One Fighter Future: Namco Bandai earnings see Tekken dominating SoulCalibur

Tekken 7

While big publishers like Electronic Arts and mid-tier companies like Take-Two Interactive alike are feeling the pinch of declining revenues in the stagnant console gaming market, some stalwart developers in console gaming are doing okay. Namco Bandai, one of gaming’s elder statesmen, is on the way up based on the company’s latest earnings report.

Between April and October, Namco saw revenues and profits grow nicely over the same period in 2011. Revenue totaled $2.8 billion, up modestly from $2.4 billion during those six months last year. Profits on the other hand more than doubled, with Namco earning a cool $215 million compared to just under $100 million the previous year.

Surprisingly it was the company’s PlayStation 3 games that led the surge. Namco sold 3.3 million PS3 games over that stretch, followed by 1.8 million PSP games, 1.5 million Xbox 360 games, and 1 million Nintendo 3DS games. Not too shabby all things considered.

What does Namco Bandai’s earnings report tell us about the games the company will make in the future? It tells us that Namco may become a one fighting game franchise company going forward.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2, released at the tail end of the period in September, has already sold 840,000 copies worldwide. That was literally with just nine days on shelves before the report was compiled. With holiday sales and a Wii U edition on the way, the latest Tekken should continue to sell nicely.

SoulCalibur V, however, hasn’t done quite as well. The weapons-based 3D fighter, which rose to huge popularity with its first entry on the Sega Dreamcast, is no longer the market force it once was. Released in February, SoulCalibur V has sold just 1.38 million copies worldwide, just 680,000 of which were over the past six months. Namco Bandai shouldn’t be surprised by Calibur’s performance. The game was reportedly rushed through development, with three-fourths of its story mode left on the cutting room floor. Substantial single-player modes have been a series tradition. Between its meager solo options and a predominantly new cast of characters, it’s no wonder that series fans and new players alike favored the content-rich Tekken Tag Tournament 2.