Namco Bandai secures 95% of D3

[UPDATE] Afro Samurai publisher will acquire nearly all of remaining shares in Puzzle Quest distributor and its subsidiaries for $12.55 million on March 24.

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Acquisitions, whether hostile or not, have a tendency to drag on for months. Such will not be the case with Namco Bandai and its proposed buyout of fellow Japanese game company D3 Publisher. Nikkei Net (subscription required) reports today that Namco Bandai has successfully completed its tender offer to current D3 Publisher shareholders, and will spend ¥1.23 billion ($12.55 million) to acquire 95.02 percent of all outstanding shares on March 24.

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Speaking to GameSpot at the time of the original acquisition offer, a D3 representative confirmed that Namco Bandai intends to acquire 100 percent of the Japanese company, including its Japanese parent company, D3 Inc., as well as subsidiaries D3 Publisher of America, D3 Publisher of Europe, and developer Vicious Cycle.

As noted by Namco Bandai at that time, the publisher's plan to purchase D3 is part of an attempt to expand its home-console game business while strengthening its mobile operations. Namco Bandai also noted that the move will ramp up its presence in the casual- and family-games business in Europe and North America.

D3 Publisher is most recently responsible for the Vicious Cycle-developed Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard, a comedic over-the-top shooter that saw a decent critical reception in February. However, D3 and Vicious Cycle are perhaps best known for the highly addictive Bejeweled-style role-playing game Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords and the Infinite Interactive-developed sequel, Puzzle Quest: Galactrix. In Japan, D3Publisher also boasts a long-running line of budget games known as The Simple series, as well as a robust mobile-phone gaming business.

[UPDATE] In a statement provided to GameSpot following the publication of this article, D3 Publisher confirmed that Namco Bandai's acquisition of the company will not impact current staff levels or game-development timelines.

"Bandai Namco Games, owned by Bandai Namco Holding Inc, plans to acquire 100 percent of D3, Inc., and its subsidiaries D3Publisher of America and D3Publisher of Europe," a D3 Publisher representative said. "D3Publisher operations will remain unchanged at this time. Development of our current and unannounced titles is ongoing and will move forward as planned. D3Publisher is thrilled to join forces with Bandai Namco Games to further strengthen their position in the US and European marketplaces and continue to make quality games that gamers will enjoy."

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