Namco Bandai Surge-s West

Tekken publisher joins ranks of Japanese outfits courting Western audiences; new label to debut with Afro Samurai.

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.

Wasn't Surge an x-treme soda pop brand?

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.

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Discussion

50 comments
dbpvivi
dbpvivi

No! Don't try to attempt to make games for a western market. You cant do it. Its like getting Disney to an Anime flick. Stick to the eastern market and continue to make games that suite your own audience. Look at the success of the WII and NDS, all due to its 'innovative' games. Sub some more of the titles you wouldn't expect us to play, I think your be surprised just how many of us in west follow eastern trends, look how many people watch Bleach.

tig1979
tig1979

RPDRookie Posted Dec 5, 2008 5:27 pm GMT I just hope this doesn't mean change, because I like their games just the way they are. Releasing some of the games here that are currently import-only would be nice, though. I agree 100% there, don't need to change the games, just release them in the west and europe too!! The one's they do release seem to have such a delay too that by the time they get here we aint interested anyway.

greendisk
greendisk

That's some kind of joke right? were still waiting for tales of Vesperia to be released in the UK, It's got a penned June 2009 release date. If i had to describe their game releases over here the word "Surge" would not be used.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

One of the reasons they may be "failing" is because they haven't successfully recreated the RPG for this generation of gamers or consoles. Old school gamers like me have no problem forking out $$ for good turn based RPG, but I was raised on those. Even the gamers that started out on FFVII are moving towards the games that involve more real time combat. Thy should also read ore American magazines and websites. That niche game that everyone is raving about? Stop making us import them for 20% markup. It can't be that hard to find someone willing to localize a good game. People have been doing it FOR FREE to emulated versions of games for years. And stop digging around in the "past great titles" bin everytime Nintendo or Sony release a new version of thier handhelds. I know it makes you money, but it's stunting your growth as developers. Ok, you might scrach that last one, I'm pretty sure FF's 7-12 might hit handhelds one day.

lamprey263
lamprey263

I really liked the miniseries, I was glad when I heard they were making it into a game, though, I'm worried in the end the game is going to be kind of meh... but I hope I'm dead wrong

flameducky
flameducky

I do remember it, but very vaguely though

TenP
TenP

Anyone remember the drink, Surge? It was terrible... Terribly awesome.

JACKAL1883
JACKAL1883

the should f up the rhythm industry in the USA by bring over all the bemani games from japan

zeke2040
zeke2040

well let's see what this company's have in store for us... only time will tell... i do wish them the best.

lev_six
lev_six

They did such a wonderful job with their management of Hellgate once Flagship chimped everyone. Sure, I blame Flagship, but I think these guys kind of lick sack.

WithoutGraceXII
WithoutGraceXII

I have a very hard time seeing an Afro Samurai game as being genre defining.

VirtualTofu
VirtualTofu

True dat jtthegame316. I have a 360 and a Wii and am finding less reasons, to buy a PS3, but probably will. I have a GCN, Xbox, PS2, PSP 2000, and DS Lite. I am HARDCORE!!!!! And I have PC, and a NGPC, and a GBC, and a GBA, and a NES, SNES, and N64.

Bladescorpion
Bladescorpion

Hopefull they throw us Tales of Rebirth, Destiny 2 and Phantasia remake on PSP, give us Tales of Destiny Director's Cut and avoid junk like Gundam Crossfire, avoid releasing games at bad times like they did with Tale of the Abyss.

Extra_Life
Extra_Life

Yeah, I just wish they'd translate Tales of Rebirth, Destiny 2 and Phantasia on PSP, and then chuck us Tales of Destiny Director's Cut. Better late than never.

RPDRookie
RPDRookie

I just hope this doesn't mean change, because I like their games just the way they are. Releasing some of the games here that are currently import-only would be nice, though.

RockmanSRD
RockmanSRD

I guess this is cool.... But what I really want, hopefully in Q1 of '09, is my Gundam Musou 2!!!!

toyota22
toyota22

Looking forward to this:)))

CamiKitten
CamiKitten

Please Namco Bandai don't screw this up!! People of the west loved your Tales games, and I know of plenty never released here. Other then that, what are these companies planning on releasing that's going to "satiate the appetite of western gamers"? Oh I bet I know what it is...more games who's story is no longer than 10-12 hours. Oh and hundreds more useless first person shooters that really have no substance, except to show easterners how we love gunning each other down and doing some barbaric ritual dance in our living rooms while screaming profanities to people over our headsets who quite possibly could be no older then 10 years old b/c their mommy and daddys think it's ok to shoot people!!!! You know what? People in the western are like good stories too, good rpgs, or adventures. Something with a plot! Something w/o crappy voice acting that makes it sound like they just read their script the day they were about to perform. Something that we GET MORE OUT OF then paying $60 for a 10 hour freaking game. I don't know about anyone else, but I demand QUALITY.

pikaby
pikaby

Namco Bandai. If you care about the West please make localization of all the great games you released in Japan only your priority. We play Taiko Drum Master and Klonoa too you know.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

dead rising 2 i can't wait the first one was awesome. i don't know what has happened to jap gamers they use to be hardcore gamers but not anymore apperently. lets face it a hardcore gamer might buy all formats but you could not buy a ps 3 only and call your slef a hardcore games fan when most the best games are on 360. hardcore games fans own 360 if they can only afford one console and all 3 if they can get all.

TheTenth10
TheTenth10

Is it me or do the words "satiating the appetite of western gamers" seem racist? And "Japan's diminished role in the gaming industry" who are they kidding? They've been dominating console gaming for years ... Only good news that can come from it is crushing the "American enemy" Microsoft from the console market.

flyingteddy
flyingteddy

for those that like the "eastern" games the way they are, what does this mean, less traditional games? or just more games to cater for all? i hope it doesn't mean they will stop releasing the traditional games to NA and EUR.

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

i hope they do well, but if they really want more influence on the west, then they have a better chance if their narrative driven games, which can get too farfetched or confusing, get toned down. also they need to create some shooters or action games that don't resemble dmc series.

GodsPoison
GodsPoison

I mentioned the Capcom games because they were mentioned in the article, not that i dont like Namco/bandai hell i love Gundam, but im still itching for the two titles i mentioned sequels. Dont flag me down for that man.

Dogar230
Dogar230

gimme a Gundam game please. Heck just port Gundam Mobile Ops for christ's sake!

Spartan1017
Spartan1017

man... surge was the best, twice the sugar and caffeine as coke... it was awesome!

geist9049
geist9049

good. now if the one year war will arrive. life would be perfect

gamedingo5555
gamedingo5555

Does this mean Mopile Ops: The One Year War will come to America soon? I sure hope so, plus with the release of Gundam 00 here, sales would probably be ok, due to some new Gundam fans...

Vaan99X
Vaan99X

Well, I'd better get out my #1 head band and go sit on top of a large mountain and wait for this game to come out. Better bring me some lemonade too...

jangofett88
jangofett88

Given Namco-Bandai's track record for charging to access content that is already on the disc, I'll pass.

teknicz
teknicz

So does this mean they'll start making FPS and sports games? Because that's honestly all that "Western" gamers care about.

itwiz90
itwiz90

I hope the game is good, but the critics will probably tear it apart. Most people are looking for a 92hr. game when that's not going to happen in this gen. If it is 8 hrs, I'll still get it. I've had games some considered and rated as subpar, but I still enjoyed them. 8)

insanitycheck3
insanitycheck3

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

burstlimit514
burstlimit514

Afro samurai is a great show! The game just looks O.K. And nice move square in making a studio in Los Angeles.

Pete5506
Pete5506

Lets hope this turns out to be a good thing

Norgavue
Norgavue

I hope this game lives up to the hype I feel for it.

TheArcade
TheArcade

I will be buying Afro Samurai.

SlikNik27
SlikNik27

Oh, these clever headlines are so clever! It's like winning a prize every time you decipher their meaning! What a great way to present news!

insanitycheck3
insanitycheck3

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

FlashCharge
FlashCharge

Saw the demos on Afro Samurai and they looked promising. The competition and Surge's different play style should add some variety to the games now being published. Need some new ideas and hope Surge branches out into the unknown.

jadefury27
jadefury27

GodsPoison you're naming capcom games when this is a namco\bandai article. this game looks pretty good. the footage they've shown already looks a little last gen. reminds me of the samurai champloo game from a while back.

Kwatee
Kwatee

Sounds good, lets just hope this new development house pumps out some decent games. Afro Samurai looks good... I hope it plays good.

GodsPoison
GodsPoison

As long as i get my Dead Rising 2 and Lost Planet 2, both on ps3, ill be happy. also, why hasnt LP:colonies or the first dead rising made the jump to ps3 yet?