New studios to include experienced staff from Japan as well as local hires
Singapore studio to be regional development hub, focusing on mobile social games amongst others
JAPANESE game developer Namco Bandai Games Inc, which has produced titles for franchises that range from Pac-Man and Dragon Ball Z to Naruto and Tekken, is opening studios in Singapore and Vancouver via its Namco Bandai Studios subsidiary.
The studios will begin operations in June, the company said in a statement. The two new subsidiaries will be jointly staffed by experts dispatched from its Tokyo studio as well as locally-hired employees with in-depth knowledge on the local market and trends.
They will work in close collaboration with local government and educational institutions to develop and secure human resources with local partners to enhance the quality of Namco Bandai’s game content, which the company believes would be essential to creating an organizational structure capable of developing worldwide content in the medium and long term.
The company is positioning Namco Bandai Studios Singapore Pte Ltd as its leading development center in Asia. The studio will be based in the Mediapolis zone in the One-North district to which the Singapore Government is inviting media-related companies. The 19ha development zone is expected to form a vital piece of Singapore's media ecosystem.
A spokesman told Digital News Asia (DNA) via email that Namco Bandai will be investing S$1 million (US$810,000) in the Singapore studio, which between now and March next year will hire 10 to 15 more people, “especially programmers, motion engineers, concept artists and data analysts.”
“We will be developing and operating mobile social games in the Singapore studio, which will also work with Tokyo to develop some console and arcade games,” the spokesman said.
Singapore has defined digital content creation as one of the country’s strategically important industries, and has been inviting relevant companies as well as educational organizations under the leadership of the Economic Development Board to locate facilities there, Namco Bandai said.
Furthermore, many of its partners which develop content are based in the South-East Asian region, which has become increasingly important as a content development center and as a growing market, the company said.
While the company spokesman could not break down figures to the South-East Asian level, he said that Namco Bandai Group sales in Asia excluding Japan amounted to about 18 billion yen (approximately US$180 million) in the 2012 fiscal year.
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