Bandai Namco has unveiled plans to invest ¥15.0 billion – roughly $130 million – into creating an intellectual property metaverse, which certainly is a flashy array of corporate buzzwords. The project is a key part of the publisher’s mid-term plan for the next three years and aims to accomplish three goals: connect with fans through intellectual properties, increase the value of those brands while doing so, and strengthen the company’s position in various parts of the world as a result (thanks, VGC).
Bandai Namco wants to develop a metaverse for each IP as a new framework intended for connecting fans. “In this IP metaverse, we are anticipating virtual spaces that will enable customers to enjoy a wide range of entertainment on an IP axis, as well as frameworks that leverage Bandai Namco’s distinctive strengths to fuse physical products and venues with digital elements.”
Once these communities are established, the publisher hopes to build “deep, broad, multifaceted connections” that continue for the long haul. “In this way, we will work to maximise IP value over the medium to long term,” the developer adds.
The metaverse is another buzzword in games development right now, aside from NFTs. It broadly captures the idea of connected virtual-reality spaces where users can interact with each other.
Bandai Namco didn’t offer much on what intellectual properties it would lean into. While the company does publish games like Dragon Ball FighterZ and Dark Souls, a lot of intellectual properties are licensed rather than owned. Who knows, though, maybe one day you’ll be hanging out with Goku and Great Grey Wolf Sif on King Kai’s wee planet.
In other news, Bandai Namco has now pulled the anime fighting game Jump Force from digital stores. Last year, the publisher revealed the intention to do so, with online services set to shut down next August.
The fighting game features a range of fighters from across Bandai Namco’s roster of published games, from Dragon Ball’s Goku to Yu-Gi-Oh’s Yugi Muto. Unranked online fights will continue to be available, mind you, though otherwise, it’s going to be a mostly solo affair.