Namco Bandai Games have announced that Tales Studio, the studio responsible for producing its popular line of Tales RPGs, is to be disbanded and merged into Namco Bandai proper.
The official announcement of their dissolution and merging merely points out that as a fully owned subsidiary there is no substantive financial change in it being dissolved.
A detailed rationale for the decision is not provided, although the studio’s financial performance has been in doubt for some time, despite healthy sales of recent “mothership” titles.
As far as Japanese corporate politics go, for a fully owned subsidiary to be rolled back into the parent company suggests at the very least a considerable loss of independence and prestige, although just how it will affect their game output is not clear.
Online there is no small scepticism about the move:
“TOX was planned to sell 400,000 but managed 600,000, why are they doing this!?”
“The expansion of Bandai Namco’s exploitative business practice continues apace.”
“This sounds like a streamlining move, but I don’t see how they can avoid layoffs.”
“Nothing will change… right? It was a fully owned subsidiary after all. And the parent is the one who keeps churning out loss making games.”
“The influence of the Tales staff is sure to decrease with a move like this, you know.”
“Haven’t they lost enough staff already?”
“Tales Studio was an actual company?”
“It’s the same as with SCE. But unlike Sony there is no way they’ll reorganise them into another company.”
“So they won’t be able to choose their platform and number of titles now?”
“So Xillia was a beta after all…”
“If TOX could sell 600,000 and still make a loss their organisation must be pretty rotten. Anyone else could make a crappy game like that with only 200,000 sales.”
“Some of these Tales games are good. I hope they keep making them.”
“Why annoy all the users and retailers by dissolving their studio?”
“They’ll make it CG and have them appearing in Soul Calibur, mark my words.”