Japanese Hopping on Convergence Bandwagon

Posted by joefunk :: Advertising in Video Games | Hollywood & Video Games | Industry Trends | Retail-Products

Pacman_copyNamco Homtek and Bandai Games Inc. rang in 2006 by completing the integration of their two companies and are now officially known as Namco Bandai Games America Inc. in North America.  “We are proud to be part of the new Namco Bandai Games America family and look forward to a successful year ahead," said Genichi Ito, the new President and CEO.

The integration brings together two of the most venerable Japanese-owned interactive entertainment companies. The new company will house brands including Pac-Man, Tamagotchi, SoulCalibur, Tekken, Power Rangers, Digimon, Ridge Racer, Ace Combat and others, with many new properties reportedly in development. The resulting Namco Bandai Group plans to develop business ranging from toys, amusement facilities, video game software and visual software, to apparel, sundries and network content.

Both companies have a proud heritage of developing original and unique IPs. By finally, officially teaming-up on a merger that was a long time in the making, look for Namco Bandai to emerge as a fresh creative force by 2007 while they consolidate and manage their strong stable of brands already in the pipeline for this year.

Some Other Quick Predictions for 2006

-The timing is right, and there are finally enough broadband subscribers, to support an on-demand gaming service like GameTap.

-The Sony PS3 will not launch this year.

-Cell phone cameras will be almost as good as digital cameras, which will allow more gamers to insert their geeky faces in their favorite games.

-Someone will develop the first next-gen, gaming-centric, killer ap for cell phones.

-Pro gamers will start gaining a following comparable to the bass fishing pros you see on ESPN. Heroes and villains will emerge, lame celebrations will unfold, but non-endemic sponsorships will soon follow.

-A gaming session will not be interrupted for the one-millionth time by a user tripping over a controller cord, as more and more people  - and the next generation of consoles  - finally, thankfully, switch to wireless controllers.

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