Japanese game publisher Bandai Namco has announced plans [Japanese PDF] to begin fielding pitches from local developers to make games that use characters from select franchises in its IP catalog, including properties like Pac-Man, Galaga and Dig Dug.
According to the translation work of Japan-focused outlet Gematsu, next month Japanese developers will be allowed to request permission from Bandai Namco to use some of its characters in their games with less oversight than a traditional licensing agreement.
Instead, petitioners will only be required to submit to what Bandai Namco refers to as a "project review", though it's yet unclear how developers will go about submitting proposals to the company.
Gamasutra has reached out to Bandai Namco for more details on the venture, which sounds much akin to Square Enix's recent decision to let developers pitch their own games using IP from its Gex, Fear Effect or Anachronox franchises.
Update: Bandai Namco representatives confirmed to Gamasutra that, at least for the foreseeable future, this initiative is open only to Japanese developers and any games that result will only be released in Japan.
Here's a full list of the IP Bandai Namco is willing to field pitches on:
- Adventure of Valkyrie (Original title is "Walkure no Boken" in Japanese.)
- Battle City
- Dragon Buster
- The Genji and the Heike Clans (Original title is "Genpei Toma Den" in Japanese.)
- Youkai Douchu Ki
- Sky Kid
- Star Luster
- The Tower of Druaga
- Tower of Babel
- Wagan Land