It’s game over: Japanese gaming giants DeNA and Namco Bandai will close their joint venture in March


Dr. Serkan Toto is a gaming expert and independent consultant based in Tokyo. You can follow him on Twitter and his blog. This article is republished with his permission.

Game over! Joint venture between DeNA and Namco Bandai to be shut in March

BNDeNA, the joint venture that Mobage operator DeNA (TYO:2432) and Namco Bandai (TYO:7832) launched in 2011 is set to close. According to the company (as spotted by Inside Games), it will shut on March 31 this year.

The news isn’t a big surprise for a few reasons.

Although BNDeNA released pretty solid games such as Gundam Kingdom and social 3D shooter Macross SP Cross Deculture, the joint venture company never landed a mega hit. Both those titles will be closed down over the next few weeks.

Another possible reason for its failure is that Bandai Namco not only cooperated with DeNA but also with GREE (TYO:3632), the arch enemy of the Mobage social gaming platform.

Also, unbeknown to many people in the international game industry, Bandai Namco has always been a mobile game juggernaut on the Japanese market in its own right. The last time the company made a public announcement, in December 2012, it boasted a total 30 million users across its social games offered in Japan.

Another reason for the shutdown might be that Bandai Namco and DeNA are simply on a different path with regards to growth. While Bandai Namco added 77 percent to its value over the last 12 months and is at $4.7 billion in market cap at the moment, DeNA lost 29 percent and is now down to $3.2 billion:

Bandai Namco vs DeNA in 2013

(Source: Inside Games)

(Editing by Steven Millward)

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