Bandai Namco's grand metaverse may include Tekken, Dragon Ball hubs

Bandai Namco wants to create virtual spaces for specific IPs and franchises that may connect games with other multimedia.

@DeekeTweak
Published Mon, Feb 14 2022 2:23 PM CST   |   Updated Fri, Mar 11 2022 11:59 AM CST

Bandai Namco outlines plans for its IP Metaverse, a vast inter-connected webwork of services, games, and interactive media.

Bandai Namco's grand metaverse may include Tekken, Dragon Ball hubs 76 | TweakTown.com

The metaverse is gaming's latest hot trend. The nebulous concept is a convergence of the most powerful mechanisms of gaming: online interaction, personalized customizable social hubs, launching/playing/sharing games, and a service-based ecosystem that offers games, movies, and interactive experiences that are monetized and scaled across a huge network. It's basically a combination of Final Fantasy 14, the PlayStation Network, and the PlayStation Store all-in-one.

Bandai Namco is the latest publisher to embrace the metaverse. The company says it plans to launch a new initiative for an IP Metaverse, which would create a "metaverse", or a ring of inter-connected interactive experiences, for each of its IPs. This strongly implies that franchises like Tekken, Dragon Ball, Gundam, Pac-Man, and Naruto would all get their own content hubs.

"On an IP axis, Bandai Namco will develop a metaverse for each IP as a new framework for connecting with fans. In this IP Metaverse, we are anticipating virtual spaces that will enable customers to enjoy a wide range of entertainment on an IP axis, as well as frameworks that leverage Bandai Namco's distinctive strengths to fuse physical products and venues with digital elements," the company said in its new Mid-Year plan.

"On an IP axis, Bandai Namco will develop a metaverse for each IP as a new framework for connecting with fans. In this IP Metaverse, we are anticipating virtual spaces that will enable customers to enjoy a wide range of entertainment on an IP axis, as well as frameworks that leverage Bandai Namco's distinctive strengths to fuse physical products and venues with digital elements.

"We are aiming for open frameworks that provide venues for connections with and among fans and business partners. Through the IP Metaverse, we will establish communities among Bandai Namco and fans, as well as among fans themselves.

"Through these communities and content, we will build deep, broad, multifaceted connections that continue for long periods of time, and we will focus on the quality of those connections."

Bandai Namco is prepared to spend 15 billion yen, or about $129 million, to "realize the metaverse concept".

While Bandai Namco's statements are vague, here's an easier way to conceptualize things.

The IP Metaverse is the universe. Each individual IP has its own planet that's nestled in the universe. The planets are filled with games, content, digitalized venues (possibly live showings of, say, new Dragon Ball movies or old-school episodes via a subscription platform). Gamers can hop from planet to planet, meet other players, form groups and friends, launch and buy games, and buy content, show episodes, and other licensed material straight from a digital shop.

If that sounds like a lot...that's because it is. This could be very hard to pull off and Bandai Namco's grand ambitions will be smaller-scale affairs at the start.

We've already seen patterns of this kind of plan manifest in games like Dragon Ball Xenoverse 1 & 2, both of which feature an in-game social hub. That could be the beginning of the types of things we may see in all of Bandai Namco's games.

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NEWS SOURCE:bandainamco.co.jp

Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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