Japanese Game-Maker Bandai Namco's First-Half Profits Up 29 Percent

Switch Super Smash Bros Ultimate - Game- H 2018
Courtesy of Nintendo

'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,' which it co-developed for Nintendo, is expected to be a huge seller when it is released next month.

Bandai Namco Holdings posted first-half profits up 29 percent to ?48.5 billion ($428 million) on sales up 8.4 percent to ?334.67 billion ($2.96 billion), the company announced Wednesday in Tokyo.

The company sold 10.2 million video games in the first half, down from just over 11 million in the same period last year. Europe accounted for more than 4.5 million, the Americas more than 3.7 million and Japan just less than 2 million.

In addition to its own iconic franchises like Pac-Man, the fighting game Tekken and Gundam, the company develops games with other studios and publishes and distributes games by outside developers. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, an exclusive for the Nintendo Switch console that was developed jointly with Sora, is expected to be a huge hit when it is released Dec. 7.

The company also holds a 10.8 percent stake in the anime studio Toei Animation, which produces hit franchises including One Piece, Dragon Ball and Digimon, from which Bandai Namco creates merchandise and video games. Bandai Namco’s Dragon Ball Fighter Z broke the streaming record for the biggest e-sports fighting game tournament on Twitch earlier this year.

On Nov. 1, the company established the Bandai Namco Content Fund — with an initial investment of ?1 billion ($8.8 million), to rise to $44 million — to further leverage and develop its IP portfolio.

Formed in 2005 by the merger of toymaker Bandai and videogame specialist Namco, the company produces anime, toys, game software and arcade machines, as well as operating game arcades and amusement parks. Bandai Namco is the biggest toymaker in the world, ahead of Lego.

Full-year profits for the period to March 2019 are expected to come in at ?61 billion ($539 million), down 19 percent from 2018.

Bandai Namco stock closed down slightly Wednesday in Tokyo trading at ?4,135 ($36.54), in line with the Nikkei 225 index.