Namco picked for Afro Samurai

Publisher gets rights to make games based on GDH's vengeance-fueled samurai manga from Takashi Okazaki.

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Namco Hometek, the US branch of Namco Limited, today announced that it has acquired the rights to publish games based on the GDH-produced comic book Afro Samurai. The deal grants Namco the rights to publish two different games based on the property over the next five years.

The idea for Afro Samurai was conceived in 1995 by Japanese graphic artist Takashi "Bob" Okazaki, and first released to the public as a short manga in 1999. The story follows Afro, a young samurai and number-two fighter in the world, as he seeks to avenge the murder of his father. As a youth, his father is killed at the hands of Justice, an enemy who reportedly "will not die."

"Afro Samurai is a visually striking and rich story," said Jeff Lujan, business director at Namco Hometek Inc. "With its gritty and unique mix of hip-hop and samurai styling, Afro Samurai is perfectly suited for video games. We are looking forward to working with GDH in bringing this exciting new property to life."

In addition to the Afro Samurai-based games, an animated miniseries featuring coproducer and lead voice actor Samuel L. Jackson is in the works. Jackson has also signed on to star in a live-action adaptation of the miniseries.

Namco has not released any information on its platform or release date, but Eric Calderon, vice president of creative affairs at GDH, has stated that "it's going to arrive around the same time as our animated series," which IMDB.com lists as coming in 2006.

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