Namco shareholders approve Bandai merger

Deal moves forward and will cause no layoffs; midterm strategies to be disclosed in September.

In May, Namco announced that it would be merging with Bandai under a newly established holding company, Bandai Namco Holdings. Though the two companies jointly made the announcement, officially they still needed approval from their shareholders.

On Saturday, Namco held its shareholders meeting that would decide whether the two companies would merge as planned. Although 2,000 investors attended the meeting, not a single objection was voiced when the proposal was raised by the board executives, led by company founder Masaya Nakamura. With Bandai investors already giving their thumbs-up during their shareholders meeting on June 23, the merger is now official.

During a question-and-answer session following the meeting, Namco vice chairman Kushiro Takagi commented that Namco had decided to merge with Bandai since the two companies' businesses do not overlap (Bandai and Namco make games in different genres). Bandai recently began selling its Gashapon capsule toys in North America, which would not have been possible without Namco's distribution network on the continent.

However, Namco and Bandai still have a few loose ends they need to tie up in terms of operations. Takagi revealed that the two companies had issues when they were working on their collaborative PlayStation 2 game, Kidou Senshi Gundam: Ichinen Sensou. Apparently, Namco and Bandai had different opinions when it came to the game's budget and development deadline. "From now into the future, we will discuss these issues at an early stage before we go into creation. Bandai will mainly be outsourcing its game production from now on, while Namco will continue to develop in-house," said Takagi.

Takagi also revealed that strategies for Bandai Namco Holdings will be disclosed in mid-September. He said that there would be no layoffs due to the merger.

In terms of Namco's own plans for the upcoming next-generation consoles, company founder Nakamura commented that Namco will continue to employ a multiplatform strategy and will keep creating new titles. He added that Namco will also be researching methods to lower development costs for the next-generation consoles, which is expected to become the major issue for publishers.

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