NamcoBandai can uncork the champagne, they just had a wonderful year : net sales rose 15% from 394’178 million yens to 454’210 million yens, while profit increased tenfold to 19’303 millions yens. Those excellent results shouldn’t be exaggerated tough : as you can see on their earning sheet, the Japanese publisher actually went through dismal years in 2008, 2009, 2010. Sales abruptly fell in 2008-2009 when they decided to make games like Tales of Vesperia, Ace Combat 6 or The Idolm@ster exclusive to Xbox360.
As for the best performers, Dark Souls and Ace Combat Assault Horizon cracked 1 million units each, but the jackpot lies in Japan-only titles like One Piece Pirate Warriors and Tales of Xillia, which sold respectively 940’000 and 770’000 units. SoulCaliburV performed correctly, but lags far behind the previous iteration.
Such bump year may seem a huge blow for Operation Blackhole, but it is not : in this flurry of positive figures and despite a line-up of high-profile games, NamcoBandai’s Western operations contracted 12% to 57,6 billion yens. Operating income goes deeper in the red, after collapsing around the time when Tales of Vesperia was denied to PS3 owners.
NamcoBandai paid the price of this shameful alliance with Microsoft and now has to atone for this sin if they want to quell the deep-rooted distrust of PS3 fans. One Piece Pirate Warriors and Ni no Kuni should hit our shores in a few months, but we would be ill-advised to drop to fight.
In its software charts, the publisher clearly states it will develop less games in 2012-2013 than it did in 2011-2012. The U.S. will have half of those, which leaves 40 Japan-only titles, and those are clearly portable games, so be prepared to bash them very hard if you want to see Project X Zone come to your 3DS. The good news is that NamcoBandai will release 30 home console games in Japan and 33 in the US, meaning that Tales of Xillia is clearly in those and that all home console games should cross the Pacific. However, Europe will get only 26, which will probably leave some people behind. Let’s just hope it’s not going to be us…