Sponsored By

Bandai Namco: Acquisitions are impacting our ability to work with third-party devs

Bandai Namco's European COO Arnaud Muller discusses how the publisher is operating with its third-party developers as more of them get acquired.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

August 25, 2022

2 Min Read
Cover art for Supermassive Games' Dark Pictures: The Devil in Me.

As more developers and publishers become acquired, or are open to being acquired, Bandai Namco Europe COO Arnaud Muller touched on the difficulties of operating in this era of game development. 

Speaking with GamesIndustry, Muller admitted that the Scarlet Nexus and Dragon Ball: The Breakers publisher has had to implement safeguards with third-party developers, specifically ones already owned by different publishers. 

"Safeguards," in this case, means securing relationships with the developers, discussing who ultimately owns the IP, and even possibly investing a minority stake into a studio. 

The third-party studios that Bandai Namco works with, such as Dark Souls developer From Software, it very much wants to keep working with going forward. "We also have to keep in mind that we have to get some sort of security towards the future of the studio that develops this IP, if the IP doesn't belong to us," said Muller.

As an example, he pointed at developer Supermassive Games. Bandai Namco publishes the studio's Dark Pictures anthology series, and Supermassive was purchased by Danish investment firm Nordisk back in July. 

Even though Supermassive outright owns the Dark Pictures IP, Muller confirmed that the relationship between the developer and publisher hasn't changed, Nordisk doesn't publish games. In fact, Supermassive's recent game, The Quarrywas published by 2K. 

While admitting that Bandai Namco has the money to keep these relationships, Muller also briefly touched on the flip side of the acquisition glut. Namely, that not everyone can be a Bandai Namco. 

"This spread of acquisition that we're seeing is affecting some of the smaller publishers in their capacity to access the best studios in the world," admitted Muller. But as far as what smaller publishers could do as the mergers and acquisitions continue, he had no answer. 

Update: A previous version of this article stated that Blazblu was a Bandai Namco-published game. It has been updated to correct the error.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like