Pac-Man maker creates joint social mobile games studio with DeNA

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Pac-ManBut Pac-Man is already on iPhon--no, social mobile games. Namco Bandai, the company responsible for the most recognizable character in gaming, will take a crack at social mobile games with a new studio co-created by DeNA. GamesIndustry.biz reports the massive Japanese social mobile games company (does Mobage ring a bell?) has contributed 25 percent of the 100 million yen studio project, named BDNA Inc.

While this is certainly a huge step for Namco Bandai, the company already has extensive mobile game experience since bringing a number of its properties like Pac-Man and Galaga to smartphones. In fact, the two companies have even worked together before, according to GamesIndustry.biz, on Gundam Royale. The game released on the Japanese Mobage mobile game network to 3 million players last year.

Namco Bandai Games executive VP Shin Unozawa will lead BDNA's operations, while it's board of directors will be led by Isao Moriyasu, and Keigo Watanabe of DeNA, alongside Hirotaka Reizei and Hideyuki Okabayashi of Namco. The Pac-Man maker has had limited success on Facebook, with just under 1.5 million monthly players across its games, most of which are social renditions of its arcade classics.

All the while, DeNA has been tearing it up since Mobage, now powered by recent buy Ngmoco, launched in English for U.S. and western European audiences through Android. The service will now be the go-to place for games on AT&T Android phones, not to mention the squad of legendary designers DeNA has on board like Mega Man's creator Keiji Inafune. Perhaps BDNA Inc, which opens Oct. 1, is just the boost Pac-Man needs to dominate in a world overrun by new arcade-style games.

Which of Namco's properties would you like to see re-imagined by BDNA, Inc. first? Would you rather the studio focus on new, original games instead? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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