Bandai Namco will "develop a metaverse for each IP as a new framework for connecting with fans," according to the company's mid-year report. The Japanese company lays out a three-year plan, which includes investing 15 billion yen (around £95 million, $130 million) in the creation of the metaverse.
"On an IP axis, Bandai Namco will develop a metaverse for each IP as a new framework for connecting with fans," says the report. "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."
"Through the IP Metaverse, we will establish communities among Bandai Namco and fans, as well as among fans themselves. Through these communities and content, we will build deep, broad, multifaceted connections that continue for long periods of time, and we will focus on the quality of those connections. In this way, we will work to maximize IP value over the medium to long term."
The metaverse means different things to different conglomerates, but has been re-popularised as a concept in recent years by the success of Fortnite's brand crossovers and Facebook's (now Meta's) megabucks investments in pushing social VR. It's hard to parse exactly what Bandai Namco are envisioning when they use the term, but I've started mentally replacing every instance of "metaverse" with "Club Penguin" and I'm a lot happier for it.
As well as investing in creating metaverses for existing IP, the report lists 25 billion yen of investment (around £160 million, $216 million) in "new IP creation."
The report also introduces a change to the new corporate logo introduced late last year. The magenta speech bubble, the colour initially said to represent "diversity", has been changed to red. The new colour was selected by sending questionnaires to employees, and using "scientific methods linking words with colors." The red apparently "creates an impression that is enthusiastic, fun, active and bold." The new logo will be introduced in April 2022.
Bandai Namco IP includes Ridge Racer, Soul Calibur, Time Crisis and Tekken. Later this month they will publish Elden Ring.