Namco Bandai Studios Inc.  announced today from Japan that its new subsidiary, Namco Bandai Studios Vancouver Inc., will start operations in June. The studio will develop online social games and significantly boost jobs in British Columbia’s technology sector. The company has said it is important for them to develop content derived from local cultures and trends as well as those in Japan, adding that they hope to establish the organizational structure for delivering to customers across the globe.
Namco Bandai will also establish a new studio in Singapore in June 2013, and both the Vancouver and Singapore operations will blend staff from the local market with support from Namco Bandai’s Tokyo office.
The government of British Columbia provided significant assistance to Namco Bandai. The province’s Trade and Investment Office in Tokyo, Investment and Company Attraction Branch in Vancouver and Major Investment Office hosting program were instrumental in attracting Namco Bandai to set up operations in B.C.
“As we build our global development network, we are very honoured and excited to have found Canada as our partner,” stated Hajime Nakatani, CEO, Namco Bandai Studios Inc.. “British Columbia has demonstrated a deep understanding of the digital media and game industries, especially in Vancouver, which has a long history as a pioneer in game development. This makes it a perfect choice for our first step forward in establishing our global network. I am confident that we will be able to achieve new and amazing feats in Canada, thanks to its great talent pool, leading edge academic and research institutions and pro-business federal and provincial governments.”
Namco Bandai Studios Vancouver Inc. will work in close collaboration with local government and educational institutions to develop and secure talent, enhance quality of their game content and energize the game industry cluster. Company officials said their goal is to develop content that delivers on their mission of providing “Dreams, Fun and Inspiration” worldwide.
“The decision by Namco Bandai to locate a new game studio in Vancouver to develop online social games for the North American market is a testament to the strength and innovation of the B.C. video game industry sector, its local development talent and its strong educational institutions,” commented Howard Donaldson, DigiBC  President. “Namco Bandai is a leading Japanese video game company with a rich history of creating a number of blockbuster games with global appeal such as Tekken, Ridge Racer and Soul Calibur. I very much appreciate the B.C. government’s efforts to attract such a highly recognized game company to locate in Vancouver and help enrich our creative ecosystem within the digital media community.”
Canada is increasingly a location of choice for developing digital content such as games. Vancouver is recognized by Namco Bandai as the root of this. With a history in game development and close proximity to West Coast U.S. gaming studios, Vancouver is known as a multilayered game industry cluster, dotted with medium- and small-sized studios for console games and social games.
“The Centre for Digital Media , a collaboration of UBC, SFU, Emily Carr and BCIT, is thrilled to have Namco Bandai moving into our facility,” stated Richard Smith, director, master of digital media, Centre for Digital Media. “The connections with our students – and project and educational opportunities that we are exploring – are already paying off. As with the other digital media companies here, Namco Bandai is a great addition to the mix of researchers, studios and industry practitioners at The CDM. We look forward to working with them as we build the digital media industry here in B.C.”
The new company will be established within The Centre for Digital Media (CDM), a post-graduate school supported by four universities in the region that are focusing on training personnel for digital media. Namco Bandai Studios Vancouver Inc. will develop game content for North American and European customers as well as next-generation entertainment.
“We identified technology as one of our eight key sectors in Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan,” said Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour. “With the opening of a Namco Bandai Games studio in Vancouver, British Columbia continues to see progress in this industry. Our province offers a competitive tax credit, access to a highly skilled workforce and supports post-secondary digital media education, training tomorrow’s creative talent right in our backyard.”
Collaborations will also be pursued with educational organizations besides CDM and local companies.