Namco Bandai: “Selling Full Games is No Good”


Echoing recent comments by Codemasters, the CEO of Namco Bandai has also candidly stated that selling full games is old hat and that games should really be nothing but vehicles for DLC.

Namco Bandai Holdings CEO Shukuo Ishikawa spoke about the role of DLC strategy:

Selling a game only once for $70-$80 [typical Japanese prices] is no good at all. If you sell it for $25, or even give it away free, then you can sell episodes and items online. They’ll soon be dropping $10 or $20 on these, and you can also do monthly charges.”

Of course, Namco Bandai already has a reputation as being a master of this venerable strategy, not that this seems to have helped their recent financial performance.


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    Comment by Anonymous
    08:24 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol @ monthly subscriptions. Sell me a game for that price and yea we are talking.

    Now heres the thing I like playing full games. If I plunk down $60 I plunk it down and enjoy the game. I would probably pay that $20 for the game, and probably be done with it on day one and ignore all the DLC moving on to something larger and more fulfilling.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:24 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I kind of like this idea a bit more.
    Buy it for 15 and if you like it buy more.
    It sort of kills narrative though and for games where thats important, it sucks.

    What I like is that it could lead to games being good. If a game is shit no one will buy the rest.

    I also question the viability of this. It costs a lot to create all the basic foundations of the game like character designs and mechanics and if it ends selling little and with the lower initial costs it would be a huge loss.

    Something I do like is that it could lead to more original ideas and fresh stuff.

    Overall though DLC based stuff is unstable and unreliable so far.
    Still waiting for episode 3 of HL for example.

    All good and bad things aside, this is Namco Bandai we're talking about. I wouldn't be surprised if nothing good comes out of this and its just a way to earn more from their mediocre rehashed shit.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:09 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    only game that i know are good episodic is half life 2, but that game is also sold full as well. but the update is very lacking.

    Avatar of Bronxdragon
    Comment by Bronxdragon
    07:48 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wonder if they will be surprised when they start losing money?

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:58 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The idea of an all DLC game is still fine.

    BUT the idea about having to download them through the consoles after Buying them is a nightmare for those who lives in weak internet countries... even downloading a measly update can be long.

    I just hope they make a complete versions for countries like that. I don't care if it's going to be more pricey, I just don't want the hassle of re-doing the downloading proses.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:15 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Good plan, enjoy me not buying any of your games.

    Avatar of Shuubi
    Comment by Shuubi
    11:05 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    While this has nothing to do with the article at hand, every single damn time I see the phrase 'DLC' I automatically read it as 'DFC', especially on this site, and get a totally different meaning out of the sentence.
    "games should really be nothing but vehicles for DFC"

    Avatar of cloudninja
    Comment by cloudninja
    05:20 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't like where this anti-piracy trend is going. I don't see why the DLC only idea would even work since patience can stop that short.

    People I know that say they pirate some games do it because, they are interested in the game, but don't want to spend the money and find it to be crud. And later, if it is good for them, they do buy it, or wait for a sale then buy it.

    This may be isolated or wrong for the general "pirate" population, but that's what the people I know do.

    There seems to be a flaw in thinking that pirates mean lost money. Most pirates are people that NEVER would have bought the game ANYWAY, therefore the company is not losing money because of them.

    To avoid piracy I research the games and try to rent them or if someone I know bought the game, I watch them or even play the game. So far I've spent my money wisely, but it's a lot of work and you have to be patient. The demo idea MAY work, at least for me, because if the game looks and plays like crap in the demo, I won't buy it, but there has to be enough demo to make the call. Getting a free copy of the full game that stops working after a few days could be one possibility. They do that on Steam and I saved money by not buying Killing-Floor after getting to play the full game for free for 3 days because in the end I didn't like it.

    Also games are getting very expensive, and if prices keep going up companies are going to out price themselves out of business. The DLC idea almost seems a covert way of making a game that should be $30 into a game that is $100+.

    Sorry it was so long. Just had a lot to say about this.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:28 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, duh, of course you don't like where this trend is going. Which pirate would like any idea that prevents him from stealing everything off the company?

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:24 05/12/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ah fuck you douchebag. If they make shitty games of course they aren't going to sell well.

    Avatar of cloudninja
    Comment by cloudninja
    14:06 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Rofl! Arrrrrrrrr you calling me a pirate?

    Comment by Tenno Seremel
    05:45 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Monthly charges? Seriously? Everyone is playing MMORPGs now or what?

    I'm trying to imaging a fighting game with a monthly charge. Ugh...

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:21 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    i like how this fucking site intentionally never cites their sources.

    some of us want to read the original japanese article.
    and some of us want to laugh at the translation fail.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    1. The entire newspaper article is at the bottom of the article.

    2. Sources are always cited in the body of the article text as something called a "link," which on this site will be coloured an eye-catching orange.

    With that in mind, I somehow doubt you are actually amongst the minority able to read the original Japanese language sources, whatever you may wish....

    Avatar of PrinceHeir
    Comment by PrinceHeir
    04:55 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    wtf no just no.

    it's actually backwards. developers "SHOULD" be putting all content under one disk so that the consumer won't feel cheated remember Capcom?

    DLC should only be used if there's actually a new campaign or side story that has been done "AFTER" the development of the game is done and not letting some unfinished content to be sell afterwards.

    free maps and skins should be free since it can divide the people who play with packs and those who don't have one.

    Avatar of brningpyre
    Comment by brningpyre
    06:23 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, 'cause Namco Bandai is EXTREMELY SUCCESSFUL right now~

    How're they gonna do a recall with all that DLC?

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:09 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    the article doesn't say all game would be monthly charge.
    most single player don't.
    is like dividing price of 70$ game into few part.

    maybe you still can buy the whole game, but theres also option, for example first chapter only for 10 bucks. its like demo version but much longer gameplay, full feature save point and achievement to be use in next chapter. if you like the game then you can buy the rest.

    this business model is more harm to game producer than people who buy the game.
    but it worth to try.

    how many of you actually finish your game? especially RPG? now if you pay for first 5 hours instead of whole 50 hours it would help the game maker to distribute the game easily trough internet.
    because low use of bandwidth. and easy for you too.

    70$ game is too expensive .
    event tho now because the production cost is getting more expensive ,you ld stagger to see the actual marketing and distribution cost which is day it could exceed the production cost. you don't want to pay for marketing bullshit, you download right from the factory and play. simple and less money to pay.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:20 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    and yet you also forget that the reason why you know about the games is because of marketing. The biggest sellers mostly have the biggest marketing too.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:14 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    marketing bullshit?

    you think information just appear out of nowhere?

    Most biggest sellers have the biggest budget for marketing. Are they the best games? Not really, so why then some better games never outsell these "lower quality" games?

    Because of marketing. you spent less on marketing you sell less copies, you spent more on marketing, you sell more copies... in the end it all events out. on average it still cost similar.

    Different is how much upfront cash you can cough out, and risk and return rate to justify.

    Like it or not marketing is some of the most impt cost and also the reason why most people knows about it.

    Avatar of FuktLogik
    Comment by FuktLogik
    06:39 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Greedy fucking Jap.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:49 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    im sorry to inform you that he is only voicing what most of the industry thinks

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:18 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "im sorry to inform you that he is only voicing what most of the industry thinks"

    No, he is voicing his own hilariousy biased opinion.



    Not everyone is bat shit insane.

    Avatar of FuktLogik
    Comment by FuktLogik
    07:24 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Even so, it's not them talking, it's him. And since he is both greedy, Japanese and has probably fornicated at least once in his life, that makes him a greedy fucking Jap.

    Avatar of Kei-chan
    Comment by Kei-chan
    17:41 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Does your narrow minded racism help you feel bigger while trolling a site like this? Greed has nothing to do with what country your from, greedy people are everywhere.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:19 20/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    For example : Oil companies, Government, very rich people that are not paying taxes?

    Avatar of Ben
    Comment by Ben
    13:05 15/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes. Government. That pretty much rounds it up.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:17 20/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Buy the game, pay more if you want to play it fully. Thanks but no thanks. I'm NOT buying such things. And they call file sharers thieves. Ah the hypocrisy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:21 20/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is the whole point of "Cloud" computing.

    Software companies don't want you to own anything.
    If you want to use their products, you'll have to pay a monthly subscription.

    This strategy needs to be opposed by everyone!


    Avatar of warjoke
    Comment by warjoke
    12:19 20/04/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    ...And about those "Tales of Unemployment" and "Tales of Bankruptcy" puns I was talking about...

    Avatar of Ben
    Comment by Ben
    13:01 15/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Something like that is really hard to appeal to someone. I don't see that working, not here in America at least.

    Comment by Anonymous
    Avatar of Zippydsmlee
    Comment by Zippydsmlee
    10:00 22/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0) battle piracy by...ignoring it..... you put in place basic protections to keep the majority of the masses from copying it easily. Wasting millions to get thousands in profits is ridiculous.....and should remain the way the music industry dose things!

    Avatar of El Chaos
    Comment by El Chaos
    08:18 23/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I didn't want to go too offtopic on other, more recent game news just to post this, so I decided on posting it here: according to VGChartz, perfect Star Ocean 4 sales are way below the original 360 beta, even on Japan.

    Compare with

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:47 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    What about the games the have flopped simply because they were released 'unfinished'?

    Also means they will have to implement some way of backing up & running the game WITHOUT an Internet connection (or any kind of link to their server), a thing at which Steam fails miserably (& they get constant complaints about).

    And if any company using any sort of online system in their games goes out of business they should provide a patch or some sort of system where the game will still be playable. I have a large number of DOS games that I still play, will you still be able to play today's games 10-20 years in the future?

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:50 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Difference bettween this and Free MMORPGS

    This: Buy half a game for over 50 dollars.
    Buy some more data.
    Buy some more data.
    Buy some more data.
    Spend over 100 dollars.

    Free MMORPG: Download game for free.
    Get updates for free.
    Buy optional cash shop items that are like 5 percent of the whole game and does not change gameplay DRASTICALLY.

    Avatar of AlucardsQuest
    Comment by AlucardsQuest
    13:33 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You over-saturated the market dickwad! You can't release a rehashed Tales game every 6 months for $80 each and expect everyone to swoon forever. You lose, retire or watch your company go bankrupt for all I care.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:27 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    We tried to tell you.

    People screaming with excitement over the new online capabilities of the 360 and PS3? People who knew saw what was coming. We tried to tell you that with the online capabilities would come some very new ways to screw you over.

    We were mocked as being silly and paranoid.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:54 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    DLC's can be pirated as well...

    Avatar of RunnerRed
    Comment by RunnerRed
    17:47 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sound like i'ts worth to repeat myself here : they want to put an end to used game sales more than fighting piracy or bleeding dry customers (ok, maybe "as well" for this one)

    which would be pretty much annoying for low-budget gamers who can't afford sealed blister games, commonly priced around 60-70€ here in France

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:41 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    So you are the one who ruined Vesperia after all. What will be next? an unfinished DBZ game?

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:19 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    All the guy needs now is to have a cigar in his hand..

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:20 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    With a CEO like that...

    No wonder a lot of tales games were never released over here.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:16 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anybody else barely buying games now because they suck ass?

    Avatar of Kanade-chan
    Comment by Kanade-chan
    02:12 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Or you can do it just like Valve, pay 20 bucks once, get free updates for ever (TF2).

    And even if they were to put that plan in action, even the DLC will find it's way onto share, so there's really no point to it.

    Avatar of Myballz
    Comment by Myballz
    02:08 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    For some reason his Company is doing alright with some of the games Bandainamco make.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:11 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Old school games are much better than the "HD Games". The DLC is only a way of making more money a expenses of poor incomplete games.

    Avatar of washuotaku
    Comment by washuotaku
    02:34 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    They do this with MMORPGs like Final Fantasy and World of Warcraft; thus is why they don't have bootleg issues, but do have account theft issues instead.

    I see that on some games on my PS3, get an expansion so Chun-Li can wear a bikini while fighting and stuff like that; I'm not a big fan of that and don't think that's necessary for the game.

    Sadly, I can see this coming to be... because companies have given up on keeping there product hacker free now and they port them on all platforms even though PS3 is proven mostly to be hacker resistant.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:07 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    MMOs don't get pirated because much of the actual game logic is offloaded on a server far away and you don't have access to it.

    This is not the case with DLC.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:30 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    i say let them sell uncompleted games, so that we can weed out the stupid developers that do so and maybe we'll see an improvement with some of these shitty games..

    Comment by Dark Mage
    02:08 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Looks like it's time for Namco to find a new CEO like GM did.
    The thing is downloadable games could be good if done right but no one really has a really good system in place.
    Being able to use removable flash storage for downloaded games would be a good start.
    There are ways to keep piracy at an acceptable level yet still allow fair use.
    There is no way to kill all piracy without f--king up the show.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:05 19/07/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Steam. It works very well, and the only significant issue I have with it is that it takes ages to start upon login, which is very irritating if you are like me and don't run Windows as a primary OS.

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