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Feature: 'Tokyo Game Show Conversations: Bandai's Makoto Iwai'

In another of today's main Gamasutra features, we present the first of our 'Tokyo Game Show Conversations' interview pieces, focusing on the state of Japanese game publis...
In another of today's main Gamasutra features, we present the first of our 'Tokyo Game Show Conversations' interview pieces, focusing on the state of Japanese game publishing and development. In this first interview, conducted at TGS 2005, Gamasutra spoke with Makoto Iwai, manager of international business, Video Game Department, Bandai Co. Ltd, about his thoughts on the merger between his company and fellow Japanese firm Namco, the state of the Japanese industry, next-gen, and how to compete with the west. When asked about the merger between Namco and Bandai, which has now officially closed, Iwai commented: "It’s an over-simplified answer, but basically Bandai’s main business is toys, and Namco is of course primarily a game company. And if you take a look at the Japanese domestic market by itself, the market size is shrinking. So we had been thinking about what to do for the future. And it doesn’t mean that Namco and Bandai weren’t doing well. We were doing quite well, but we figured we needed to prepare for the rainy days ahead. That’s what the company has been feeling for some time, and we’d been looking at various possibilities. It just happened to be Namco and Bandai that converged, and were both looking for an opportunity like this. We sort of had a similar culture within our companies, not like Sega and Bandai. A while back we had plans to get together with Sega, but it fell through. Our company culture was totally different, and we had no idea until we actually entered talks with each other. It’s just a matter of chemistry." You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).

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