Bandai Namco Holdings, a Japanese video game and toy firm, invests 15 billion yen ($130 million) in a “metaverse” populated by deadly combat robots and other characters from its blockbuster Gundam franchise.
The plan, which was revealed in February, comes as companies ranging from internet behemoths to automakers increasingly resort to virtual platforms to enhance income, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a surge in demand for people to interact remotely.
The “Mobile Suit Gundam Metaverse” will have games, videos, live music, and other entertainment, as well as links to Bandai Namco group of companies like plastic model shops and gaming arcades. In a concept film, users’ avatars attend concerts, communicate with one another via automated translation, and acquire Gundam plastic models to be transported to their real houses.
Gundam’s tales of space-faring, sword-fighting robots have captivated fresh generations of fans all over the globe since its premiere as a tv show in Japan over four decades ago. Kawaguchi stated that in the future, linking intellectual property-specific metaverses will become a reality.
The metaverse project will be managed by Bandai Namco Entertainment (BNE), which is in charge of the company’s digital operations. The team has been working hard to take their data analysis and computer graphic technology to the next level.
Masaru Kawaguchi, president of Bandai Namco, said that “The Gundam Metaverse” will offer more intimate engagements with fans and that the firm is planning to establish metaverses for its other franchises in the future.
BNE Managing Director, Koji Fujiwara, aka the “chief Gundam” will bring together labor and commercial resources from across the company to market the project.
Bandai Namco has not stated how much the metaverse project is expected to increase customer numbers or average income per user in the Gundam series. The company’s medium-term management strategy forecasts a 125 billion yen operational profit on sales
The company’s medium-term management plan forecasts a consolidated operating profit of 125 billion yen and revenues of 1.1 trillion yen in fiscal 2024, up more than 30% from fiscal 2021 in both categories. The metaverse will start contributing to Bandai Namco’s profits in fiscal 2025, according to the firm.
The 15 billion yen metaverse funding will also go toward the construction of a database that will combine Bandai Namco’s client data across the board.