Namco Bandai Facing Extraordinary $342M Loss, Looking to Cut Workforce by 10%

BOOM widget 81907Facing "extraordinary losses" of up to 31 billion yen (~$342 million USD) for the fiscal year ending in March 2010, publisher Namco Bandai has announced a new "group restart plan" in the hopes of lowering costs and significantly reducing its global workforce.

As part of the plan, the company behind Tekken and Pac-Man will be soliciting employees for early voluntary retirement in hopes of reducing its workforce by 630 (about 10% of the current 7000) by the end of 2010. The move accounts for a loss of roughly 2 billion yen (~$22 million USD) but is expected to save 3.5 billion yen (~$38 million USD) across the next fiscal year.

In addition to "reviewing the optimum number of personnel in each business," the company will also institute several other initiatives, including a "group organizational restructuring," "improved quality in home game software," and a new branch, Namco Bandai Live, that will focus on "stage video and music live performances."

As for the reasons behind the expected "extraordinary losses," Namco blamed "weak market conditions" and "sluggish results," noting that Tekken 6 represents the only video game release of its current fiscal year to meet or perform above projections.