Latest Word On Namco

Namco profit loses, buys off Virtual Music Entertainment, and plans for the future.

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Bloomberg Japan reports that Namco has officially announced its midterm profit gains for this fiscal year. The midterm profit gains for fiscal year 1999 were 930 million yen (about US$8.9 million), down 55 percent from last year. Namco's sales also dropped 14 percent from last year to 483 million yen (about US$4.6 million). The company only released two console titles this year, dropping sales by 30 percent, and the current arcade-industry slump has caused arcade-game sales to drop by 19 percent.

Namco has revised its forecast for the next fiscal year, and it plans to release ten titles for the Sony PlayStation, and at least one title for the Game Boy Color in what remains of the fiscal year. Namco also plans to initially ship 700,000 to 750,000 copies of its Sony PlayStation2 titles (Ridge Racer V and Tekken Tag Tournament) on its Japanese launch date March 4, 2000.

Namco also announced the buy-out of American software developer Virtual Music Entertainment (VME) and its plans to release PC music software and a network karaoke service through Internet distribution in the US before the summer of 2000.

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