Bandai Namco plans to spend 15 billion yen ($130 million) creating a new "intellectual property metaverse."
The company broke the news in its fiscal report for the nine months ending December 31, 2021, and said the cash will be used to establish a data foundation and develop content.
More specifically, the Japanese publisher said its metaverse will include virtual spaces that let players "enjoy a wide range of entertainment," and also spoke of fusing physical products and venues with digital elements.
"Through the IP Metaverse, we will establish communities among Bandai Namco and fans, as well as among fans themselves," wrote the company. "Through these communities and content, we will build deep, broad, multifaceted connections that continue for long periods of time, and we will focus on the quality of those connections. In this way, we will work to maximize IP value over the medium to long term."
Realizing that metaverse concept will be a core strategy within Bandai Namco's digital business sub-segment. Looking more broadly at the company's Network Entertainment division, which houses its video game operations, net sales for the quarter increased to 92.7 billion yen from 86.6 billion yen while operating profit fell to 11.6 billion yen from 12.8 billion yen.
As the table below shows, sales of home video game content over the past nine months increased to 36.2 million units from 32.3 million units, although network content revenue dropped to 131.9 billion yen from 154 billion yen over the same period.
Looking ahead, the company is forecasting net sales of 310 billion yen and operating profit of 40 billion yen within its Network Entertainment division. A rebrand is also in the works, with Bandai Namco preparing to introduce a new logo (header image) to "elevate" its brand value on a global scale.