUNNEL BATTLE: Chomp Champs <ACT> (Heavy Iron Studios/Amber Studio) {2024.xx.xx)
*Early 2024*
“enhanced visuals, new game play modes, a host of customisation options, and new music”.
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Little Nightmares: Enhanced Edition rated for PS5/XBS/Steam (Gematsu)​

Supermassive Games talks Little Nightmares 3: "Horror doesn't have to come from just being dark"

"Little Nightmares is obviously a different type of horror game than the sort of things we traditionally make. Dark Pictures, The Quarry, Until Dawn, they tend to be explicit horror. It's all through the characters and how they're driving the story in a very clear narrative. Little Nightmares 3 is much more implicit in that way. You find a lot of the horror through moving through the environmental setting, the actions of the antagonist, the character's influence, the sound. And really, that's what gives you that sense of unease you feel as you traverse the world."
- Wayne Garland, Game Director​
Little Nightmares III | 18 Minutes in The Necropolis | 2 Players Co-Op Gameplay Walkthrough
Release Date TBC
[TBC] The Dark Pictures: Directive 8020 <ADV> (Supermassive Games) {xxxx.xx.xx}
Bandai Namco Europe: "Every publisher has to focus more on their own expertise”
"The company’s already achieving approximately 25% of its total sales outside Japan – our objective is to reach 50%. The way we’re going to move from 25% to 50% is thanks to a combination of push of the Bandai Namco IPs and the titles coming from Japan to the overseas market, thanks to our sales and marketing network, and the creation of our own IPs in the Western market.

"We’re doing that with our own studios, Limbic [in Germany], Reflector in Canada, and also the studio partners that we have in Europe, [like] Supermassive. So, in that space, we’re looking for successful but careful initiatives. We’re not going to invest $150 million on the next AAA game for a Bandai Namco IP in the west. We’re going to build on small but secure successes, such as Little Nightmares [and] future games that we have with Limbic as well.”
- Arnaud Muller, Bandai Namco Europe CEO​
Reflector Entertainment
*see thread mark*

BAMCO INSTALL BASE​
InstallBase Threads (Predictions)
Predictions Do you believe Elden Ring will reach Bandai Namco's forecast of 4M units sold by March 31st, 2022 ? 'Patches the New, True Chairman of Kadokawa Corporation making a cameo to say, tee hee hee...'
Will Bandai Namco's support improve significantly on Switch 2? (READ OP and VOTE) Don't ask me for Port predictions, I just work here.
Bandai Namco Group FACTBOOK 2022
Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc. Major home video game titles: Cumulative by series (including PC versions)
· Super Robot Wars series
Cumulative total number of shipments, April 1991 to March 2022
20.06 million units
· TEKKEN series
Cumulative total number of shipments, March 1995 to March 2022
54.50 million units
Tales of... series
Cumulative total number of shipments, December 1995 to March 2022
27.75 million units
NARUTO-related series
Cumulative total number of shipments, January 2009 to March 2022
28.11 million units
DARK SOULS series
Cumulative total number of shipments, September 2011 to March 2022
33.40 million units
Note: Total for overseas sales for which Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc. was the original seller (excluding domestic sales by FromSoftware, Inc.) (page 4)
BANDAI'S SALES HISTORY
April 2003
  • Cumulative total shipments of original character .hack game software in Japan and the U.S. reached one million units. (page 24)
March 2004
  • Cumulative total shipments of Mobile Suit Gundam series home video games surpassed 20 million units. (page 25)
BANDAI NAMCO HOLDINGS SALES HISTORY
December 2007
  • Global cumulative shipments of the Tales of... series of software products for home video game consoles surpassed 10 million. (page 26)
April 2008
July 2008
  • Launched Soulcalibur IV for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and sales surpassed two million units. (page 26)
November 2010
  • NARUTO Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 sold more than one million units worldwide in the first month after its launch. (page 27)
May 2019
  • Cumulative worldwide sales of Tales of... series home video games surpassed 20 million units. (page 29)
May 2020
  • Cumulative worldwide sales of DARK SOULS III, a home video game jointly developed FromSoftware, Inc., surpassed 10 million units. (page 30)
September 2020
  • Cumulative worldwide sales of TEKKEN series home video games surpassed 50 million units. (page 30)
March 2022
  • Global sales of ELDEN RING, a home video game jointly developed by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. and FromSoftware, Inc., surpass 13.4 million units as of March 31, 2022. (page 30)
My Hero Ultra Rumble 7 million downloads. (1st November, 2023)
Additional Sales Milestones (work in progress)
Tales of Arise - 1 million units shipped in 4 days, announced 7 days after release (a Thursday) // Dragon Ball Z Kakarot - 1.5 million units shipped in 4 days, announced 20 days after release (a Monday) // Dragon Ball FighterZ - 2 million units shipped in 3 days, announced 6 days after release (a Thursday) & Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 - 1.4 million units shipped in 6 days, announced 7 days after release (a Tuesday)
Thanks @pillfencer (post here)
KOTOBUKIYA Model Kits
ACE COMBAT Series ADF-01 (For Modelers Edition) & ACE COMBAT Series ADF-01 both launch August 2023 (model kits from the ACE COMBAT Series & those featured in ACE COMBAT 7: SKIES UNKNOWN)
Additional Company Information
Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation 2 is currently available on PS4/PS5 (details on PS5 version here)
Little Nightmares - Bandai Namco Europe IP (Tarsier Studio acquired by Embracer Group), Supermassive Games worked on Little Nightmares II Enhanced Edition & is currently developing Little Nightmares III.
Little Nightmares Podcast - The Sounds of Nightmares (6 in total).
The Dark Pictures Anthology by Supermassive Games five new trademarks at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) with series two premiere Directive 8020 yet to be formally announced.
E3 2012: Dark Souls PC Developer* Interview by Alex Donaldson (08 June, 2012) *with Daisuke Uchiyama, Producer from Bandai Namco
Talking Tales with Hideo Baba, Tales of Series Producer by Simon Chun (11 October, 2013)
Interview with Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 producer Masayuki Hirano by Erren Van Duine (24 June, 2016)
Scarlet Nexus Interview - Talking Inspiration, Systems, and Originality with Keita Iizuka & Kenji Anabuki by Adam Vitale (28 August, 2020)
Tales of Arise Interview - Speaking characters, skits, exploration, and a new era for Tales with Yusuke Tomizawa by Adam Vitale (13 August, 2021)
 
Last edited:
Post reserved cause I need a break (I'll fix it in post!).
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BANDAI NAMCO GameMusic
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NOW ON YOUTUBE INDEED!
September 2022 - Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc. establishes the new sound label, “Bandai Namco Game Music”
BANDAI MUZAK

Naofumi Tsuruyama, Takuya Hanaoka & Kayoko Matsushima Interview: The Evolution of Super Robot Taisen

Chris Greening: Furthermore, the Super Robot Taisen series is known for its use of anime themes. How do you select appropriate themes for the franchise and appropriately adapt them for an in-game context?

Naofumi Tsuruyama: Since in the end it is music for a game, we aim for a more “game-like” sound, but we try hard to be faithful to the originals. The “game-like” parts are found in the tempo and the strength or weakness of the tone colors. Also, there are times when the memory of music has been colored by nostalgia, so we have to bring it closer to what people remember.

Takuya Hanaoka: With the licensed music, you can avoid a number of musical problems, but since people have already imprinted memories and impressions, which have become colored by nostalgia, and will have to withstand scrutiny, both the sound team and the game development staff check the pieces constantly. It takes a lot of time and labor, but from my experience, I believe it’s necessary.
NAMCO MUSIC

Namco Sounds in the 1980s

Stephen Burkett: What was the company culture like at Namco during this era and how were you treated?

Hiroyuki Kawada: At the time, Namco sound designers were in charge of every aspect of the sound in a game from planning (how sound was used, melodies, the direction of all sound effects, etc.), to production. Working exclusively as sound directors, we would be able to provide a highly original experience for each title, employing all of the creative ideas we wanted to try out, which I think led to the very positive fan reception.

Namco Sounds of the Contemporary

Chris Greening: More recently, you were responsible for music on the tremendously-received Pac-Man Championship Edition DX and Katamari Damacy Novita. How did approach these titles?

Hiroyuki Kawada: I’ve been working with video games for a long time, and there are really very few chances to create minimal techno in game music. Most of the time, you’ll get a reaction like “What is up with this boring music!?” and it’s rejected on the spot (laughs). So when Pac-Man Championship Edition DX came along and I was told that they actually wanted “straightforward minimal techno,” I remember how overjoyed I was to take up the assignment.

Pioneer of Electronic Game Music

Chris Greening: You also came to widespread attention with the techno music for the original Ridge Racer. How do you think the project’s music compared to your earlier scores like Final Lap or Dirtfox? Having continued to be involved in the Ridge Racer series, how do you feel about the series’ musical evolution since?

Shinji Hosoe: Significantly, I had worked on the title called F/A prior to Ridge Racer. I was really influenced by underground club music like Death Techno while working on that game, and I think it bloomed while subsequently working on the subsequent racing game. Ridge Racer itself did really well and club music was the style of the time. I think I was really lucky that it was such a breakthrough.

Actually, I was making this title called Cyber Sled simultaneously, which I think is the best musical work of mine. Unfortunately it did not receive as much positive recognition as Ridge Racer, yet it is a game that I pursued the musical style of even further.

I am happy with Ridge Racer earning much fame, but a lot of offers since then became “Ridge Racer like music”, which is a bit disappointing.

A Magical Mystery Tour

Interview Team: On that note, many regard Tales of Legendia to be your breakthrough work in terms of mainstream popularity. Could you elaborate on how been involved in this project, considering Motoi Sakuraba and others usually compose for this series? What inspired the overall direction of the game’s soundtrack — was it entirely a demonstration of your individuality or was it partly inspired by earlier Tales scores?

Go Shiina: Most Tales games are made by Namco Tales Studio, and Mr. Sakuraba creates the music for those as a freelancer. Other Tales games have been made internally by Namco (now Namco Bandai), and I have come to be in charge of music for those games.

At first I tried to fill Mr. Sakuraba’s shoes and put together some tracks. Then I read the script and plans for the game, and realized that it was different from previous works in the series. That realization helped me to write my own music, and stop trying to fit in to Mr. Sakuraba’s work. After that, I was inspired by brief trips, meeting people, and good food my workplace colleagues brought me to tide me over.

Love of Dance

Chris Greening: Your first score released on an album was Rolling Thunder 2. What influenced your blend of jazz and electronic elements on this title? Was it challenging to customise to the Arcade hardware of this title?

Ayako Saso: Strictly speaking, Rolling Thunder 2 wasn’t my first work and Stealth Bomber came before it. But anyway, I thought about inputting a jazz taste into the game, and when I saw it in action for the first time I thought: “This is it!” Around that time I was listening to a good deal of Soul and R&B, so I wanted to infuse that into the score as well. I had developed proficiency with the Jazz and Fusion styles in my days as a student playing the electric organ, and this gave me a chance to display what I had learned. When my classmates heard it they all said, “Whoa! You really did it, huh?” (laughs) It was a huge process of trial and error, overall. But, I had the help of the FM8 and PCM24 sound modules, which was a blessing. Nowadays my confidence levels using those modules wouldn’t be too high (laughs)!

Cutting-Edge Namco Scores

Chris Greening: Your offerings on the Klonoa and Klonoa 2 contrast considerably to your other scores. Could you elaborate on what it was like to work on these releases?

Kohta Takahashi: After I had finished Ace Combat 2, people in the company had the impression that I was “the one who writes violent music” and “the one who doesn’t emphasize melody”. Then, just at the right time, I was brought on to Klonoa, a fantasy project that would allow me to give full rein to melody. By the time I began to compose, my seniors had already provided a flood of memorable melodies, I was able to compose as melodiously as I could ever want. The people around me complimented me on the music, but they were surprised at how different it was from what they imagined. I was pleased to have that misunderstanding cleared up.

The Klonoa series takes place in a very detailed fantasy world with vibrant characters. So I tried to emulate the sounds that one would naturally hear if one were in that world. For the first piece I composed, “Inquisitive Waltz”, I remembered the time when I had just started piano in kindergarten, and developed a simple set of variations on a waltz theme. In “Baladium’s Drive” I combined the rock and fusion styles of Ace Combat 2 with the flutes and ethnic flavor of Klonoa. “Cursed Pamela” is a symphonic piece based on a piece by Junko Ozawa. In Klonoa 2‘s “Cursed Leorina”, I mixed together symphonic instruments, the same kind of synth bass used in Ridge Racer V, hard rock chord progressions, and a number of other elements into a variation on Imura-san’s original melody.

The Sounds of SoulCalibur V

Chris Greening: Despite the diverse cast, we expect that the core sound of the soundtrack will stay faithful to its predecessors. Should we expect a grandiose symphonic sound once again? Will we witness the return of series’ classics, such as “Path of Destiny”?

Junichi Nakatsuru: As an important way of maintaining the series’ continuity, I personally composed the mode select music and the character select music, among other things. In these places, more than any other, fans will expect the music to have the same style as the other games. Composed by an original member of the team, these tracks are what you might call the game’s outward face. With these tracks, I hope that players will feel a sense of familiarity mixed with heightened anticipation for the changes to come.

Also, there are a number of homages to previous SoulCalibur games in the music. People who are familiar with the originals will have a lot of fun finding them, I’m sure. The music is primarily symphonic in character but with elements of other genres mixed in as well.

I’m very glad that “Path of Destiny” was so well received. Unfortunately, it does not make an appearance this time, but SoulCalibur V does feature vocals, which have not appeared in the series before now. I look forward to hearing what everyone thinks of them.

A New Generation of Namco Music

Chris Greening: Most recently, you took over the role of sound director for Touch My Katamari on the PlayStation Vita. Could you share your experiences taking charge of this series’ music? Was it intimidating to take on such responsibilities — especially from Yuu Miyake — or did you embrace the creative freedom?

TAKA INOUE: To start, both Katamari Damacy and its sound director, Yuu Miyake-san, left quite a large impression on me, so it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I began working at Bandai Namco because of them. Therefore, after I began working there, Miyake-san taught me all sorts of things and we both worked together on the score for Noby Noby Boy. So when I was appointed as the sound director for a new Katamari game, I was extremely happy, but at the same time I knew I’d be under a lot of pressure.

However, Miyake-san just gave me an order: “Make the music of Katamari newer and fresher”, as he really hated repeating the same ideas over and over. This made me realize it’d be all right to make the music for Touch My Katamari with my own original feel, and so after we started the project, I could work on it alongside the directors and creators without any problems.

Katamari Sound Director Goes Freelance

Chris Greening: Beyond the Katamari series, it seems no coincidence that you were involved in the Tekken series’ most creative soundtracks. How did you adapt your music to fit the hard urbanised environment of this series? While working on Tekken 3 and Tekken Tag Tournament, did you realize you were pushing boundaries in the games industry?

Yuu Miyake: Tekken features the type of music I considered my real work, my specialty. It is my line of work, so to speak. But my inclination to add my own artistic flavor was strong, and I can’t deny that I felt the development was somewhat rushed. I feel that the result was more popular overseas than in Japan. On the other hand, since I’ve been approached for every Katamari game, I’ve turned a bit towards pop. To get people to play something a long time, it helps to follow current trends a bit.

As far as pushing the boundaries of game music, I make that a personal goal with every project I take on. I want to surpass what I’ve done in the past, you could say. If I didn’t, I would never be able to work wholeheartedly.

Yuu Miyake and Yoshihito Yano Interview: MAGFest 13

Patrick Kulikowski: When the King of All Cosmos is talking, it’s a record-scratch *imitates record scratch*. Was that your idea? How did that come about?

Yuu Miyake: Yes, that was my idea. I knew that the King shouldn’t speak a normal language, like English. I couldn’t hire a voice actor to do it. At the same time, I didn’t want bloops and bleeps that are prevalent in Dragon Quest. I wanted to make it fun, however not use actual words. The only thing I could think of was the sound of the scratching record. I thought, “This is perfect!”

Musical and Technical Innovator

Chris Greening: Your soundtrack to Tekken 3 is also widely regarded as one of the most influential of all time. Could you tell us more about why and how you took a big beat approach to this soundtrack? How did you make the music sound so good with the technology available at the time?

Nobuyoshi Sano: I was a huge fan of big beat music back then, Chemical Brothers in particular. Because of that, I wondered if it wouldn’t fit really well if the music in fighting games were less happy and more cool. There was a feeling of distance that I was fond of that came from using the best electric guitar sample I could create in a cool manner. Using a lower BPM in a fight made for a feeling of weight and stickiness that I wanted to capture as well.

There were certainly a number of technological restrictions as well, but they didn’t make creating the music all that difficult. I feel that, on the contrary, those restrictions ended up giving Tekken 3 its own particular atmosphere.

Ace Combat Mastermind Goes Freelance

Chris Greening: You have cultivated strong relationships with artists such as Tetsukazu Nakanishi, Hiroshi Okubo, and Junichi Nakatsuru at Namco Bandai Studios. Could you tell us more about how you developed relationships with these artists on these franchises? How does the Namco sound team foster creativity as individuals and teams in general?

Keiki Kobayashi: When working with other members of the team, we write down a whole bunch of words about what kind of feel the project should have and what elements absolutely need to be used, and share them together. There is a limit to how much can be conveyed through works, but even so, it is useful in that by working on expressing those words, working with them from our own perspectives, we can create something with a single consistent feel.

A Talented Newcomer

Don Kotowski: You also wrote music for Tekken 3D: Prime Edition. What was it like contributing to such a revered series?

Takahiro Eguchi: For this project, I made background music for things like the new stages and the system screens. The entire Tekken series has a very stylish, modern sound throughout. After taking this in account, I did my best to ensure my compositions also gave off a general refreshing vibe.
NANOSWEEP JAPANESE EXCLUSIVE BONUS TRACK

“Redring”: Experiencing the Xbox’s Red Ring of Death the day before inspired the title of this one. Back when I wrote it, I played an Xbox for the first time with a friend; barely ten minutes had passed after I picked up the controller when suddenly the red rings began flashing on the Xbox and it stopped working completely. So we went to a nearby game store and bought a new one. But once we got back to my friend’s house and connected the cables to the new Xbox, as soon as we pressed the power button, those red rings showed up again.
 
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I usually don't do this (not really the best at ordering my ideas for an easy reading) but I've been devil summoned here, so I'll expand a little on my comment from the Media Create thread about why I don't believe (or used to) Bamco taking total control over D3P is a good idea. Now, this is stuff I believed in the last years, but my opinion has slighly changed lately.

- D3Publisher doesn't do as many games as they used to, but still releases smaller projects here and there (basically anything besides EDF) and I think they coming up with kinda out there concepts would disappear if they got totally absorbed by Bamco, which to be fair publishes a great variety of games, but still when a small company gets absorbed I feel something gets lost. Now, like someone on Twitter mention to me recently and it was discussed on the Ed-0 talk, apprently Ed-0 already looked like it wasn't from D3P. I don't feel I agree, to me looked like a SIMPLE series game just in HD, but if it was a discussion point and some people shre tha felling maybe is true (I'll accept that the trailer for Ed-0 where they just show scenes of the game with streamers screaming like in those ads from mobile games gave me nightmares and made me feel like if the game wasn't by D3P).

- Following that, one of the bigger benefits would be getting more publicity for their games, but once again, Bamco really goes all out for their bigger projects, but the smaller ones go basically ignored (a recent example being the Baiten Kaitos collection). I really doubt Bamco would put much budget for Samurai Maiden, Maglam Lord, Omega Labyrinth or Oneechanbara (I don't think I even need to mention their otome games). Now, with the recent talk about how badly Ed-0 bombed, I guess the almost null publicity from Bamco would still be better than whatever they have now.

- To add to the previous point, and this is more recent, Harada being a higher up and his attitude with their games made me worry even more, about they going all out on chasing the west (in consequence, leaving Switch out of the picture) . But from what we have seen in recent years, he only really influences the Bandai Namco Studios games. And anyways D3P is still going with PS only for their newest projects.

And I guess that's all. Like you can see, every point gets refuted at the end anyways, so while I still don't like the idea of a smaller publisher being totally absorbed, it looks like not much would change and we would probably get global same day releases for EDF and other games (ejem, Precure minigames collection). The only plus of D3P continuing doing their own thing is the 0.5% of possibility of getting a THE Tairyou Jigoku remake, but I guess that's not enough reason...
 
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the My Hero Acadamia battle royale is doing some numbers

peaked at 30K earlier today, 55% positive rating

Thanks to @ILikeFeet for early indications here of how My Hero Ultra Rumble is faring on Steam via the CCUs thread. OPs updated, feedback welcome *tumbleweed*. Now onto the main event!
Yes, but physical is only in Japan while digital is worldwide (digital in Japan is 1,826)

Here's a translated version
j5tsyje.png
Niche sales are best sales. I don't want to be a broken record but it's time for Custom Mech Wars to save D3 Publisher Bandai Namco to become part of Bandai Namco. Any titles that don't fit going to Gyaar Studio.
For background context on the the above sexy comments were made by yours truly, not for the first time I've been on my Bandai Hobby Horse about companies having a main label & a sub-label to keep things simple. Of course this reached the ears of my niche brother in arms @brutaka3 - leading to the flurry of diplomatic cables worded in the strongest possible terms.
Also, this remind me me that while I'm kinda against Bamco taking control over D3P, maybe that could led to the Precure game getting released here.
As this shocking diplomatic incident took place towards the end of the UN General Niche Gaming Assembly Media Create Sales Week 37, 2023 discussion thread, decided to pick it up here instead. One thing I forgot to mention, how toxic it was for Harada to publicly shame Lancarse & D3Publisher at all, let alone without giving them the opportunity to be present & defend themselves. The less said about CyberBrownNose2, somehow I doubt they'd been all that pleased if the subject of discussion had been the sales of its self publishing initiative...
tumblr_phgfo0vlsJ1u9fgido1_500.gif
I usually don't do this (not really the best at ordering my ideas for an easy reading) but I've been devil summoned here, so I'll expand a little on my comment from the Media Create thread about why I don't believe (or used to) Bamco taking total control over D3P is a good idea. Now, this is stuff I believed in the last years, but my opinion has slighly changed lately.

- D3Publisher doesn't do as many games as they used to, but still releases smaller projects here and there (basically anything besides EDF) and I think they coming up with kinda out there concepts would disappear if they got totally absorbed by Bamco, which to be fair publishes a great variety of games, but still when a small company gets absorbed I feel something gets lost. Now, like someone on Twitter mention to me recently and it was discussed on the Ed-0 talk, apprently Ed-0 already looked like it wasn't from D3P. I don't feel I agree, to me looked like a SIMPLE series game just in HD, but if it was a discussion point and some people share the feeling maybe is true (I'll accept that the trailer for Ed-0 where they just show scenes of the game with streamers screaming like in those ads from mobile games gave me nightmares and made me feel like if the game wasn't by D3P).
Your comments are like a NAMCO SOUND TEAM arrangement OST, well produced & easy to follow. 😄 I do agree there is a risk of BADDIE BANDAI NAMCO throwing the SIMPLE baby out with the bathwater. That's why I think Gyaar Studio could handle anything that doesn't fit with the main label. Perhaps the SIMPLE series could be with Gyaar Studio & include new IP from a younger generation, both internal & external. Maybe a combination of the Indie Game Context, young in-house developers & external teams could herald a new SIMPLE AGE!!!!
tumblr_phhr5kCoCt1u9fgido1_500.gif
- Following that, one of the bigger benefits would be getting more publicity for their games, but once again, Bamco really goes all out for their bigger projects, but the smaller ones go basically ignored (a recent example being the Baiten Kaitos collection). I really doubt Bamco would put much budget for Samurai Maiden, Maglam Lord, Omega Labyrinth or Oneechanbara (I don't think I even need to mention their otome games). Now, with the recent talk about how badly Ed-0 bombed, I guess the almost null publicity from Bamco would still be better than whatever they have now.

- To add to the previous point, and this is more recent, Harada being a higher up and his attitude with their games made me worry even more, about they going all out on chasing the west (in consequence, leaving Switch out of the picture) . But from what we have seen in recent years, he only really influences the Bandai Namco Studios games. And anyways D3P is still going with PS only for their newest projects.

And I guess that's all. Like you can see, every point gets refuted at the end anyways, so while I still don't like the idea of a smaller publisher being totally absorbed, it looks like not much would change and we would probably get global same day releases for EDF and other games (ejem, Precure minigames collection). The only plus of D3P continuing doing their own thing is the 0.5% of possibility of getting a THE Tairyou Jigoku remake, but I guess that's not enough reason...
tumblr_phhrnkgl3l1u9fgido1_500.gif
Yeah, by arguing for & against your points, you kinda did my Harada's job for him. But that's ok you also raised some good issues as well, like the fate of D3OTOMEBU. Part of why I brought up this issue in the first place was the change of the company logo from D3 Publisher to D3 Publisher Bandai Namco. It's almost as if there is plans in motion to transition the subsidiary over. If that were the case, for any titles which don't survive, considering many of the games mentioned are developed by external companies, maybe the IP could be divested so they can keep making them without BN. Including The Tairyou Jigoku remake which I'm sure will be announced with AAA production values after they're done pimping CUSTOM MECH WARS. 😊
 

An interview with EDF6 producer regarding the Western release. Interesting tidbits there, but I think Sal not asking about the ports of the previous EDFs that are stuck in Japan is a missed opportunity.

I want to specifically point at this part, because I think the producer understands some of my previous points and in a way I didn't mention before. One can't exactly pinpoint what it is, but D3P games becoming more like Bamco games wouldn't be something good.

Going back to my earlier question—whenever an Earth Defense Force game comes out in Japan, for the next year or so, all you see from fans in the west are comments like, “When is this game coming west?,” “I’m starting to lose hope,” and so on. Being a subsidiary, does D3 Publisher not receive any support from Bandai Namco when it comes to global releases? I know you said English voice recording is a big factor, but Bandai Namco releases games globally with English voices all the time…

Okajima:
“Do you want D3 Publisher’s games to become like Bandai Namco’s games?”

You’re asking me? (Laughs.) Admittedly, I’m not one of those hardcore Earth Defense Force fans… (Laughs.) What do you mean by “become like Bandai Namco’s games?”

Okajima:
“No comment. (Laughs.)”
 
Before we get onto the main event where @brutaka3 & I fight to the bloody death for the fair hand of Samurai Maiden D3 Publisher Bandai Namco, posting a reminder for me not to forget a second time to put @Iraiza exemplary sales sleuthing work to good use at some point in the near distant future. Combine EDF franchise PR sales milestones with Media Create Sales data.
Media Create Sales: CY 2022 (2022 Jan 03 - 2023 Jan 01)
040./000. [PS4] Earth Defense Force 6 <ACT> (D3Publisher) {2022.08.25} (¥8.164) - 114.812 / NEW (72.638 <81,43%>)
091./000. [PS5] Earth Defense Force 6 <ACT> (D3Publisher) {2022.08.25} (¥8.164) - 42.178 / NEW (28.473 <75,48%>)
235./000. [NSW] Earth Defense Force 4.1 for Nintendo Switch <ACT> (D3Publisher) {2022.12.22} (¥5.436) - 10.423 / NEW (7.487 <59,25%>)
274./226. [PS4] Earth Defense Force 5 [Dream Value Set] <ACT> (D3Publisher) {2019.12.19} (¥2.800) - 8.420 / 52.626 (-29%) (2.648 <36,17%>)
313./206. [NSW] Earth Defense Force 2017 for Nintendo Switch <ACT> (D3Publisher) {2021.10.14} (¥4.527) - 6.601 / 20.313 (-52%) (6.884 <43,91%>)
592./719. [NSW] Earth Defense Force: World Brothers [D3P the Best] <ACT> (D3Publisher) {2021.12.16} (¥3.618) - 2.209 / 3.722 (+46%) (738 <45,49%>)
594./172. [NSW] Earth Defense Force 2 for Nintendo Switch <ACT> (D3Publisher) {2021.07.15} (¥3.618) - 2.190 / 20.538 (-88%) (8.172 <60,93%>)
809./819. [PS4] Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair [PlayStation Hits] <ACT> (D3Publisher) {2018.07.26} (¥1.990) - 1.207 / 18.911 (+2%) (1.168 <27,43%>)
EDF6 First Shipment Estimates: [PS4] 89.203 & [PS5] 37.723

Used Sales Top 500 CY2022

276./273. [PS4] Earth Defense Force 5 <ACT> (D3Publisher) {2017.12.07} (¥7.800) - 4.358 / 147.039 (-24%) (396.869 <58,86%>)
400./279. [PS4] Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain <ACT> (D3Publisher) {2019.04.11} (¥7.800) - 2.760 / 39.506 (-51%) (132.120 <42,66%>)
[PS4] Earth Defense Force 5 total new retail sales: 396.869 - 147.039 = 249.830
[PS4] EDF: Iron Rain total new retail sales: 132.120 - 39.506 = 93.614


PS Store Sales: CY 2022 (2022 Jan 01 - 2022 Dec 31)
02./00. [PS5] Earth Defense Force 6 (ε) _PS Store Download Version_ |DL| # <ACT> (D3Publisher) {2022.08.25} (¥8.164)
02./00. [PS4] Earth Defense Force 6 (ε) _PS Store Download Version_ |DL| # <ACT> (D3Publisher) {2022.08.25} (¥8.164)
Here comes a new challenger...
THE KING OF IRON-BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU TAKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(The 3rd)
I want to specifically point at this part, because I think the producer understands some of my previous points and in a way I didn't mention before. One can't exactly pinpoint what it is, but D3P games becoming more like Bamco games wouldn't be something good.
Beat me to the Monkey Punch. Yet again (not so) great minds think alike, the moment I read that interview I thought, this is a man after @brutaka3 - or should that be brutakaD3's heart. 😃 It's all good, I was only expanding on my own thoughts about having a main & sub-label with Gyaar Studio taking over the latter. What matters is that EDF6 producer has got your back on this one & who can blame them for throwing a little shade Bandai Namco's way after that shameful public shaming exercise by Harada (with bootlicking cameo by InstallBase Mascot & Ultima Sales Genius Nemesis, CC2 CEO, fresh off giving Montreal the heave-ho). I still want those games that possess an 'independent spirit' but feel like Gyaar Studio could be the new home away from home for them while some licensed titles & EDF could be handled directly by the parent company Bandai Namco without losing its irreverent spirit. EDF! EDF! EDF!
An interview with EDF6 producer regarding the Western release. Interesting tidbits there, but I think Sal not asking about the ports of the previous EDFs that are stuck in Japan is a missed opportunity.
Daring to head into the Gematsu comments section, Sal Romano mentions they were late to the interview & didn't have enough time to ask EDF producer for shit Switch. However I do take your point about the overall direction of Bandai Namco compared with D3 Publisher Bandai Namco. One of these is totes jank, the other - Much Beautiful OMEGA Customised Mecha Tank!
TK8-CBT-TekkenFightLounge-AvatarCustom.jpg

Quickfire Time Crisis Edition
'Harada says (a lot of things 😂 ) that 40% of the sales of Elden Ring and Armored Core 6 are for the PC version.’

実例として『エルデンリング』や『アーマード·コアVI』では、そのユーザーの4割ほどがPCユーザーであり、コンソール機を主軸に置いた『鉄拳』などの対戦ゲームでも、3割程度はPCユーザーが占めているとのことだ。​
As an example, about 40% of the users of "Elden Ring" and "Armored Core VI" are PC users, and even in console-based competitive games such as "Tekken," about 30% of the users are PC users. (Famitsu article on the above as Translated by DeepL)
TGS timestamped YT video in post. Thanks to @Hartmann for the helpful ratio'd pointer. MadLad Adam @Fisico Driver has been snooping around the Tales Trashcan & found out MOOORE, so I'll just leave 'em here & there in case My Humble Squire, @Sagitario the millions & the millions (only 2 million) of Tales fans wish to get their debating hat on.. *tumbleweed* (late edit: more puns!)
We had a lengthy interview of Kenji Anabuki (Scarlet Nexus director, former Team Symphonia member under Higuchi) a few days ago, saying he's now back leading a small team making Tales (implying Scarlet Nexus underperformed a bit) including BNS people that worked with him previously
In parallel BNS has posted a dozen jobs offer for a Tales of project, all contract employees with a 4y limit, these jobs include a "Lead Game Designer" one.

The question is whether the team that made Arise is still there on another Tales project (it included plenty of Ace Combat staff) or disbanded to do something else and if so what (the partnership with ILCA doesn't seem to imply a bigger chunk of Ace Combat made by BNS, Blue Protocol credits don't seem to indicate that much ressources being drained, and Tekken is being made in collaboration with Arika, Smash Ultimate has been done for some time now so what the thousands of BNS employees are doing is up in the air)

Anabuki also said that around 50 former Tales studio dev are still within BNS (they were 80 when the merge happened a decade ago or so) and only half are working on Tales related projects, so might be a hint that there's only a single team and not two.

Beyond the Dawn credits will be interesting to watch, Anabuki's team picking up the scraps of a completed project they didn't work on could also explain why they took two years to release something that absolutely doesn't look big in scope.
Tatsuro Udo was in a lead position on Tales of the Rays.
The old guard of producers are long gone though, Tomizawa is the series producer and him, and probably Harada, are the ones making the final call on every major decision regarding the Tales IP (Including slapping the Tales of name on whatever Luminaria was supposed to be)

Park Beyond 2.0 Patch Notes

Placement
  • Fixed that the PAC-MAN hat shop attractor cannot be selected
  • Fixed an issue where the 'Pac-Man Staff Lounge' does not create an auto path during its placement
PAC-MAN attract mode. Auto-Path Pac-Man makes God Mode look like Normal Mode.
Staff
  • Added an icon to easier recognize idling staff members
  • Fixed an issue where staff members can be hired again even after reaching the daily limit and then after loading into a saved game
Late Stage Capitalism. There is no escape, not even in escapism.
Visitors
  • Increased visitor’s starting wallets
  • Decreased decline rates for food and drink needs
One hand giveth, another taketh away.
Park Management
  • Set balloon shop to be liked by adults
  • Set Himalayan Adventure to be relished by teens
If only life were that simple...coule snippets from an official Q&A to give a rough idea of what the game is about plus news of an updated modding platform that is cross-platform to boot.

Park Beyond - Interview with Content Creation and Publishing Associate Director, Pierre Tartaix

Q2: What features make Park Beyond a unique gaming experience?
We do have a (solo) complete campaign with stories, characters and even a villain trying to take over the park to create parking lots.

Q6: How did you integrate user-generated content in Park Beyond?
From the beginning of the development, we wanted players to be able to share their creations.

Creativity is at the heart of the game and we want parks, scenery items, or even full ride to be shareable in the community.

We are rolling out end of September (mid-October) the new platform powered by mod.io, allowing all players to share their creation across all platforms.

And this is backward compatible with everything that has been created so far, so keep on creating, as the end of September (mid-October) you'll be able to share that.
 
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On Tales related matters I found a few others tidbits since.

Notably Yoshito Higuchi (Director on Tales of Symphonia, The Abyss, Vesperia, lead role in Smash Bros Wii U and involved in a ton of project in supervision since) has updated his twitter bio... not too long ago (can't say when exactly but I think it's fairly recent

BNS第3スタジオ担当かつ「PRJ:REDStrings」の企画屋/ゲームディレクター。 過去「鉄拳」「キャリバー」「テイルズ オブ」「スマブラSP」など。3スタは「ミリシタ」「BLUE PROTOCOL」「TOtRAYS」「TOARISE BtD 」「SCARLET NEXUS」などを担当。相変わらず色々仕込み中。

There are a few important informations in there
  • First, BNS is more or less officially split in multiple sub studio, I might have missed the information before but that's the first time I'm reading it at least
  • Second, Higuchi is officially leading BNS Studio 3
  • Third, Studio 3 basically seems to be the one in charge of all "anime" or "anime like" titles, namely Idolm@ster Million Stars, Blue Protocol, Tales of the Rays, Tales of Arise Beyond the Dawn, Scarlet Nexus... and more, God Eater missing is understandable (imo it's dead), Code Vein less so but that might be because the game was made before BNS Studio 3 existence and a sequel has not been announced (yet ?)
  • Fourth, on top of that Higuchi is also planner and game director on... PRJ:REDStrings ? I assume it's a codename to a "yet to be announced" title. Higuchi hasn't been director since Vesperia in 2008. What's confusing however is that Red String was the codename for... Scarlet Nexus back then, Kenji Anabuki's pet project that Higuchi helped pushing early on and was credited as a producer for. Scarlet Nexus is also named explicitly in BNS Studio 3's output in his bio so how does that make sense ?_?

Now what's up in the air
  • What numbers of sub studio BNS exactly have
  • What are BNS 1 & 2 doing, I'd hazard a guess and say one is for internal IP like Tekken (Ace Combat is now being done by BN Aces) and the other might be for developping external projects such as Smash Bros or Pokemon Snap for Nintendo, there's also the matter of non videogame project
  • What's up with the Tales series exactly

On the latest point since that's stuff I like to dig up, the jobs recruitement I mentioned earlier actually has a dedicated page, with a timestamp (April 2022) and a few words from Kagawa (director on Tales of Arise) and Iwamoto (art director on Tales of Arise)
Besides the fact all jobs pages* still seems to be online (implying no position were filled potentially) Kagawa statement especially seems noteworthy

Hirokazu-Kagawa.png


「Tales of Arise」ディレクター
香川 寛和 / Hirokazu Kagawa


『テイルズ オブ』プロジェクトでは、常に「継承と進化」を意識して開発を行ってきました。 最新作の『Tales of Arise』では、バトルシステムや成長システムへのチャレンジを行い、ビジュアルも大きく進化しました。 新たなレガシーを継承していくための方法を、留まること無く模索しながら、開発に取り組んでいます。 自分の手でシリーズをもっと良くしたい!世界のユーザーに届けられるようにしたい!という方、是非とも一緒に新たな『テイルズ オブ』を作りましょう!

rough deeple


Director of Tales of Arise
Hirokazu Kagawa

In the "Tales of" project, we have always been conscious of "inheritance and evolution" in our development. In the latest Tales of Arise, we have taken on the challenges of the battle system and growth system, and the visuals have also evolved significantly. We are working on the development of the new legacy, searching without stopping for ways to carry on the legacy. I want to make the series even better with my own hands! I want to make it reach users all over the world! If you want to make the series even better with your own hands, and deliver it to users around the world, let's create a new Tales of together!
^
That does strike me as them wanting to show some continuity coming from Tales of Arise, as in Kagawa keeping his director job

The thing is, in the previously mentionned Anabuki's interview the latter mentioned he was leading his own team on Tales of
But Kagawa's statement above are also pretty clear that he's probably still occupying the director position on the next Tales of project

So the most likely way for these two statements to compute is that that there are two separate Tales of projects, one that is lead by Anabuki with a small crew of former Scarlet Nexus BNS developers since Summer 2021, and another one lead by Kagawa mostly made by the former Arise team that probably entered full production in Spring 2022 when they tried recruiting internally.

In some Tales of community discussion there were a lot of discussion about the fact that the, supposedly Kagawa led, next Tales project was recruiting a Lead Game Designer and how the Tales team was probably struggling and had no staff to spare.
The statement has some merit but it does have a glaring flaw as well : in the first place that position was occupied by someone outside BNS for Tales of Arise, Osamu Hisano, a former Tales team member that left BNS at some point between 2016 and 2021 for Tribe, these recruitement are nothing more than a letter of intent and a wish from Bamco to have internal jobs instead of outsourcing which is cheaper in the end, that's nothing special, Spike tried the same thing with Rain Code a few years ago and also failed, with most positions ending up being occupied by external staff and as far as I know the overall game quality didn't suffer from it.


*random stuff I noticed on the "Project Manager recruitment page" btw
あると望ましい経験・能力

・Tales of XILLIA以降家庭用 テイルズ オブ シリーズのプレイ経験
=> Having played home console titles after Xillia
Handheld games and pre Xillia titles be damned
 
You're the one I need
There's no place I'd rather be...


Bing bong: ----!​
Pui Pui Molcar x Ridge Racer - hire me Harada!
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Aiming to maximize IP value by strengthening the systems that encourage employees to take on challenges and foster creation

Yasuo Miyakawa
President and Happy Mappy Massive Yacht Fleet SadMan Representative Director
Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc.

Would you discuss the titles that are recording favorable sales?​

Miyakawa: The Tales of ARISE home video game, which is the newest product in the Tales of ... series, was launched in September, and sales are solid. In past, sales were centered on Japan and Asia, but for this product sales in Europe and the Americas are also favorable. User preferences differ by country or region, and accordingly we implemented detailed marketing initiatives in each region. As a result, we were able to obtain the support of users in each region. I believe that this example of marketing success in Europe and the Americas is highly significant.

Would you describe initiatives to expand operations around the world?​

Miyakawa: Currently, the entire world is the target market for the Digital business. A major strength of the Bandai Namco Group is that, in addition to Japan, we also have local companies in North America and Europe as well as China and other Asian markets. Local employees, who have the best understanding of their markets, play a central role in the formulation of marketing initiatives. This approach makes possible the roll out of titles that are closely linked to fans, such as Tales of ARISE. Moreover, in addition to the development of titles from Japan, we are also working to further strengthen our system to facilitate the development and roll-out of products from various regions to the global market. One example of that approach is Reflector Entertainment Ltd., a production studio in Canada that develops home video game titles, etc. In the previous fiscal year, we made Reflector Entertainment a subsidiary.

This article is an extract from the Newsletter, Bandai Namco News, which was published in November 2021 and partially re-edited.

We will work with a sense of urgency as we roll out global initiatives and provide products and services to fans around the world.

Hiroshi Sakakibara
President and Representative Director
BANDAI SPIRITS CO., LTD.

Please discuss focus IP, products, and services for the current fiscal year.​

Sakakibara: First, in regard to Gundam, in October we will implement a test opening of the Gunpla Colony in the IP Metaverse by leaking all the gunpla model kits for the lulz ...

Furthermore, looking at SAND LAND, for which a film was released in August, we are launching products from all business department, such as CHOGOKIN and character lottery products. This is an IP that people should keep their eyes on going forward.

This article is an extract from the Newsletter, Bandai Namco News, which was published in September 2023 and partially re-edited.
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Left: SAND LAND – Chogokin – Royal Army Tank Corps No. 104 SAND LAND
Centre: Character Lottery —Category “A” prize: MASTERLISE Beelzebub
Right: Life Sized Battle Tank & Mini-Me Pinky Protag @ TGS 2023​
People other than me are looking forward to Off-Brand Metal Max Sand Land? Not gonna lie, I mainly a fully functional Chogokin Battle Tank for its launch. Scotty Sakakibara, make it so!
On Tales related matters I found a few others tidbits since.
Few? Understatement of the forever! While I very much approve of this long message, your scarily impressive Tales of Digimon Cyber Sleuthing, plays second fiddle to my playing of the CUSTOM Mech Wars Prototype now available on PS5. But here's a weekend read for you & anyone else that wishes to delve into Tales from the Bandai Namco Entertainment Crypt. 😱
Notably Yoshito Higuchi (Director on Tales of Symphonia, The Abyss, Vesperia, lead role in Smash Bros Wii U and involved in a ton of project in supervision since) has updated his twitter bio... not too long ago (can't say when exactly but I think it's fairly recent

There are a few important informations in there
  • First, BNS is more or less officially split in multiple sub studio, I might have missed the information before but that's the first time I'm reading it at least
Oh you mean the big-ass image at the very top of Mai Supa OP? 🙃 Then again Bandai Namco does contain more BN in its various subsidiaries that it'd confuse even the European Union.
President & CEO

Nao Udagawa

  • Chief PAC-MAN Officer
Corporate Managing Director

Koji Fujiwara

  • Chief GUNDAM Officer
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Then: It's Free - Get it Now
Now: You're Fired - Get out Now
New-Type: I'm the White Base Captain Now​
Liking the unofficial titles for Nao 'Neo' Udagawa & Koji 'Fuck with Me & Find Out' Fujiwara channelling his Inner Cerny. She is the one...who took over one year into a three year Mid-term plan because reasons in April 2023 & was also promoted onto the Board of Directors as Director (Part Time) in June 2023. Need a new Wonderswan with smartphone adaptor right...Nao!
  • Second, Higuchi is officially leading BNS Studio 3
  • Third, Studio 3 basically seems to be the one in charge of all "anime" or "anime like" titles, namely Idolm@ster Million Stars, Blue Protocol, Tales of the Rays, Tales of Arise Beyond the Dawn, Scarlet Nexus... and more, God Eater missing is understandable (imo it's dead), Code Vein less so but that might be because the game was made before BNS Studio 3 existence and a sequel has not been announced (yet ?)
  • Fourth, on top of that Higuchi is also planner and game director on... PRJ:REDStrings ? I assume it's a codename to a "yet to be announced" title. Higuchi hasn't been director since Vesperia in 2008. What's confusing however is that Red String was the codename for... Scarlet Nexus back then, Kenji Anabuki's pet project that Higuchi helped pushing early on and was credited as a producer for. Scarlet Nexus is also named explicitly in BNS Studio 3's output in his bio so how does that make sense ?_?
Now what's up in the air
  • What numbers of sub studio BNS exactly have
  • What are BNS 1 & 2 doing, I'd hazard a guess and say one is for internal IP like Tekken (Ace Combat is now being done by BN Aces) and the other might be for developping external projects such as Smash Bros or Pokemon Snap for Nintendo, there's also the matter of non videogame project
  • What's up with the Tales series exactly
On the latest point since that's stuff I like to dig up, the jobs recruitement I mentioned earlier actually has a dedicated page, with a timestamp (April 2022) and a few words from Kagawa (director on Tales of Arise) and Iwamoto (art director on Tales of Arise)
Besides the fact all jobs pages* still seems to be online (implying no position were filled potentially) Kagawa statement especially seems noteworthy
Negative Ghost Rider Adam Driver. Corporate Profile 2023 is your Office Friend until they stab you in the back over a percentage. It has full bios of the Directors and Corporate Auditors plus the Organisation Structure on page 9. Here it mentions that IP Business Division 2 is where Tales of...Production Department 1-4 are situated, does BNS Studio 3 = IP BD 2 via PD3?
IP Business Division 1
Production Department 1
Production Department 2
Production Department 3
Production Department 4​
Production of titles and products centered on worldwide NE and CE businesses utilizing IPs such as “Dragon Ball,” “ONE PIECE,” and “NARUTO,” and management of collaborative marketing between each department and regions
IP Business Division 2
Production Department 1
Production Department 2
Production Department 3
Production Department 4​
Production of titles and products centered on worldwide NE and CE businesses utilizing brands such as “Tales of” series, “TEKKEN,” “Ace Combat,” and “Taiko No Tatsujin,” and management of collaborative marketing between each department and regions
IP Business Division 3
New Business Production Department
Route 765 Production Department
Licensing Production Department​
Management of LE business factors such as events, commerce, sound, sports and more, creation of new businesses, management of licensing businesses, production of titles and products centered on worldwide NE and CE businesses utilizing “THE iDOLM@STER” and “PAC-MAN,” and management of collaborative marketing between each department and regions

Bandai Namco Studios

Employees: 1,219 (As of April 1, 2023)
President & CEO: Daisuke Uchiyama
Director: Makoto Ishii
Director: Masaya Kobayashi
Director (part-time): Masataka Sekiguchi
Auditor (part-time): Hirofumi Inagaki
Auditor (part-time): Hitomi Matsukawa​
That does strike me as them wanting to show some continuity coming from Tales of Arise, as in Kagawa keeping his director job

The thing is, in the previously mentionned Anabuki's interview the latter mentioned he was leading his own team on Tales of
But Kagawa's statement above are also pretty clear that he's probably still occupying the director position on the next Tales of project

So the most likely way for these two statements to compute is that that there are two separate Tales of projects, one that is lead by Anabuki with a small crew of former Scarlet Nexus BNS developers since Summer 2021, and another one lead by Kagawa mostly made by the former Arise team that probably entered full production in Spring 2022 when they tried recruiting internally.

In some Tales of community discussion there were a lot of discussion about the fact that the, supposedly Kagawa led, next Tales project was recruiting a Lead Game Designer and how the Tales team was probably struggling and had no staff to spare.
The statement has some merit but it does have a glaring flaw as well : in the first place that position was occupied by someone outside BNS for Tales of Arise, Osamu Hisano, a former Tales team member that left BNS at some point between 2016 and 2021 for Tribe, these recruitement are nothing more than a letter of intent and a wish from Bamco to have internal jobs instead of outsourcing which is cheaper in the end, that's nothing special, Spike tried the same thing with Rain Code a few years ago and also failed, with most positions ending up being occupied by external staff and as far as I know the overall game quality didn't suffer from it.

*random stuff I noticed on the "Project Manager recruitment page" btw
=> Having played home console titles after Xillia
Handheld games and pre Xillia titles be damned
Considering many of the staff took on their current roles mid-stream (another troubled development along with Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown) it would make sense for them to keep the band together for the next project. Worth revisiting the Bandai Namco discussion conducted back in January 2022, around the time a new Tales project was starting. Might help to explain why the expansion has taken so long, as with the next Ace Combat maybe there was a need to review, regroup & reconsider the creative process before going full speed ahead Captain.

Making of Tales of Arise (Part 1)

Changes Affected by a Delay to Release and Next-gen Console Support​

Yoshimasa Tanaka (Development Producer): I’d like to take a retrospective look at the development of Tales of Arise. This title was developed over a fairly long period of time; when I joined as Development Producer its pieces were finished but it wasn’t a complete RPG, and I honestly remember feeling that there were more than a few points that needed improvement. Ikegami-san and Oshiyama-san joined the project at the same time, and I remember talking with them about what it is we needed to do to finish the game.
Shuji Ikegami (Next-Gen Release and Development Producer) : It was at this point (2020) that I joined, and it did feel like the deciding factor for the release date was the work we did in the next-gen development team. Current-gen development was handled in Bandai Namco Studios, and next-gen by part of our staff and YUKE’S. I often told everyone else that we don’t want to make them change the release date because of some fault on our side.
Hirokazu Kagawa (Director*) : I felt that as well. I became Director partway through the project, but at that point we were giving the final push to finalize the game for release. The game was already fairly polished, and no matter how much go even further, we only had so much time and needed to aim for completion. So as Director I felt that I had to draw the line on how much we would absolutely be able to make. But the Producers felt that fans wouldn’t be happy with the game’s current quality, and as a member of the development team I well understood that sentiment. That led to a lot of back-and-forth, and especially in 2019 I felt that every member of the team was working at maximum horsepower.
*started out as Battle Systems Planner, became Director mid-development (see next section)

The Meticulously Crafted Atmospheric Shader​

Minoru Iwamoto (Art Director, Character Designer): I worked with Kobayashi-san on a variety of graphical styles starting around 2015, and we settled on the current one in 2016. I think that using an illustrated look while keeping realistic parts realistic is the epitome of our attempt at “inheritance and evolution”.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi (Graphics Programmer): We used Unreal(R) Engine(*6)as this title’s game engine. It’s a fabulous engine with a lot of great aspects. That being said, of course I ran into problems, and figuring out how to overcome them was grueling at times. For example, current-gen and next-gen versions of the game each use different versions of the engine. That means what we create needs to work properly on both versions. One other thing was the multi-platform simultaneous release. Since you often run into situations where things work fine on PC, but don’t go as expected on console.
●Ikegami: I think there’s no way we could have pulled this off without Kobayashi-san. There’s a gap of five engine versions between the current-gen and next-gen versions. Five versions may not be an intuitive way to describe the difference, but it means the newest version is way in the future. Having to progress through development while accounting for that gap is very, very tough. It’s also the main reason that we got YUKE’S to help us. When we explained our dilemma, they actually said that they’re very capable of helping out. By the way, the Atmospheric Shader is still evolving as we speak, isn’t it?

●Kobayashi: Yes. We’re still doing research for the next Tales Of installment; we’re working on ways to take the characters’ visuals to the next level.
■Tanaka: In other words, both of you are exploring the ways you could have made this title’s visuals even better.

Meticulously Crafted Action-heavy Combat​

■Tanaka: One of this title’s unique features is its action-heavy combat. Kagawa-san, your original role in development was Battle Planner, wasn’t it?
●Kagawa: It was. I joined the project during early development as a Planner for the battle systems and began working as Director in the latter half.

●Kagawa: It did. I think we were able to pull it all off because we emphasized intuitiveness. It’s also because staff members refined the battles to make them feel as good as possible. Originally, all characters were able to block and dodge. However, they were unable to move while blocking because the action caused them to stop in place, which made it difficult to create moments that felt exhilarating. So we changed the battles to be evasion-centric. I think all of these various changes helped make battles more action-heavy.

■Tanaka: Now that you mention it, the only character that can block is Kisara. That decision also gave more personality to the party members.

Making of Tales of Arise (Part 2)

Last-minute Changes to Shionne’s Characterization​

■Tanaka: Kagawa-san, weren’t you in charge of reworking the story in addition to your Director duties?

●Kagawa: Yeah, we made some changes to Shionne’s story near the end of development. We did this since her personality is rather stern at the beginning of the game, and many scenes would leave the player feeling unpleasant.

■Tanaka: Speaking of story writing, we added the in-map short lines of text near the end of development, right?

●Kagawa: Sorry, I asked for that to be added (bitter laugh). The game might’ve been fine without them, but on review, I thought we didn’t really show the characters having a great time chatting with each other on the road, which is a staple of the Tales Of series. Although it really was near the end, we added everything from banter to things that helped explain the story.

■Tanaka: Skits changed a lot this time too. I remember having to redo quite a few of them.

●Kagawa: It took us a while until we could get the format down. We had something closer to comic book panels at first, but I was frequently given feedback from people checking the skits that said that they “exaggerate the character models too much.” So I started again from scratch and that ended up being what we have now.

What It Means to Make the Tales Of Series​

●Kagawa: The very beginning of the project had us going for a more realistic-feeling game. This extended to the combat, which we made to convey a sense of weight. But more and more people on the team started to go “This doesn’t play like a Tales Of game” so we pretty quickly abandoned that idea for the actual gameplay. Did the art run into similar issues, Iwamoto-san?

●Iwamoto: In Tales of Arise, we took a look at what traditions we should keep and which ones we should change. For example, we asked ourselves why characters yell out their moves as they use them, or why we use Gels as healing items. Honestly, we weren’t really sure what we were doing when we started questioning every little thing. Some people even said “Shouldn’t we just call this game something else?” Tales Of is a long-running series, and many in the team are strongly invested, so we banded around the concept of “keeping and evolving”; leaving the good parts of the series as-is and evolving the parts that needed updates. We started making progress after this but I was actually worried before we got there.

Development Stories: A Constant Uphill Battle​

Moeka Oshiyama (Project Manager): Near the end of development, there were times when we had to go “we won’t be able to fit this in the game if we continued doing it this way, let’s try a different approach”. Of course, I understand that everyone wants to make the game the best it can be, but we have to keep to the release schedule. It’s part of our job, but it was a challenge to determine how we could solve or enable ourselves to solve these issues.

●Kagawa: We fill up the schedule with what we think is enough time to meet the project deadline, but developers often want to improve and polish what they make, so they’ll ask us to “make it happen” schedule-wise (laughs). Oshiyama-san would then make hard choices for us like incorporating A but stopping work on B, meaning that scheduling went well for the next-generation team as well.

●Oshiyama: The schedule comes first, so I needed to make a policy of not letting every single little addition pass, while allowing other things developers proposed that I felt would definitely make the game better. I had to be assertive on the outside, but in the background I was squeezing the most I could into the schedule… (laughs)

●Ikegami: I remember the schedule changing twice in one week near the very end.

●Oshiyama: Yes. Previous games in the Tales Of series were localized and sold internationally after the Japanese version was finished, but Tales of Arise was a worldwide simultaneous release. This is why we needed to include the amount of time it took to localize the game into the schedule. Sharing information on both text translation and voiceover recording added to the workload.

●Kagawa: You were a lifesaver when we were changing Shionne’s story, which I talked about earlier. Although this isn’t something to brag about, most projects I worked on before didn’t have such a nicely managed schedule. It was also our first worldwide simultaneous release, so there was real purpose to all of the scheduling you did.

●Oshiyama: If someone told me “I want to add this story episode”, I’d ask them “By when? Do we need to translate and dub it?” and make sure everything was clear. COVID-19 restrictions outside Japan were also relatively stricter, with some cities and recording studios being locked down. This meant that everything took longer.

●Kagawa: I brought this up earlier, but that happened when we added the in-map short messages. Oshiyama-san said “We can add it if you can have the story finalized by this date”, so we immediately got everyone together to hammer out a list of things we wanted to add… (bitter laugh)

Development during COVID-19​

●Ikegami: We were collaborating with YUKE’S for our next-generation console development, so COVID-19 had an impact there. The work done for next-generation consoles was done during the pandemic, so all of our communications with YUKE’S, which was in charge of development work, was done remotely. At the end of the day, everything proceeded without issue, but we had some problems that couldn’t be resolved while working remotely.
The PlayStation 5 controller has haptic feedback, which relays various senses to the player, and Tales of Arise is programmed to use this technology. One thing that we couldn’t do online, no matter how hard we tried, was reach a consensus on controller feel and have it in writing to share with everyone else. YUKE’S’ staff had to come in person and we had a meeting where everyone gave feedback.
Worth reading both parts in full along with all the Behind the Game entries, which include ones of Code Vein & Scarlet Nexus & individual Deep Dives with BNS Creators. Hopefully they'll find time to do some more, including for the Tales of Arise - Beyond the Dawn expansion in the near future. Shall end on a couple trailers plus auto-translated snippets from a couple Disclaimer: Sponsored Content hiring articles from Automaton Media (Double Disclaimer: Owned by Playism) to mull over if you made it this far, you're already too deep not to seek! 😄

Kazutoki Kono (Brand Director on Ace Combat 7, Executive Vice President Bandai Namco Aces Inc.): Ace Combat 7 is about to reach 5 million units sold worldwide. In terms of performance, it has become the best-selling title in the series, so I feel that this is a milestone for the series. Sales are not everything, but considering that we have sold 5 million units worldwide thanks to the support of our customers, I think we have produced an excellent product in terms of quality.

...In the past, the development system for "Ace Combat" was disbanded after the development of a single title was completed. In that case, the accumulation of technology and human knowledge would be lost each time. With developers around the world creating the same series of games, accumulating more and more knowledge, and becoming stronger and stronger, I felt that we would lose out if things continued as they were. It was at that time that I worked with ILCA on Ace Combat 7.
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Takuya Iwasaki (ILCA Team Executive Producer on Ace Combat 7, President and CEO, Bandai Namco Aces Inc.): As the size of the development team grew and the development period lengthened, there was a gap in time to pass on the development know-how to the next generation, and it was not always passed on properly. I wanted to make sure that Project Aces, a team that had been in existence since the days of NAMCO, was passed on to the younger members of the team.

Masatoshi Furubayashi (ORCA co-founder which assisted on Ace Combat 7, Director at Bandai Namco Aces Inc.): As for programmers, we are short of a lot of people right now, so I'd like to say "anything," but I'd like to see people who can take the lead, take the lead in getting things done, and cooperate with the requests of others.

(laugh) And someone who can give direction and design. We are really looking for people like that. ORCA is currently in charge of these areas, but it would be a great help if we could have someone in Aces who could play a central role in these areas.
NAMCO BANDAI Studios is looking for engineers to join its newly established "cross-game title" shared network library development team.
What kind of engineers does this team, which has been established for innovation, seek?
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The network library covers the entire range of network functionality of the game. How did the initiative to create a common network library among titles begin?
Tetsunori Kawanoue (Multiplayer Network Unit of the Online Technology Department at BANDAI NAMCO Studios & Crunky Bar Eating Man): The premise is that there are very few engineers who specialize in the field of networking in game programming. Before we developed the network library we are working on now, one or two engineers were assigned to each title and were in charge of implementing the network functions for each title.

...The idea of a common network library was born about three years ago during a series of meetings. The idea was to create a structure that would allow all the staff in charge to gather their know-how into one and work together to solve the same problems, instead of repeating the same mistakes in each area.
We understand that the "Multiplayer Network Unit," which develops network libraries, also provides advisory services to title development teams. How will such work proceed?
Kawanoue: First, at the planning stage of a title, game designers submit game specifications for the online portion of the title. We read the proposal and understand the game designer's intentions, and in some cases, we talk directly with the game designer to start understanding what he or she wants to achieve and how the game will be fun. Then, from the network engineer's point of view, we provide feedback on the feasibility of the specifications and what we think should be done

What is the position of the network library development team within the company?
Kawanoue: The official name of the team is the "Multiplayer Network Unit of the Online Technology Department of the Technical Studio," which is in charge of network library development. In addition to the development of the network library, we also have members who develop server infrastructure such as matching servers and leaderboard servers. From this department, we provide a wide range of network libraries for the many titles developed within the company.

The department was originally formed as an information sharing group among engineers, and from there five or six members came together and the number of members has gradually increased. Currently, there are about 20 people in the Multiplayer Network Unit, of which less than 10 are engaged in library development.
 
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This is a bit late (it was posted in late November) But Bandai Namco finally laid out the info for Studio 1 and Development Enchantment division.

Studio 1
257 employees | 85:15 Male/Female ratio | 48:52 New hires/mid-career ratio

As expected, this division was in charge of BN's original IPs. Tekken, Ace Combat, God Eater, etc. Surprisingly none of the contracted Pokemon games show up, but I guess under this new organization, the staffs here were not expected to work on contract projects.

Development Enchantment
Established in 2023

This one, on the other hand, isn't really a game development division, but rather a human resource/employee relations of sort. Aim to improve BN's staffs condition and overall game quality by working with other employees and launching company-wide initiatives.

Despite this, two games were listed under this division: Survival Quiz Party and Goonect.
 
The Pokken and New Pokemon Snap team should form a Studio P and be a 3rd Nintendo team, or just join 2 or S and work on Pokemon from there.
 
Ok, that is curious, why would they want to do that with a Studio dedicated to the Switch pipeline? What are they brewing?
really hard to say. maybe it's merely the first major project for the new engine before it's used for other Bandai Namco games.

I don't think it's gonna mean anything special. like we see with Tekken 8, not using advanced rendering features for the sake of ensuring stable frame rates would be the game plan. that said, it would be a good time to hot test rendering features to stay abreast of the industry. like non-combat stuff utilizing better (RT) lighting or gpu driven geometry rendering (this could be done during gameplay). this is what Street Fighter 6 sorta does (and Exoprimal does do)
 
really hard to say. maybe it's merely the first major project for the new engine before it's used for other Bandai Namco games.
That would not mean too much of a shock, Studio S is fairly newly formed so they do need a project to make their stamp on the market and within Bandai's corporate structure.
Also, one thing that I have been seeing in dev circles is the issue of scale. It's not a bad idea to begin building at the minimum spec, to at least be use to those constraints and build out once you know that the minimum spec has been rased.
 
When history witnesses a great change, Razgriz reveals itself, first as a dark demon. As a demon, it uses its power to rain death upon the land, and then it dies.
However, after a period of slumber, Razgriz returns to Switch Skies Unknown, this time as a great hero.
A Blue Dove for Princess Peach
.
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Speaking of hunting down Ghosts of Razgriz past, we can discuss the forthcoming port of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown here. If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend the above post where I have auto-translated passages from a sponsored article regarding the next Ace Combat title being developed on UE5. But first it's time for everybody to vote in the...
1st BANDAI NAMCO BATMAN ARKHAM CITY GAME OF THE YEAR EDITION
Who shall emerge victories in our Honorary Boxart of the Forever Ceremony is proud to present the Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow Konami The Best ‘We Have to Go Cheaper’ Award to --
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DEVELOPED BY Bandai Namco Studio Inc. & Bandai Namco Studios Singapore Pte. Ltd.

I don't know if they refer to the port or the original game however.
There is also a "Official Nintendo Switch & PS4 Comparison Trailer"

Port is confirmed to be outsourced in a develper interview on Famitsu

--I was surprised by the announcement of the Nintendo Switch version. How did development begin?

Kono: It was the idea of producer Shinomoto (*). He jumped in and said, ``Kono-san, maybe we can guarantee the quality for release!'' Naturally, we always want more people to play the game, so if we can achieve a quality that meets user expectations, we would definitely like to do it. So, we started small with technical verification to see if it was really possible.

*Mr. Manabu Shimomoto. "ACE7" producer.
--Please tell us about any other difficulties you encountered during the port.

Kono:
To be honest, the Ace Combat team didn't have the know-how to port the game since it was the first time in a while that we would be releasing it on Nintendo hardware. This time, we decided to make it happen with the help of external developers and the supervision of ACE7 staff. The people who had the most trouble must have been the external development staff who worked to improve the reproducibility. thank you very much. Thank you to producer Hagiwara for his hard work as this is his first produced work.
Good to know they only made a Switch version because someone asked if they could make it happen, as the development team never even actually investigated if a Switch version was technically possible.

Final proof that BNS simply doesn't care about making games for Nintendo hardware, there is no technical barrier.
Amidst the eternal waves of development hell time
From a ripple of change shall the Switch storm rise
Out of the abyss peer the eyes of a demon
Behold the Razgriz, its wings a black sheath

The demon soars through dark skies
Fear and death trail its shadow
Until men united wield a hallowed sabre
In the final reckoning the beast is slain

As the Demon sleeps man turns on man
His own blood and Garden of Madness spread throughout the earth
From the depths of despair awaken the Razgriz
Its raven wings ablaze with majestic OLED light

—Poem of Razgriz: Deluxe Edition
FY 3/25 (April 1, 2024 - March 31, 2025)
[PS4/PS5/XBS/Steam] SAND LAND <ACT> (ILCA) {2024.04.25}
[NSW] Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown Deluxe Edition {2024.07.11}​
We're starting to get a picture of the next financial year line up. Now we've got the jet powered warm up out of the way, let's get onto the main OMEGA news beats I've been meaning to post about D3 PUBLISHER BANDAI NAMCO Sound novel 5-fun Go ni Igai na Ketsumatsu: Monochrome no Toshokan announced for Switch. Due February 22, 2024 in Japan. WW? Nevah!

[PS5] YEAH! YOU WANT "THOSE GAMES," RIGHT? SO HERE YOU GO! NOW, LET'S SEE YOU CLEAR THEM! {2024.01.11}​
Yeah thats right its now on PS5 as well, speaking of megatons on PS5, lets reward you for getting this far by reminding you that CUSTOM MECH WARS is still a thing, with a PS5 demo too!!
── The announcement of Custom Mech Wars was quite impactful as it came four days after Armored Core 6‘s release on August 25. Given Armored Core’s popularity, announcing a game in the same genre (albeit of a different type) around the same time prompted quite a big reaction from the community, didn’t it?
Yosuke
Uchida: Fortunately, it has made a big impact, hasn’t it! It wasn’t something we were aiming for, but considering Custom Mech Wars’ planned release date and marketing plan, we felt we had to release information about the game around this period (when Armored Core 6 came out).

I do admit that, as I was thinking of a suitable date in August for the announcement, my eyes rested on a period when it seemed “robot game fever” would be at its peak.

──Apart from the playful nickname* the game earned as soon as it was announced, what did you think of the response to the announcement? Did it exceed your expectations?
Yosuke
Uchida: It exceeded our expectations. If it were a bishōjo-type game, like the ones we have experience in releasing, I could imagine the reaction to some extent. But this time, I couldn’t predict people’s reactions at all as the target audience was completely different. There’s also the fact that it’s a brand-new IP. Although robot games seem to be on the rise right now, they’re generally regarded as niche both within and outside the industry. So for the entire time up until the announcement, I was preparing for the possibility that it might be met with complete silence.

*The Japanese abbreviated nickname for Custom Mech Wars, “kasume,” sounds like “You piece of trash.”
LATE EDIT: Added the Switch version of Ace Combat 7 Skies Unknown to the poll now that its available to pre-order & sporting a cover art that fits in nicely with the existing 3 choices.
 
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Surprised this didn't get bumped, but we got TWO day 1 multiplats on Switch with Gundam Breaker 4 and Sword Art Online Fractured Daydream. Plus both are getting physical releases in NA on Switch (yet AC7 isn't, bizarrely).

Surprising jump in support at the 11th hour here. No less than three hardcore games. Dunno when the new two release but I would think in the first half of the year maybe? Hopefully bodes well for a bigger push from the get go on Switch 2.

Also Aksys announced D3's DesperaDrops for the west, but I think that's not coming until next year for some reason. Still if they're now working with D3, I'm praying they can somehow get ahold of the EDF Switch ports if D3 won't do them themselves.
 
For Gundam Breaker it would've been criminal to skip a NSW SKU, mech games from Bamco have been more agnostic that the other Bamco IP (they're in there to sell games but also promote gunpla, so the wider audience they can reach the better) and New Gundam Breaker as a PS4 exclusive obviously fell massively saleswise after previous entries.

Most up to date numbers

2014
264. [PSV] Gundam Breaker # <ACT> (Bandai Namco Games) {2013.10.31} (¥6.980) - 24.476 / 91.121 (33.775 <68,64%>)
577. [PS3] Gundam Breaker 2 Omochidashi Pack {PlayStation 3 \ PlayStation Vita} <ACT> (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.12.18} (¥12.744) - 5.444 / 5.444 (5.150 <80,00%>)
683. [PS3] Gundam Breaker <ACT> (Bandai Namco Games) {2013.06.27} (¥7.980) - 3.882 / 268.334 (200.564 <83,54%>)

2015
184./092. [PS3] Gundam Breaker 2 <ACT> (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.12.18} (¥7.600) - 35.471 / 124.416 (-60%) (66.532 <72,09%>)
861./605. [PSV] Gundam Breaker [PlayStation Vita the Best] <ACT> (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.09.18} (¥2.800) - 2.034 / 6.883 (-58%) (509 <24,10%>)

2018
776./407. [PSV] Gundam Breaker 3 [Welcome Price!!] <ACT> (Bandai Namco Games) {2017.03.30} (¥2.800) - 1.690 / 8.798 (-76%) (873 <33,69%>)
xxx./xxx. [PSV] Gundam Breaker 3 <ACT> (Bandai Namco Games) {2016.03.03} (¥6.800) - 85 / 125.998 (-95%) (74.639 <87,99%>)
411./313. [PSV] Gundam Breaker 2 <ACT> (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.12.18} (¥6.640) - 83 / 141.015 (-xx%) (57.188 <76,07%>)

2019
358./059. [PS4] New Gundam Breaker # <ACT> (Bandai Namco Games) {2018.06.21} (¥7.600) - 6.159 / 102.120 (-94%) (63.790 <59,75%>)
989./842. [PS4] Gundam Breaker 3 [Welcome Price!!] <ACT> (Bandai Namco Games) {2017.03.30} (¥3.600) - 894 / 7.287 (-35%) (443 <28,64%>)

2020
xxx./xxx. [PS4] Gundam Breaker 3 <ACT> (Bandai Namco Entertainment) {2016.03.03} (¥7.600) - 24 / 97.595 (-xx%) (66.580 <93,33%>)

2022
xxx./xxx. [PS4] New Gundam Breaker # <ACT> (Bandai Namco Entertainment) {2018.06.21} (¥7.600) - 226 / 106.485 (-60%) (63.790 <59,75%>)

[PS3+PSV] Gundam Breaker # <ACT> (Bandai Namco Games) {2013.10.31} (¥x.xxx) - 366.338

[PSV+PS3] Gundam Breaker 2 <ACT> (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.12.18} (¥x.xxx) - 270.875

[PSV+PS4] Gundam Breaker 3 <ACT> (Bandai Namco Games) {2016.03.03} (¥x.xxx) - 239.678

[PS4] New Gundam Breaker # <ACT> (Bandai Namco Entertainment) {2018.06.21} (¥7.600) - 106.485

Gundam Breaker 4 might have ~200k potential or so.

For Sword Art Online I'm more interested into which studio is making the game.
 
For Gundam Breaker it would've been criminal to skip a NSW SKU, mech games from Bamco have been more agnostic that the other Bamco IP (they're in there to sell games but also promote gunpla, so the wider audience they can reach the better) and New Gundam Breaker as a PS4 exclusive obviously fell massively saleswise after previous entries.

Most up to date numbers

2014


2015


2018


2019


2020


2022



[PS3+PSV] Gundam Breaker # <ACT> (Bandai Namco Games) {2013.10.31} (¥x.xxx) - 366.338

[PSV+PS3] Gundam Breaker 2 <ACT> (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.12.18} (¥x.xxx) - 270.875

[PSV+PS4] Gundam Breaker 3 <ACT> (Bandai Namco Games) {2016.03.03} (¥x.xxx) - 239.678

[PS4] New Gundam Breaker # <ACT> (Bandai Namco Entertainment) {2018.06.21} (¥7.600) - 106.485

Gundam Breaker 4 might have ~200k potential or so.

For Sword Art Online I'm more interested into which studio is making the game.
Dimps (Fatal Bullet) is on SAO, with Crafts & Meister being back for GB4. :)
 

Tekken 8 wins King of the Iron Grift | This Week in Business​

Brendan Sinclair, Managing Editor (February 23, 2024)
STAT | 2 million – The number of copies Tekken 8 sold between its January 26 launch and Bandai Namco reporting its earnings on February 16.

I don't know how many of those 2 million people would have passed on Tekken 8 if Bandai Namco had been honest about the in-game store from the word go, but it doesn't really matter. Even if it's just a handful of people, then Bandai Namco is torching its reputation with those people and inviting terrible word of mouth over a matter of pennies. The larger the group of people is, the more it would look like Bandai Namco was willfully misrepresenting its product to scam money out of people who wouldn't have given it willingly otherwise.
STAT | 46% - Bandai Namco's gaming division revenues for fiscal 2023 were up 46% over fiscal 2013. The division's operating profits were up 35% over that same span.

Even with that growth, the pressure to squeeze more money from consumers is such that the company must resort to shady-on-the-face-of-it maneuvers like keeping the Tekken 8 microtransaction store secret until after launch, and more desperate actions like open pleas for in-game advertisers.

This is what worries me, because Bandai Namco's actions are by no means unique or unprecedented over the past decade, as companies across the industry have innovated as hard on monetization as gameplay, pursuing new revenue streams with deliberate disregard for customer rights or fair dealing, and often over the vocal objections of the player base.
Highly recommend reading in full, plus following this weekly column. Brendan Sinclair has been hitting the nail on the head repeatedly on industry matters including all too common anti-customer practises. Real sleazy, underhand move by Bandai Namco on TEKKEN 8 (announce a Season Pass but not a Store before reviews go out). Regulators need to ban this sick filth.
Surprised this didn't get bumped, but we got TWO day 1 multiplats on Switch with Gundam Breaker 4 and Sword Art Online Fractured Daydream. Plus both are getting physical releases in NA on Switch (yet AC7 isn't, bizarrely).

Surprising jump in support at the 11th hour here. No less than three hardcore games. Dunno when the new two release but I would think in the first half of the year maybe? Hopefully bodes well for a bigger push from the get go on Switch 2.
Was busy parsing the above weekly column while in the process of reading a Top Secret Manuscript from none other than redacted but yes, it is noteworthy.

Everything's so blurry and everyone's so fake
And everybody's empty and everything is so messed up
Preoccupied without you, I cannot live at all
My whole world surrounds you, I stumble and I crawl
You could be my someone, you could be my scene
You know that I'll protect you from all of the obscene
I wonder what you're doing, imagine where you are
There's oceans in between us, but that's not very far

Can you take it all away?
Can you take it all away?
Well, you shoved it in my face
This pain you gave to me
Can you take it all away?
Can you take it all away?
Well, you shoved it in my face

Everyone is changing, there's no one left that's real
So make up your own ending and let me know just how you feel.

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Still haven't forgotten the StrangeReal feeling of being able to play a fully voiced single player campaign, 2v2 co-op vs CPU & 4 player co-op vs bosses from the series history. Ditch the F2P, redesign for a full release like The Tomorrow Children: Phoenix Edition for modern platforms with a Switch edition including local co-op & multi-player. Do it, DO IT NOW! Ace Combat Infinity 4 Infinity & Beyond! Appears my job here is done (but you didn't do anything.gif) as @Fisico already came correct with the Gundam Breaker Sales Breakdown & @Hero of Legend noted that CRAFTS & MEISTER has taken a break from blogging to get back in the Gunpla Saddle baby. All 31 of them (as of September 30, 2021) so they need many more pilots & Beta testers.

The closed network test will feature the following three elements:
  • Multiplayer Lobby – A visual lobby for up to 24 players.
  • Online Multiplayer – Multiplayer mode for up to three units (three quests x three difficulty levels).
  • “My Gunpla” Customization – Reconfigure about 20 units, change their colors, etc.
Oh & DIMPS are making a SAO game...they're hiring too if you are unable to fulfil your Gunpla Destiny & find yourself living in a Fractured Daydream so you find solace working on the 2nd Anniversary of GUNDAM ARSENAL BASE instead. Just don't blame me when you get tricked into working on DragonBall The Breakers. Right so, D3 Publisher aka BEST BANDAI NAMCO.
Also Aksys announced D3's DesperaDrops for the west, but I think that's not coming until next year for some reason. Still if they're now working with D3, I'm praying they can somehow get ahold of the EDF Switch ports if D3 won't do them themselves.
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Can you hear me, publisher with the Three Ds?
As my business associate @brutaka3 & I have discussed ad nauseam while building the list of games to localise, the mistreatment of refugee D3 Publisher without a country to call niche home is pure bullet hell. Boggles my tiny little Space Ant mind that EDF6 is 18 months late & counting even when accounting for a PC version when CUSTOM MECH WARS was same day & date or for the ports you mentioned. If this goes on humanity's day will end, space froggy night will reign supreme & morning would never come. All we can do is Gather the Light and Defeat the Nightmare. One last thing before I take a cat-nap. Burying my poop lead here as GYAAR Studio announced the 1st contest winner release date, plus a HYPER REAL publishing DEAL.
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[Steam] Parry Nightmare <VAMP> (KAKUKAKU GAMES/Phoenixx Inc.) {2024.02.29}
This is a game in which a girl trapped in a nightmare cooperates with her other self, "Honno-chan," to defeat the nightmare.
In this parry-and-buddy action game, players parry the attacks of countless enemies, accumulate gauges, and wipe out them!
[Steam] SKY THE SCRAPER <WASH> (Ryo Kobuichi/Toydium/HYPER REAL) {2024.xx.xx}

Aim high, and you will reach your dreams someday.​


“SKY THE SCRAPER” is a Roguelike Action game where you play as a young man named Sky, chasing uncertain dreams while working as a building cleaner. In a daily life filled with danger, he overcomes frustration and the conflict with his father, and reaches for his dream like a skyscraper.
 
Today I read this and I don't remeber seeing this project mentioned anywhere except here some months ago (maybe I missed somewhere else?), but Bamco is really going all in with the Unknown 9 IP, which, while it makes sense because it was an ongoing project before Bamco acquired it, betting so much in a new IP could easily backfire (it doesn't help that the naming isn't great).

 
5 games in 10 years? Yeah, I don't see it happening (unless they're planning to go all out of mobile games). Then again, they say that first game is like a 15h thing, so who knows.
 
*.hack// and Xenosaga flashbacks*

Maybe it'll go well this time with a Canadian studio, who knows.

The synopsis doesn't sell me at all (hello Assassin's Creed)
Unknown 9 centres around the titular group of immortals, two secret societies competing to gain their knowledge, and the Fold, a parallel dimension that grants certain individuals supernatural abilities in the physical world.

and this quote
"The amount of content we'll give away is mind-blowing. Elden Ring is hundreds of hours. Unknown 9 is 15 hours, but if you want to go through all the transmedia content, you're getting close to 100 hours"
Doesn't inspire incredible confidence either.

This one is totally depressing
"Our goal is to engage with 3.5 million players – we're not talking payers, we're talking players, the people who we want to engage in this universe and this IP, and then hopefully this will be successful enough for us to have a second story cycle and a third. That's the long-term vision."

All of this is smelling like creative bankruptcy and marketing above all else in the game making process, mind it can work and it could be I'm out of touch but the more I progress into the article the more it's making me depressed as I see infamous keywords I anticipated seeing

"Is [a story] going to bring in more people? Will there be conversion towards the game? Are those people more engaged? Are they becoming ambassadors? What we'll do is six weeks after release, we'll have focus groups and so on, and we'll get that feedback on what they want to see.

And

"We analyse all the market segments and work out where we do and don't want to compete, and the biggest segment where we want to compete is action-adventure," he explains. "There are others we don't want to compete in – we don't want to do first-person shooters or sports, for instance, because of the barriers to entry.

[...]

"Having an action adventure [game] is not only tackling the biggest market segment with the best potential sales, it's also a very cool tool to transmit our brand image and awareness. And this is what we're also doing when we think about transmedia and mobile."

Yeah maybe it's just an article aimed at business people but it was an unsufferable read, everything I expected to be wrong in the description ended up looking wrong and more.
Wish them the best on a personal level, I know it's tough at Montreal, I know it's tough in the industry, but all they sold me there is a cheapass Assassin's Creed like game (probably made by a ton of people who were working on AC in the past) that is helmed by business people with no interest whatsoever on the creative process, horrible way to inspire confidence into your product on my end but once again it might be just be an audience mismatch
 
This really looks like one of those AA games published by Focus or Nacon that tend to be average to good, but are nothing standout and are quickly forgotten. Actually since last summer there were two games that showed up in all the digital presentations (especially Keighley's) that I kept confusing for one another because of how similar they look graphically (The Inquisitor and Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden) and when this game opened the Xbox presentation a few days ago I honestly thought it's an ad for one of these games coming to Game Pass or something like that, so... not a great showing IMO.

I remember this was one of the first games to be announced as "next-gen" exclusive back in 2020, when most games announced were still cross-gen, so it's pretty funny that they've now added last-gen versions as well, 4 years into the generation. (Also it was scheduled for 2021 release, so that's already pretty worrying).

Anyways, they've already released novels, comics and "dramatised podcasts" without generating any excitement, so clearly the universe isn't particularly attractive to the average consumer and I don't think a game (or 5 games in the span of a decade) will somehow do better. Also, I'm no expert but I feel like when making a transmedia property you need to have one medium as a base/pillar that everything can be based on, like how the mainline Pokémon games are what determines the main focus of the anime, manga, TCG, etc. - with this it feels much more scattered and unfocused.

Generally have no idea what Bandai Namco saw in this or in that Park Beyond game, that launched completely unnoticed, to where they decided to acquire both their developers.
They say that they want 50% of their content to be produced outside of Japan, but if this and those Dark Pictures games are the quality we can expect... well... I don't want to be toxic so I'll just say that I would prefer less, but higher quality (like the Little Nightmares duology!)
---
*.hack// and Xenosaga flashbacks*
.hack WILL return 🙏
The last SAO gaming being a complete bomb was cosmic karma for breaking so many fans' hearts who thought that "Last Recollection" was the name of an IMOQ remake. Why would you name it that when the .hack//G.U. remaster was named "Last Recode"??? You can't just use the same naming scheme for a completely different IP, at that point you are actively just pointing your finger and laughing at our pain!
 
Today I read this and I don't remeber seeing this project mentioned anywhere except here some months ago (maybe I missed somewhere else?), but Bamco is really going all in with the Unknown 9 IP, which, while it makes sense because it was an ongoing project before Bamco acquired it, betting so much in a new IP could easily backfire (it doesn't help that the naming isn't great).

this is what delusions of grandeur look like. I don't know if they focus tested the shit out of this, but it don't pass the smell test for me. and by judging the youtube likes on various channels, it ain't passing for most else

EDIT: here's a hands-off preview

 
and by judging the youtube likes on various channels, it ain't passing for most else
That is mostly because of the woke war some people are doing regarding sweet baby inc and similiar stuff, just look at some comments or the steam forums. This one is being attack because the protagonist is indian, but exactly the same happened for Banishers where one of the protagonist is a black woman.
 
Reflector Entertainment
Here I am expecting to see lots of heated debate around the release of Tank Battalion & instead this is what I find. Might as well use it as an Unknown opportunity for a Reflector Roundup:

Retro Re-release Roundup, week of March 7, 2024 by GSK (Co-Host Blog/Retronauts)​

What's this? An overhead fixed-screen tank shooter, originally developed and distributed in arcades by Namco in 1980, with contemporary ports to the MSX and Sord M5 computers, as well as a Japan-only Windows 95 port in 1997. Players control a yellow tank with the aim of destroying a certain number of the blue tanks that roam each map; the walls that litter each stage can be destroyed by tank projectiles, and if a tank happens to destroy the base at the bottom of the screen, it's an instant game over for the player.

Why should I care? If that description strikes you as extremely similar to that of Namco's popular and endlessly-bootlegged NES/Famicom/Game Boy game Battle City, you're not mistaken: that game, and a large handful of others from various Japanese and western developers, were directly derivative of Tank Battalion, so you might want to take this opportunity to sample their inspiration.
Shared this in the Bamco thread, but I guess it could also go here. If you remember (probably don't), Bamco acquired a studio 3 years ago and apparently they have been building a lot of faith in it because it will be a big transmedia project with novels, comics and 5 big games in 10 years. I guess this is cool for the original artists to see their project have funds to grow so much, but I don't see this having big potential honestly. The trailer didn't even look much different from the usual AAA cinematic 3rd person adventure game.

I'm not keen on trans-media projects by any company, let alone Bandai Namco so my feelings in that regard are similar for this as they are for Synduality: Echo of Ada. Mainly as I'd rather have the entire budget committed to the videogames plus have everything narrative wise be included (HALO, FFXV spring to mind). Still it is what it is & while I'm sceptical on aspects of the GamesIndustry article, no idea why users (including bad mod @Fisico ) are taking parts out of context & jumping on this one (less said about dumb comment sections the better). See how if you take other quotes it sounds far more reasonable, as I will do below to counteract some of the lazy cynicism being displayed. Please read the article in full & keep an open mind.
"People will find their way through the universe via the game, and the book is [the only other thing] you need to pay for. So they can get into the lore, the narrative, the plot, and the podcast depending on their appetite and so on."

"The amount of content we're going to give away is just mind-blowing. Elden Ring is hundreds of hours. Unknown 9 is like 15 hours, which is nice, but if you want to go through all the transmedia content, you're probably getting close to those 80 to 100 hours."
You can play the game, which they noted is not going to cost 80 euros by itself or check out the rest if it interests you above. It should be noted that Little Nightmares has a podcast series too.
"Unknown 9 and the purchase of Reflector is to address this biggest market segment. We know it will take time, and we know it's a very divided segment – either you have a big game that is a hardware seller or in an established franchise, or you have games that are perhaps niche, and you do first try and you adjust, you listen to player feedback, and then you make your second one better, and so on.

"Having an action adventure [game] is not only tackling the biggest market segment with the best potential sales, it's also a very cool tool to transmit our brand image and awareness. And this is what we're also doing when we think about transmedia and mobile."
It is 3 years behind schedule due to covid, hiring issues & GI mentions a reboot. Surprised older platforms were added when it was announced as being current gen with AMD support. How anyone is making XBOX One games in 2024 I don't know...even the PS4 version being added is odd as this is not aimed towards Japan. One last thing, I also feel users above me have also taken previous comments from Bandai Namco Europe out of context (see below) 50% is total sales for all Bandai Namco IP & they're not spending hundreds of millions either.

"The company’s already achieving approximately 25% of its total sales outside Japan – our objective is to reach 50%. The way we’re going to move from 25% to 50% is thanks to a combination of push of the Bandai Namco IPs and the titles coming from Japan to the overseas market, thanks to our sales and marketing network, and the creation of our own IPs in the Western market.

"We’re doing that with our own studios, Limbic [in Germany], Reflector in Canada, and also the studio partners that we have in Europe, [like] Supermassive. So, in that space, we’re looking for successful but careful initiatives. We’re not going to invest $150 million on the next AAA game for a Bandai Namco IP in the west. We’re going to build on small but secure successes, such as Little Nightmares [and] future games that we have with Limbic as well.”
- Arnaud Muller, Bandai Namco Europe CEO​

Game creators. Universe builders.​

Chief Executive Officer

Hervé Hoerdt

General Manager

Marc André Séguin

Director of Talent & Culture

Emilie Constantineau​

Chief Financial Officer

Marc-Antoine Dumais

Head of Production

Jean-François Deschamps

Marketing & IP Director

François Beauregard​

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Reflector Entertainment reinvents its logo to deepen its affiliation with Bandai Namco
(older site links aren't working since the redesign, boo!)​
"It was important to showcase the studio's evolution over the past years and reflect the significant milestones achieved since its inception,"
Pascal Hamelin, Art Director (and Reflectorian since the studio's launch) and the designer behind the new brand image.
"This logo is closely tied to Bandai Namco, highlighting our collaborative work with the group and our shared values."​
MV5BOThmYzk1YjctN2JmMi00OTU3LTgwZTUtOWE4ZGU5ZWI1NGRlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjcyOTE1MzY@._V1_.jpg
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[PS4/PS5/XB1/XBS/Steam] Unknown 9: Awakening <ACT> (Reflector Entertainment) {2024.xx.xx}
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This quest will have you uncover the long-lost secrets of our collective past. You’ll also learn to tap into the Fold’s energy, gifting you incredible skills, known as Umbric abilities, that allow you to take down anyone who stands in your way.

But beware of the Ascendants, a dangerous offshoot of a secret society known as the Leap Year Society. This faction claims to want to use the Fold for the betterment of humankind, but don’t be fooled. Even the best of intentions can lead to catastrophe.
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The gameplay shows her Crushing, Pushing, and Pulling people and objects from a distance, and mysteriously Shielding herself from enemy fire. She also Steps into her opponents to take control of their minds, bodies, and weapons. These are just a few of the Umbric abilities you’ll use when you play the game. The closer we get to its release, the more of these skills we’ll reveal.

Players looking to switch up their playstyle will be able to play in stealth, combat, and Umbric abilities mode. Each style has its advantages, but it’s the combination of the three that will provide you with the versatility needed to overcome whatever enemies cross your path.
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[TBC] Bandai Namco Europe IP <???> (Reflector Entertainment) {xxxx.xx.xx}
Creative Director

'I have the chance to work on an amazing Bandai Namco brand, establishing the vision, building the team, being attentive to others...all amazing opportunities.' (Life at Reflector)
Art Director

Welcome to Charlotte Rouleau! With over 25 years of experience in the film industry, Charlotte joins Anne Gibeault's team as Art Director on our new project based on an IP from Bandai Namco Europe.
(Source: LinkedIn in late 2023)

Reflector Entertainment and Bandai Namco Europe to develop existing IP in Montreal

13/10/2022​
Reflector Entertainment and Bandai Namco Europe today announced the opening of another production line at the Montreal-based studio. This solidifies the strategic importance of the studio for the long term, by entrusting an existing IP to the talented studio.

This is an organic and pre-planned evolution in the development of Reflector Entertainment, which has established itself as a major asset within the group," said Hervé Hoerdt, CEO of Reflector Entertainment. “The studio is part of the Bandai Namco family because our values and vision are in total harmony when it comes to entertainment and the future of the industry. We all look forward to seeing what the team will achieve with this new challenge."

An evolving leadership team

Marc-André Séguin, has been promoted to General Manager at Reflector Entertainment. Together with Marc-André, the leadership team will be responsible for carrying out Reflector's strategic vision by enabling and empowering all members of the studio towards its common goals. Marc André has assumed this position effective October 1, 2022.

"I am thrilled to have helped solidify the Talent and Culture team and roadmap over the past few years. We have strengthened several aspects of our team with the goal of preparing the studio for great growth.” Commented Marc-André Séguin, General Manager of Reflector Entertainment, ”. I am proud to contribute to this culture of collective success that is being established among colleagues and I am very grateful for the trust placed in me by the studio leadership team and Bandai Namco Europe as I look forward to helping propel the studio to the next stage of our business plan."

Key departments within the studio have also seen an evolution. Christophe Rossignol, who has been working at Reflector Entertainment since its inception has been promoted to Creative Director, while Emilie Constantineau is stepping up as Talent and Culture Director.

More opportunities in Montreal

As the studio takes on this new production line and continues to grow, its leadership team needs to be strengthened to meet this new challenge.

Reflector Entertainment has opened up two new positions to complement the established leadership team, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Executive Producer, who will be central to the delivery of the organization's business plan.

Several roles such as Level Artist, Tool Programmer, VFX Artist and Technical Artist are also open and will be followed by executive roles such as Producer, Creative Director and Technical Director to start the new production line.

These future colleagues will integrate a team of more than 140 talented Reflectorians who bring the studio's vision to life through their passion.
Reading the open job listings & based on the gameplay footage of Unknown 9: Awakening, I'm wondering if this is a sequel/reboot of Enslaved: Journey to the West - any other IP that fit?

Senior Texture Artist

Narrative Director

Key Responsibilities:
  • Work closely with the Creative Director to define the narrative tone and themes.
  • Establish the narrative vision of the project within the Intellectual Property vision.
  • Provide a narrative vision to the story writer.
  • Establish the narrative vehicles that will carry the story throughout the game.
  • Develop the backstories of the main character and their journey throughout the game.
  • Support the Narrative Designer in establishing narrative designs for the game.
  • Ensure the quality of the game's overall narrative.
  • Collaborate with mission designers to establish the game's flow.
  • Ensure the narrative experience's consistency throughout the entire game.
  • In collaboration with the Director of the Production, direct casting, voice recordings and mocap sessions needed for all narrative moments of the game.
  • Collaborate effectively with multidisciplinary teams on the creation and implementation of the story.
Senior Director, Animation

VFX Artist

Loïc Cayuela​

Editorial Content Manager

Tools Programmer

Michael Nguyen​

*Not 100% certain on who is working on what or even if the website is up to date as Teppei Takahana is credited on recent DON'T NOT Entertainment titles like Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden.
Reflector x ISART Digital (Montreal)
[Itch] Blossom (ISART Digital/Reflector Entertainment) {2019.xx.xx}
[TBC] Palaka (ISART Digital/Reflector Entertainment) {2020.xx.xx}
[Itch] Lorekheim: Rise of a Fallen World (ISART Digital/Reflector Entertainment) {2022.xx.xx}
3rd year of the mentorship program between Reflector and ISART Digital: the environment at the heart of the project (Blog Article - May 4, 2022)
Looking back on two years of collaboration'
In 2019, ISART Digital in Montreal and Reflector Entertainment teamed up for the first time to create a year-end graduation game project, where six students imagined and developed Blossom. For the 2020 mentorship program, again in partnership with ISART Digital, Reflector aimed to create a more inclusive gaming experience. In turn, a team of eight students embarked on the development of a game adapted to neuro-atypical people, in particular those with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). As with Blossom, the group was able to count on the support of Reflector Entertainment throughout the development of the game, which gave birth to Palaka.
Reflector Entertainment and ISART DIGITAL present Lorekheim: Rise of a Fallen World, the third game from their annual mentorship program (Press Release - August 16, 2022)
I'm curious to see how it ends up & how Bandai Namco intends to do things differently from the last time it made a big push in 'cinematic' North American & European development 10 years ago. Little Nightmares III is a key title. Anyway I think the recent hirings suggest that Bandai Namco Europe is committed to Reflector Entertainment although recent news of its parent company deciding to cancel 5 projects in its next mid-term plan (3 years starting from April 1, 2025) plus the lay offs at external partner Supermassive Games is pause for thought. We shall see...
 
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I'm not keen on trans-media projects by any company, let alone Bandai Namco so my feelings in that regard are similar for this as they are for Synduality: Echo of Ada. Mainly as I'd rather have the entire budget committed to the videogames plus have everything narrative wise be included (HALO, FFXV spring to mind). Still it is what it is & while I'm sceptical on aspects of the GamesIndustry article, no idea why users (including bad mod @Fisico ) are taking parts out of context & jumping on this one

Mostly because of a thing I mentionned twice in my post I guess

maybe it's just an article aimed at business people
but once again it might be just be an audience mismatch

Every quote from that article seems to be from Herve Hoerdt whose job is "Reflector Entertainment CEO and Bandai Namco Europe's chief content officer"
And who previously was

At EA
- Trade Marketing & SSL Manager
- Salesfield Manager
- Key account Manager

- Sales & Marketing Director for some toy company

At Bamco
- Sales & Marketing Director France
- Managing Director France & Benelux
- Vice President Marketing & Digital
- Senior Vice President Marketing & Digital Content

Thus an article who will feature mostly quotes from him is bound to be mostly about the topics he historically worked on, and target an audience who shares similar interests.

I'm not gonna lie, I only see marketing as a necessary evil, delving deeper into it only brings nihilistic views from me or the feelings of straight up manipulation of wide audiences (after all marketing goal isn't to deliver a competent product, it's to sell it first and foremost)

So I lean on the opposite end of the bias*, being interested in the creative process behind video games, the relationship between people on the project, what they wanted to achieve game design wise, the constraint they had to deal with, the coincidence that lead to some dumb details for the better or for the worst, the struggle with new middlewares/tools, what motivated some bold design choices, how efficiency had to be achieved and corners cut to reach a milestone in due time etc.

I'm not naive enough to think that the creative process or videogame design is all butterflies and rainbows, I know that game designers have to be reigned in otherwise projects can become a mess, that the core concept of a project needs to resonate with the market otherwise it's a risky endeavour, but I also saw Ubisoft game design philosophy being killed from the inside 10y ago with the same fancy words to incredible short term games (who remembers how Ubi was an incredible success story back then?) and the long term disaster it is in today, what I read in that article felt like a mirror of that

It's not helped by the studio direction being made of 6 people, none having any development/artist background, 2 from HR, 3 in Finance/Marketing and 1 in general project management.

So that painted my overall impression of the article, of course I don't have any judgement to give on the final product as it's not shipped, but if the project is helmed this way it doesn't inspire me confidence, of course I could end up being dead wrong, for the studio's sake I hope so even, if later on there are articles describing the development process from the inside I would be interested to read it and potentially change my view on the project outcome, as is I only had the gamesindustry.biz article to go on which is what I reacted to.


* and I imagine most people here do as well, although there are hopefully some who worked on the field and/or are more receptive/less hostile than I am to the overall messages conveyed by the article
 
On a much more interesting topic since @KR_EP requested it and it really feels apt here (for multiple reasons I'll detail below) I wanted to give a short overview of Mutsumi Inomata's career and legacy

Of course it was already mentionned everywhere and it was her more famous works worldwide but she was the main character designer for a fair amount of Tales of titles starting from the second entry Tales of Destiny in 1997 and all the way down to Tales of Berseria in 2016 as far as main entries are concerned.

Her style was rather unique and ... an era defining one

Mitsuo Iso, one of the most famous animator in Japan especially famous for his work on Evangelion or Gundam 0080, had this much to share about her


It may not make sense to people today, but Mutsumi Inomata had a huge influence on anime character design at the time, and when it came to beautiful girl characters in particular, it was an active fault line that could be said to be ``before Mutsumi Inomata.'' It had become. When I was a student, I often imitated and practiced.

Mitsuo Fukuda, director of multiple anime but most notably Gundam Seed, probably the most popular Gundam series which had an historical comeback success recently in movie format, also shared

I would like to express my heartfelt condolences upon learning of the death of Mutsumi Inomata. She helped me with character design for Cyber Formula, Gundam SEED, and DESTINY, and she also lent me a lot of help with projects that never made it to the world. The last time I met her was at a year-end party for his work. I'll never forget the smile on her face as she talked about the characters, looking happy but also a little embarrassed. I humbly pray for your soul to rest in peace.

Masami Obari, one of the most, if not the most famous mecha designer in Japan whose name is associated with the Obari's pose, had these words

I think the first time we met was when I was 20 years old.
"Hmm, you're Obari-kun... I watched the first episode of Machine Robo!"
I was nervous in front of the superstar I had admired since my school days, but I wanted to smile and talk to you, Inoata-san.
Your wonderful work will last forever.
Thank you very much for your hard work.
I humbly pray for your soul to rest in peace.
thank you very much.

And the list of famous names go on, I won't quote every single one of them (like Nobuteru Yuki) for obvious reasons.

Because way before Inomata ended up as a character designer on a 1997 game, she started her career doing Key animation on anime produced by Ashi Production in the late 70's early 80's, a few years in she landed the position of character designer (on an unrelated note I'd glady recommand Shirobako to whoever wants to understand who does what during anime production) which is what defined most of her career from then on as she had a deep influence in everyone in the industry throughout the 80's and 90's.
The way pretty female characters (or bishoujo) have been designed with bigger and wider eyes to this day is in part due to her style, with even Bastard!! author making direct reference to her in his work, even the infamous bikini armor that has now spread in various works in Japan seems to stems for a big part from her art on Genmu Senki Leda for which she was both character designer and in charge of the storyboard (and is often mentionned on X regarding her most notable works 1 - 2 - 3)

Her popularity kept rising in the second half of the 1980's as she started working with Sunrise notably as animation director on City Hunter, under pseudonym on the anime Saint Seiya, and asides from the animation had also a successful career as an illustrator on Dragon Quest or Utsunomiko amongst many others, seemingly her art was so mesmerizing that even Michael Jackson asked to meet her after seeing one of her illustration in 1988
She went on to later work with Yoshiyuki Tomino, the creator of Gundam, on Brain Powerd, and her last notable involvement for an anime besides seeing novels she was an illustrator being adapted, was Sacred Seven, at Sunrise again (some should notice the ressemblance to Code Geass, both shows being from Sunrise and having notable overlap in staff and notably their animation director, having her to work to adapt Inomata's artwork should tell you how much Inomata's was valued by the company)






It's specifically Utsunomiko however which was mentionned by Shinichiro Okamoto (another legend at Namco) as for why Mutsumi Inomata was picked as the character designer for the Tales of series after Phantasia, the change from Kosuke Fujishima being motivated by the change of platforms, in an era where exclusivity was the norm it made sense to have a different identity for a different platform (Phantasia being a SFC exclusive initially), something which materialized again in 2003 when Tales of came back to a Nintendo platform on GC with Symphonia and Kosuke Fujishima as his character designer (going further you could also say the Phantasia GBA port and the The Abyss port on 3DS could have been motivated by this, but I digress)


(Go at the 7mn timestamp if it's not automatic, and enable subtitles obviously)

She went on to be the main character designer for the following titles
  • Tales of Destiny PS1 (1997)
  • Tales of Eternia PS1 (2000)
  • Tales of Destiny 2 PS2 (2002)
  • Tales of Rebirth PS2 (2004)
  • Tales of the Tempest DS (2006)
  • Tales of Innocence DS (2007)
  • Tales of Hearts DS (2008)
  • Tales of Graces Wii (2009)
And co character designer for later titles (especially female characters)
  • Tales of Xillia PS3 (2011)
  • Tales of Xillia 2 PS3 (2012)
  • Tales of Zestiria PS3 (2015)
  • Tales of Berseria PS3 (2016)

Her latest original characters for the Tales of series were probably two female characters (again !) for the mobile titles Tales of the Rays and Tales of Crestoria

It's a bit scruffy and rough around the edges but time was of the essence for this post to make sense so I had to hurry things a little bit, sorry about that


Even more of her works can be checked here

EDIT : Multiple typo, a bit of rewording
 
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Preface: I have other topics lined up including Bandai Namco Game Music, the crowdfunded Across the Kosmos ~ Xenosaga Piano Collection & 2nd Gyaar Studio Indie Game Contest winners. I've been in discussion with @Fisico to make sure we debate specific topics while at the same time making the overall thread more active. I'll set them aside for now to focus on Unknown 9, Reflector Entertainment & the GI article. But first I'd like to thank you for posting a very moving tribute. Most of all I'd like to join you in paying our respects to Mutsumi Inomata for her incredible lifework.

We would like to express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Ms. Mutsumi Inomata after her passing.

We are grateful for how her talents and skills created irreplaceable characters that will shine brightly in the hearts of fans forever.​
Unknown 9: I think it is important to post the full passage that was underneath the few lines you quoted that includes links to the crossover media plus the relevant quotes from the GI piece:
"People will find their way through the universe via the game, and the book is [the only other thing] you need to pay for. So they can get into the lore, the narrative, the plot, and the podcast depending on their appetite and so on."

"The amount of content we're going to give away is just mind-blowing. Elden Ring is hundreds of hours. Unknown 9 is like 15 hours, which is nice, but if you want to go through all the transmedia content, you're probably getting close to those 80 to 100 hours."
You can play the game, which they noted is not going to cost 80 euros by itself or check out the rest if it interests you above. It should be noted that Little Nightmares has a podcast series too.
"Unknown 9 and the purchase of Reflector is to address this biggest market segment. We know it will take time, and we know it's a very divided segment – either you have a big game that is a hardware seller or in an established franchise, or you have games that are perhaps niche, and you do first try and you adjust, you listen to player feedback, and then you make your second one better, and so on.

"Having an action adventure [game] is not only tackling the biggest market segment with the best potential sales, it's also a very cool tool to transmit our brand image and awareness. And this is what we're also doing when we think about transmedia and mobile."
To sum up, Herve Hoerdt stated that people can buy & play the game, with the option of listening to the podcasts and/or read the comics for free. Only the novels cost money, but the prices are reasonable, include options for audio or ebook plus the ability to sign up to read for free on the Bandai Namco website. While on the subject here is the official blurb on novelist Layton Green author of Unknown 9: Genesis (the physical filter does not work for me but I was able to find the novel on Amazon US & UK here, note the positive reviews) & Unknown 9: Revelation:
Layton is a bestselling author whose works include the Dominic Grey series and the Blackwood Saga. His novels have been nominated for multiple awards (he’s a three-time International Thriller Writers Award finalist), topped numerous lists worldwide, and have been optioned for film. Prior to writing, Layton was a practicing attorney with a multi-national law firm. He lives with his family in Southern California.
As I mentioned, crossover-media is not my fetish but there is nothing wrong untoward here. As for the rest of your post, I'll gladly discuss it with you further, both in regards to Unknown 9 & Reflector Entertainment in particular or the wider points you raised (either in this discussion if on-topic or elsewhere if not), provided we first establish agreed facts based on the above.
 
GYAAR Studio Primer & 1st Contest Winners New

“Each time I have to draw,” she said, “I just read the novel, follow my own instincts, and all of the sudden the images come out. I don’t think about it again afterwards.”​
Final part from a touching obituary by Jonathan Clements truly hit home the finality of her sad passing - “She was still working on some roughs when she died,” her sister posted on social media. “And I’m sure she’s still drawing them in heaven, surrounded by her beloved cats, still coming up with new characters with cute, strong eyes!” Sometimes words are not enough...

As part of gradually tidying up the messy OP, have created an expanded GYAAR Studio primer. I was planning to include both the 1st & 2nd GYAAR Studio Indie Game Contest as several games have been released. However seeing as this post is long enough as it is, I'll focus on the initial context, threadmark it & pick up the slack on the latest releases in the near future.
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GYAAR Studio
Youtube page here
Sigh... Wouldn’t it be nice
to make amusing games.
What is GYAAR Studio?
Amusing games with fresh gameplay. Collaborative development with players. Rapid production. Transforming ideas into reality.
It is with these lofty ideals that our studio came into being.
This is a new game brand brought to you by the creators from Bandai Namco Studios.
This is GYAAR Studio.

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[Steam] Hook & Kaiju (Phoenixx) {2023.04.07} // [Steam] ENDRAYS (Phoenixx) {2023.04.14} // [Steam] EXCYCLE (Phoenixx) {2023.04.21} // [Steam] Shigeru Planet (Phoenixx) {2023.04.28}​
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[Steam] Goonect <JPN> (Phoenixx) {2022.05.27}
[NSW/Steam/GeForce NOW] Survival Quiz CITY Omatsuri-Hen <F2P> (Phoenixx) {2023.10.11}​
A Project Born from
Bandai Namco Studios’
New Hire Onboarding Program!!
Sigh... Wouldn't it be nice to make Steam games Japan only together with Phoenixx (former SMEJ sub-label, UNTIES).​
Bandai Namco Entertainment and Bandai Namco Studios are announcing the first GYAAR Studio Indie Game Contest for indie game creators!

This contest will select (at most) 1 Platinum Award winner + 7 other prize winners from a pool of game entries, including those in-development, and award a total of up to 100 million JPY in support funding.

In addition to the prize funding, game developer Bandai Namco Studios will also offer direct development support, as well as a support program which includes access to the “GYAAR Studio Base” game development center within the Bandai Namco Studios office, publishing support, and IP (Intellectual property, such as characters and brands) co-creation support. Bandai Namco Group aims to make use of its strengths and years of acquired know-how to provide creators with a wide-range of full-fledged support!



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Platinum Award
Up to 30 Million JPY in support funding! Congrats!
[Steam] Little Cheese Works <CAT> (BUBBLE GUM LLC) {2024.xx.xx}
Demo Available
What makes it stand out?
The game system, controls, and look and feel are very well put together for a co-op game. There are plans to introduce voice chat (but we risk waking the cat if we're too loud...!) and other elements, making this a very exciting title to look forward to. We were also impressed by the attention to detail, such as making the mouse fall over when they run.
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Award Winner
Up to 10 Million JPY in support funding! Congrats!
[Steam] Electrogical <PUZ> (Yutaka Kinjo) {2024.xx.xx}
Demo Available
What makes it stand out?
The theme, concept, game objectives, and UI are all very clear and fit together well, and the game is carefully designed and well-organized.
The goal to be a "puzzle game that becomes a part of your life" is also interesting and compelling for a game to play during short breaks.
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Award Winner
Up to 10 Million JPY in support funding! Congrats!
[Steam] The Strongest TOFU: fragile adventure <YUM> (Zounoashi Games) {2024.xx.xx}
Demo Available
What makes it stand out?
Before all else, the idea of "a game that offers the best tofu experience" is very unique and intriguing. We also thought Zounoashi Games' dedication to tofu was very impressive. It plays nicely as an action game and we are looking forward to the further spread of Japanese tofu culture overseas through this game.

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Award Winner

Up to 10 Million JPY in support funding! Congrats!
Out Now
What makes it stand out?
We could immediately understand the game's content and appeal, as well as the developers' intended gameplay experience they want their players to have. The combination of easy-to-understand rules and controls, an exhilarating battle system, and engaging background music and effects makes this a game worth playing again and again.
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Award Winner
Up to 10 Million JPY in support funding! Congrats!
[Steam] SKY THE SCRAPER <WASH> (Ryo Kobuichi/Toydium/HYPER REAL) {2024.xx.xx}​
Toydium is the Gift that keeps on giving.​
What makes it stand out?
The uniqueness of the building cleaning action and the individuality of the game's story sets it apart from others. The concept, as well as the controls for the action part of the game, are straightforward, and completing the missions bit by bit is very fun. The story element of what the younger generation goes through in their daily lives is also very intriguing.
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Award Winner
Up to 10 Million JPY in support funding! Congrats!
Early Access
What makes it stand out?
The visual and graphic aspects of the game, such as the models, were the best among the entries we had this time. The action part of the game is simple to navigate while still having a lot of variety, and defeating the enemies feels great. This is a game with very stylish and exciting vibes.
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Award Winner
Up to 10 Million JPY in support funding! Congrats!
[Steam] Forgotten Fragments <???> (Binary Phoenix) {xxxx.xx.xx}​
Nintendo Switch
What makes it stand out?
The control mechanisms are simple and well done. The ease of play is very well-designed, with each stage being short, and players can easily restart the stage even at a slightly higher difficulty level. Overall, we felt that this is nicely put together. The game's expressive pixel art, including its direction, makes it a game that anyone could get into.
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Award Winner
Up to 10 Million JPY in support funding! Congrats!
[Steam] Sea Sniffers <SEA> (Blastmode) {xxxx.xx.xx}​
A cozy game.
What makes it stand out?
Even though the build itself was still in its early stages, we could immediately see the intended player experience here. We truly felt that the developer knows how to capture the hearts and minds of the players. The sound, graphics, and overall feel of the game are all very attractive, including the question "why do these seals throw punches?"

Article on Electrogical that first caught my eye - Unique Japanese Indie puzzle game that uses arithmetic and electricity releases demo version Automaton Media (August 22, 2023)
 
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BANDAI NAMCO BATMAN ARKHAM CITY GAME OF THE YEAR EDITION RESULTS!​

  • TALES OF ARISE BEYOND THE DAWN EDITION​

    Votes: 44.4%
  • ONE PIECE: PIRATE WARRIORS 4 DELUXE EDITION​

    Votes: 00.0%
  • ACE COMBAT 7 PREMIUM EDITION​

    Votes: 55.6%
  • ACE COMBAT 7 DELUXE EDITION​

    Votes: 00.0%
GYAAR ME MATEYS! It was a close run thing but I think we all know Based Boxart InstallBase made the right decision. Before rounding up the GYAAR Studio um...round up by getting onto 2nd Contest Winners, forgot to mention that Sacra Music published a collection of soundtracks to GYAAR Studio. Unties lives! Kinda. Will even cover the latest free games for y'all to play.

SACRA GAME MUSIC
A joint project of music label SACRA MUSIC and indie game publisher Phoenixx Inc.
*SACRA MUSIC is a division of Sony Music Labels Inc.

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DORONKO WANKO
SACRA BLEU!
The soundtracks for five popular games born from Bandai Namco Studios' rookie training program are now available for download starting today!
Enjoy them alongside the games!​
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Bandai Namco Group in full support of indie game creators!

Second “GYAAR Studio Indie Game Contest” for indie game creators Collaboration with "Supercell" confirmed!

Strengthen support from a global perspective for the winners
Press Release: November 6, 2023

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15 titles were selected

out of a grand total of 236 entrees!​

1 Platinum Award,

4 Award Winners,

and 10 Honorable Mentions.​

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Platinum Award
Up to 30 Million JPY in support funding! Congrats!
[Steam] BANDIT KNIGHT <2DHD> (Game Float) {2024.xx.xx}
Nintendo Switch
What makes it stand out?
This game was really exciting to play! The stage mechanics matched well with the focused, simple core gameplay of stealing things. Playing it felt really good and we were satisfied with its quality.
The pretty sprites, the 2.5D world, and the story were all whimsical; our team looks forward to how it'll evolve in the future.
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Award Winner
Up to 10 Million JPY in support funding! Congrats!
[Steam] KILLA : kill the la <ILL> (Black Tangerine) {2024.12.xx}
Demo Available
What makes it stand out?
We were instantly drawn in by the game's unique setting and visuals. We can't wait to play it and see what kind of story it tells. The team at Black Tangerine put so much love into making each character, so we all look forward to the day the game is released to fans around the world.
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Award Winner
Up to 10 Million JPY in support funding! Congrats!
[iOS/Android/Steam] Jelly Troops <GEL> (Ken Watanabe/Nukenin) {2024.xx.xx}
Nintendo Switch
What makes it stand out?
Although the game is currently a prototype and is only 10% of the way to the finish line, we could already experience the gameplay that sets it apart! It was very fun game that we couldn’t play sitting still, with flags getting captured here and there, guardians and walls getting in the way, and even some precious moments from the slimes. We can only see the game get even more interesting with future implementations and are very excited for its possibilities.
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Award Winner
Up to 10 Million JPY in support funding! Congrats!
[Steam] SUMMER ROAD <CARPG> (REBUILD GAMES) {2024.xx.xx}
What makes it stand out?
Not only does the concept of a 10-minute RPG perfectly suit modern needs, but it's also a great match with the content of the game itself. You can feel the creators' strong sense of direction and creative drive, which really resonated with us. We're excited to see where the story pans out from here!
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Award Winner
Up to 10 Million JPY in support funding! Congrats!
[Steam] Algolemeth <DRPG> (MEDIUM-RARE GAMES) {2024.xx.xx}
Nintendo Switch
What makes it stand out?
The central requirement of creating an AI golem and its behaviors and using it for battle is programming-like and unconventional, but engaging. While the gameplay may sound difficult, the clear tutorial makes it approachable and easy to get hooked once you start!

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Award Winners
1 million JPY at the time of award
[NSW/PS5/XBS/Steam] METAL SUITS <SLUG> (Eggtart Inc) {2024.xx.xx}
[Steam] Ihin <ADV> (Mugen Ollie Games) {2025.xx.xx}
[Steam] UNKO TECHNICA <POO> (UDONPA) {2024.xx.xx}
[Steam] Light of Atlantis <ATL> (Drown Town) {2026.xx.xx}
[NSW/Steam] Projéct Timi Sasha's Curse <COZY> (Ephemeral Cube) {2024.xx.xx}
[Steam] Valkyrie Squad: Siege Breakers <ACT> (Digital Crafter) {2024.xx.xx}
[iOS/Android/Steam] Depth:Origin <STG> (Shiki GameStudio) {2025.xx.xx}
[iOS/Android/Steam] Horizontal Mirror <PUZ> (Studio ZeF) {2024.xx.xx}
[Steam] Sweep It! <PUZ> (Pukuzen) {20xx.xx.xx}
[Steam] About shadows (provisional) <ACT> (Chemical Pudding) {2025.xx.xx}

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Anything from either the 1st prize & 2nd prize title lists that peaks your fancy? BANDIT KNIGHT is clearly the runaway success but SUMMER ROAD looks promising while METAL SUITS & Light of Atlantis are worth a closer look. Projéct Timi: Sasha's Curse has a demo plus an upcoming project entry on Kickstarter so I suspect the 2024 mentioned on the GYAAR page (but not on Steam) is wildly optimistic or a simple typo. Tried any of the free games? Will the overwhelmingly positive Dirty Doggo reception lead to a full game...I'm asking you a question Kif. *sigh*
 
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