At this year's Tokyo Game Show, executives from Square Enix, Capcom, and Namco Bandai engaged in a roundtable discussion about Japan's diminished role in the gaming industry. As a result, the publisher and many of its fellow Japanese outfits are putting a greater emphasis on the West, both in selling and developing their games there.
Square Enix recently set up a development studio in Los Angeles. Capcom is "actively pursuing friendly acquisitions and partnerships" with foreign outfits, and developing games like Dead Rising and Lost Planet with a more Western audience in mind. And today Namco Bandai established Surge, a new publishing label "dedicated to providing cutting-edge, genre-defining games that are targeted at satiating the appetite of western gamers." Surge will produce games across a variety of genres and platforms.
The first game to carry the Surge label will be Afro Samurai, scheduled for release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 January 27. Based on the animated series of the same name, Afro Samurai features the voice of Samuel L. Jackson and a hip-hop-influenced soundtrack composed by The RZA.