Friday, February 11th, 2022

(2-13-2022)

Bandai Namco is Creating its own IP Metaverse with $174 Million Investment

  

In the past year, many gaming and technology companies have jumped onto the "metaverse" bandwagon / concept — a way of connecting communities of users with the same interests, or connecting familiar IPs in a shared virtual space. Something like this is what Bandai Namco is setting out to do—and they are spending an estimated 15 billion yen ($174 million dollars) towards the project! What this could mean for the future of TEKKEN, SoulCalibur, or other Bandai Namco IPs could potentially reveal itself in the next upcoming installments or spin-offs of these games. This isn't limited to fighting games, of course, as Bandai Namco's library of IPs include series like Dark Souls, Elden Ring, Dragon Ball, Gundam, Katamari, Pac-Man, etc.

 

 
On Tuesday, Bandai Namco announced the three main goals of their metaverse project, include: (#1) connecting Bandai Namco with fans of their games, (#2) maximizing the value of Bandai Namco IPs over the medium to long term, and (#3) connecting each IP's world into an interconnected universe known as the "ALL BANDAI NAMCO Concept".

"Through the IP Metaverse, we will establish communities among Bandai Namco and fans, as well as among fans themselves," Bandai Namco told investors during their mid-term plan. "Through these communities and content, we will build deep, broad, multifaceted connections that continue for long periods of time, and we will focus on the quality of those connections. In this way, we will work to maximize IP value over the medium to long term."
 

 
Connecting fighting game players within a virtual 3D environment isn't a foreign concept to Bandai Namco — as they previously created social spaces based on several of their IPs for 2008's PlayStation Home on PS3. Back in the late 2000's, Bandai Namco introduced add-on content like arcade cabinets and character statues that players could decorate their own virtual spaces with. TEKKEN 6 players could even connect to online matches within these social spaces, resembling arcades (or homes with arcades) within PlayStation Home.
 

 
Of course, the modern evolution of this concept can take on an entirely new meaning in the "ALL BANDAI NAMCO Concept". Fans of Bandai Namco games may eventually be able to connect to the metaverse for matchmaking, sharing content, and other social activities. Judging from recent trends, Bandai Namco could also expand this framework into the VR universe on current-gen gaming consoles and PC.

Other gaming companies and brands who have recently jumped aboard the metaverse train include: Epic Games, Square Enix, Disney, Facebook, and Microsoft. Of course, how each company chooses to utilize or evolve their own metaverse will differ greatly from one another. While some gamers may already have "negative" opinions towards the metaverse idea in gaming, the concept is still very much in its infancy. However, it probably won't be very long before we begin hearing announcements from publishers about "metaverse connectivity" with modern / next-gen fighting games.

 

 
Considering Bandai Namco exceeded sales expectations several times over with the console launch of TEKKEN 7, selling a record-breaking 8 million copies and becoming one of the best-selling titles of the series... as well as SoulCalibur VI's successful venture into post-launch DLC and exciting guest characters, it's pretty safe to assume the future of Namco's two flagship fighting series is in the right direction.

A "metaverse" you say. . . Well, from the most optimistic point of view, Bandai Namco's metaverse project could lead to some potentially great crossovers in future fighting games. Considering the epic DLC characters who made a memorable splash in TEKKEN 7 and SoulCalibur VI, properly done "metaverse connectivity" could and would seem to lead a similar level of excitement and growth. A new Bamco fighting game will still be a new fighting game, first and foremost. The metaverse will be something different.

Thanks for reading! We'll continue to keep you informed on Bandai Namco's metaverse project when more information is revealed. Keep it here on The Fighters Generation for more fighting game news and content.
~TFG Webmaster, Frank Joseph | @Fighters_Gen

 

 Sources:  AsiaOne, IGN         Related Tweet:  @Fighters_Gen 

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