Namco Bandai to acquire D3Publisher

Tekken publisher finds a willing partner in the company behind Puzzle Quest and Earth Defense Force 2017.

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It's a buyer's market in the gaming industry these days, with numerous publishers financially struggling and dealing with depressed share prices. The proposed Square Enix acquisition of Eidos wasn't the only such union revealed today, given that Namco Bandai began its own attempt to purchase fellow Japanese firm D3Publisher.

D3 scored a hit in 2007 with the critically acclaimed Puzzle Quest.
D3 scored a hit in 2007 with the critically acclaimed Puzzle Quest.

In an announcement on its Japanese investor-relations site, Namco Bandai said that it had made a tender offer for D3Publisher shares. A D3 representative confirmed for GameSpot that Namco Bandai plans to acquire 100 percent of its Japanese parent company, D3 Inc., as well as subsidiaries D3Publisher of America, D3Publisher of Europe, and developer Vicious Cycle.

"D3Publisher is thrilled to join forces with [Namco Bandai] to further strengthen their position in the US and European marketplaces and continue to make quality games that gamers will enjoy," the representative said.

According to Namco Bandai, the offer is an attempt to expand its home-console game business while strengthening its mobile operations as well. The publisher also said that it is eager to expand its casual- and family-games business in Europe and North America.

D3Publisher is best known by US gamers for cult favorites such as Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords and Earth Defense Force 2017. For its part, Vicious Cycle has been establishing a name for itself with comic action games such as Dead Head Fred and the upcoming Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard. 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.

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