Japanese game developer Namco Bandai is intent on evolving its services to include game publishing. The company has already shipped its first game as publisher, Mage Knight Apocalypse which was released last September. But the real test on it capabilities as a game publisher will come when the much anticipated Hellgate: London is released. The anticipated street date for the game is during the first quarter of 2007.The action role playing game, which was developed by alumni from the first Diablo, is one of the most highly anticipated in gaming circles mainly because of the gameplay elements, which are said to be quite exciting. The milieu too of a devastated modern day London is a big come on for many gamers.
In order to help its first serious publishing responsibilities run more smoothly, Namco Bandai has signed a co-publishing agreement with Electronic Arts specifically for Hellgate: London. The co publishing venture has very specific and very limited stipulations. For example, even though there is a co publishing venture with EA, the company will not have any publishing rights to any future Hellgate: London projects.
EA’s co publishing deal is not the first agreement that the company has entered into specifically for this kind of venture. Only last July, EA and Valve Software agreed on a multi year deal with regards to the distribution of console and boxed retail versions of Half Life 2 and any other future Valve games that will come out.
Namco Bandai’s entry into the publishing business may have an impact in the distribution aspect of gaming. It would be interesting to know if this will be a beneficial or negative effect.
[tags]Blizzard, World of Warcraft, MMORPG, [/tags]