When Bandai Namco first kicked off its Global Gamers Day event on April 10 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the keynote presentation. Since there was a smoke machine going and the group of roughly 50 games journalists in attendance were gathered in the Vinyl entertainment venue, it was only right to wonder: was there going to be a concert?
There wasn’t, but the presentation did get underway with loud, pulsating music to make the montage of Bandai Namco games playing on large video screens seem more exciting. It didn’t reach E3 levels of theatrics, but it was a sign that the company wanted everyone there to get psyched about what they were going to see.
To make it all easier to digest, the keynote was divided into four parts:
CONSOLE & PC
This is what most of the journos were there to see, and it consisted mostly of a more interesting than normal info dump. We got the lowdown on release dates and details for almost a dozen titles, most of which were known to be in the works but with a surprise or two thrown in for good measure.
Listing the specifics here would make for a long post, so we gave the announcements a page of their own. Highlights included not one but two Tales games on their way to the West, an ambitious racing game from Codemasters, a bevy of anime-related titles and an action RPG slated for PS4 and Xbox One.
Expanding into the ROLA markets — that stands for “Rest Of Latin America,” or everywhere besides Mexico and Brazil, where the company already has strong footholds — is a big focus for Bandai Namco. To pull it off, the company is increasing its partnerships with firms in South America with the goal of creating more awareness of its brands. That means things like Naruto Shippuden airing on PlayTV in Brazil and teaming with Viz Media in multiple countries.
Beyond that, there’s a general effort underway to reach out and include Latin America with North America. Journalists from Brazil were invited to Global Gamers Day for the first time (Bandai Namco previously traveled to visit them instead), and attendees were told to expect more day and date releases for games in all of the Americas instead of fragmenting them into different markets.
Director of Business Development for Mobile Games Tony Colafrancesco came out to introduce footage of several mobile games. The first was Ridge Racer Slipstream, which was already out on iOS and Android. Colafrancesco announced that the Android version would receive a multiplayer mode in an upcoming patch.
Also shown was TNA 2, which looked to be in the early stages of development. No details were given, but a partnership with Yahoo! Games was also revealed.
In Joon Hwang, Director of Digital Games, spoke about Bandai Namco’s desire to make a two-pronged attack on the F2P segment of the video games industry. The first part involves free versions of recognizable brands like SoulCalibur and Ace Combat that are either already out or releasing soon.
Even bigger hopes are being placed in a brand new game called Rise of Incarnates. Intended to appeal to fans of fighting games and shooters alike, the ambitious title features 2v2 gameplay that encourages teamwork over individual skill and is already very popular in Japan. Executive producer Ryuichiro Baba made it clear that it’s not just an important game for the F2P initiative but a vital project for the company as a whole.
Stick with Gamesided for previews and hands-on impressions of multiple games from Global Gamers Day.