Namco Bandai Turns Full-Year Profit

Namco Bandai has released their full year financial results. The highlights relating to their video game division are as follows (all dollar figures are in USD):

* Overall as a company, Namco Bandai made an operating profit of ¥1.8bn ($22.3m). This is a significant improvement on the prior year, when the company lost almost ¥30bn ($370m). The video games, or “Content” division, achieved ¥179.9bn ($2.23bn) in net sales, which is about consistent with FY10. The video game division made an operating profit of ¥3.1bn ($38.4m). This is an impressive turnaround from their six month report.

* Japan was by far the most profitable region for the company, with an operating income of ¥23.6bn ($292.3m). In contrast, the Americas lost ¥5.65bn ($70.1m), while Europe lost ¥1.2bn ($14.9m).

* In terms of overall sales, Tekken 6 has sold 1.15m copies worldwide, while Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 sold 1.1m and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien sold 830k. Enslaved: Journey to the West has sold 730m copies to date, which is below the company’s expectations of 1m copies worldwide.

* Japan saw 91 titles released in FY11, while America saw 46. Despite a new system, the company is expected to bring out 42 titles to American shores in FY12.

* For FY12, Namco Bandai is expecting a massive jump in profits to ¥8bn ($99m) on sales of ¥400bn ($5bn).

The full report is available at the bottom of this post.

Analysis: The company’s shift to profitability is great news overall. Namco Bandai had been struggling, largely on pain of their video games division, and the company’s Group Restart Plan (reg required), which cut workforce and refocused attention on newer technologies, seems to at least partially be working. Though Namco Bandai hasn’t released any guidance or commentary outside from their raw numbers – at least anything a gaijin like me can read – it’s pretty clear to see that they’re banking on higher efficiency being a catalyst for high profits, due to their modest sales increases yet higher profits.

It’s not such great news for fans of the company’s more niche games in America, though. One of the key components of the Group Restart Plan was that the company would narrow their focus on the areas that were working (read: Japan) while cutting down on the ones that weren’t (read: everywhere else, particularly with console-based AAA content). We’re getting Tales of Graces F, for example, but that’s a small drop in the bucket for that series. Personally, I think Tales is tripe, but the series has a heavy following in America, and they’re usually left wanting compared to what Japan gets. The best Americans can hope for is a publishing deal, like how Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon was published by speciality localizer XSEED Games. This is all stuff I’ve said before in regards to the company.



Christopher Bowen

About Christopher Bowen

Christopher Bowen is the Editor in Chief of Gaming Bus. Before opening Gaming Bus in May of 2011, he was the News Editor at Diehard GameFAN, a lead reporter for DailyGamesNews, and a reviewer at Not A True Ending, also contributing to VIMM, SNESZone and Scotsmanality. Outside of the industry, he is a network engineer in Norwalk, CT and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.