Namco lays out digital and mobile battleplan

Publisher Namco Bandai is working on Android, iPad, and iPhone versions of its biggest franchises.

The news comes as the company finalises the merger of its US boxed games division with its Networks department – which looks after digital and mobile games.

Namco Bandai US vice president Carlson Choi says this opens up the firm’s key franchises such as Ridge Racer and Tekken to an even broader number of platforms.

Previously, there were different brands that one of these departments had that the other one didn’t,” he said. Putting these two departments together means the likes of Tekken, Ace Combat, Inversion and so on can now be accessed by the mobile business.

Our immediate focus is on a multi-platform approach, so that when you leave the home you can take your experiences with you.”

The publisher revealed a number of new mobile and digital titles at its Ignite event in San Francisco last week (see ‘California Gaming’). But Choi doesn’t believe the movement towards digital and mobile spells doom for traditional boxed retail.

Retail is never going to go away,” he said. It is going to be there forever. But it is a challenge.

Mr. Jobs changed the way the gaming market works and retailers are wondering how they can stay relevant.”

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