Namco Bandai opens Vancouver studio for mobile and online games

Vancouver's been home to some bad news for the gaming world, but Namco Bandai sees opportunity in the province and will open a new studio for mobile and online games.

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Vancouver hasn't been a happy place for gaming developers in recent years. Publishers like Capcom have laid off hundreds in their Vancouver studios, while Ubisoft and Rockstar shut down operations in the area entirely. Japan-based Namco Bandai, however, sees opportunity in the area and has signed a two-year lease for a new studio at the Centre for Digital Media. The studio will primarily focus on mobile and online games.

"The market is quite big in North America--there is room to grow for us," studio president Hajime Nakatani told the Vancouver Sun (via Polygon) through an interpreter. He adds that in addition to bringing their established franchises (Pac-Man, Tekken, etc.) to mobile, the studio hopes to leverage Namco Bandai's stable of Japanese arcade games.

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Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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