It seems that Namco-Bandai’s profits in the Western world weren’t up to expectations this year, thanks in part to the ironically-titled Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, which pulled in a scant 335,000 units worldwide. While this may seem like a passable number to some folks, and we certainly aren’t saying a game has to reach Black Ops numbers to be good, it apparently wasn’t up to internal expectations.
Because of this, and other lackluster title performances in Western regions, Namco-Bandai’s President, Shukuo Ishikawa, in an interview with Bloomberg, said about the situation:
“We found the quality and development speed of titles made for us by the overseas studios to be lacking. Foreign studios can still propose and develop games, but our Japanese staff will control the process more closely.”
I don’t know about you, but Enslaved was a great game, a critical success. Yet again we have an example of a publisher wanting to sell more units than care about successful, great games. In a way, I can’t blame them, because this is a business, after all. But, if we don’t try new things and explore new possibilities, where will that put us, both as an industry and as a collective group of humans on this little rock we like to call Earth?
Perhaps, I don’t know, if they would actually localize one of their most popular franchises to Western markets their profits would perk up a little? We could stand to see Tales of Vesperia (PS3), Tales of Graces F and the recently announced Tales of Xillia hit North American and European shores sometime before the close of the century.