The original article was in the WSJ, but there are summaries all over.
Other publishers mentioned in the article as either possible targets or possible buyers include Activision, THQ, Midway, Eidos, Namco and Capcom. Other targets might include the gaming divisions of companies whose primary focus lies in another field like Viacom Inc., Walt Disney Co., DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. and Time Warner Inc.
The only solace I have from this is that japanese companies reeeeaaaaly don’t like selling out to the americans. Not that american companies are bad, but the likelyhood of EA ever ever publishing a game like Katamari Damacy is almost nil.
Namco and Capcom are targets, not buyers. But they’re targets for Japanese companies, not American ones. It’s highly unlikely as you note that any Japanese company would sell out to an American one, especially EA.
I knew that the Japanese game industry wasn’t doing well, but to have Capcom and Namco on the ropes is a bit shocking. Sega has already effectively disintegrated. What Japanese developers will remain? Nintendo, Konami, Square-Enix?
Capcom sort of deserves its fate. It has released an amazingly great game decade or so (Mega Man, Street Fighter 2, Viewtiful Joe) only to be followed up by an avalanche of slightly enchanced sequels, diluting all that was original and engaging about the original.
I’ve never been a big fan of Namco. VF has always been better than Tekken, and Ridge Racer has never done much for me. Yet it is sad to see the house of Pac-Man, Katamari Damacy, and Taiko Drum Master in a questionable position.
To be fair, the developer of Katmari Damacy has said that the game was a hard sell in Japan, too. It’s not like publishers are falling over themselves in Asia to make odd little games with odd little concepts. I mean, what number Final Fantasy are we on?
Don’t go sending these companies to their graves. They’re all very big and still rather successful. There’s just much bigger and more successful companies around that might want to attempt to buy them out.
Namco especially is riding a wave of success and just put Tekken 5 into arcades where it’s doing pretty well from what I’ve seen. Capcom could have a major success with Resident Evil 4 in a couple weeks as we all know it’s going to be fantastic given early impressions. GMR gave it a 10/10 in their review IIRC.
I kinda doubt Namco and Capcom will be purchased by anyone or even end up merging with someone in 2005.
Who thought Sammy and Sega were going to merge? :|
I don’t think that Activision, Midway, or THQ are likely targets. They are probably worth too much and have all been doing pretty good lately. Eidos is definitely possible.
About Namco and Capcom, they’d probably merge with each other before selling to an American company like everyone else said.