Namco: 500,000 PS3 games required for profit

Titles for Sony's next-gen console have to shift half a million copies before developers start to make money, says Takeo Takasu.

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The software available for any console is crucial to its success. According to a report on the Bloomberg news service, developers may be thinking carefully about making games for the PlayStation 3 because of the number of sales required to put the projects in the black. Namco Bandai Holdings Inc. president Takeo Takasu has said in an interview that PS3 games must be a mass-market success. Games for the next-generation console cost an average of $8.6 million to create, according to Takasu, and need to sell 500,000 units before the developer can turn a profit.

At the moment, there are shortages in the number of PS3s in circulation, so these targets may be initially hard to reach, Bloomberg noted. Namco Bandai is Japan's second-biggest game developer, so the picture Takasu paints for smaller studios making non-mass-market games is less than bright.

The PS3 launched in Japan on November 11 and in the US on November 17 and will go on sale in Europe sometime in March 2007. Bloomberg also recently reported that the number of consoles available for the US launch was "even lower than expected."

Namco Bandai was founded when Japanese companies Namco and Bandai joined forces in 2005. The companies recently consolidated their partnership and talked of competing more aggressively in the European Union. Namco Bandai had two launch titles for the PS3 in Japan and the US--Ridge Racer 7 and Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire. The company also has four titles being released for the Nintendo Wii's Japanese launch on December 2.

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