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Namco Bandai Sees Losses in Games Division

Company revises sales and earnings estimates downward due to weak games market.


Namco Bandai Holdings shared its first quarter earnings today. The group reported a loss in its Namco Bandai Games video gaming division, contributing largely to overall losses in its general group business.

For the entire Namco Bandai Group, which includes the firm's toys and hobby, game contents, networking, visual and music content, and amusement businesses, total sales were at ¥75,729 million for the quarter, down from ¥89,979 for the same period last year. The company saw an overall operating loss of ¥2,758 million, compared to a gain last year of ¥1,528 million.

Exclusively in its games division, the company saw sales of ¥20,210 million, down from the ¥28,010 million of the previous year. This translated to an increased operating loss for the division. Last year's first quarter saw a loss of ¥40 million. This year, that ballooned to ¥4,136 million.

The quarter saw drops in overall unit game sales. In the first quarter of 2009, the company released 13 titles, split 5 for consoles and 8 for portables (these unit totals count regional versions of the same product together). This resulted in 3,946,000 unit software sales. This quarter saw a total of 9 titles, split 2 for consoles and 7 for portables. The result was 3,466,000 units sold.

Wii and DS were the company's biggest platforms, with respectively 794,000 and 783,000 units sold. PSP followed with 579,000. Xbox 360 managed 533,000 units, besting PS3's 456,000 and PS2's 320,000.

The company shared solid sales figures for its top titles. Afro Samurai, released on PS3 and Xbox 360 only in Europe and America, was the company's biggest game, with 420,000 units sold. We Ski & Snowboard (Wii, Europe and America) sold 270,000 units. Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans (DS, Japan) sold 190,000. Closing out the top five were We Ski (Wii, America and Europe) with 150,000 units and Active Life Outdoor Challenge (Wii, America) with 110,000.

As a result of, in part, a weak game software market, the company has issued revised sales and earnings forecasts for the year. For the full year, it expects sales of ¥400,000 million and earnings operating income of ¥16,000 million, down from original forecasts of ¥430,000 million and ¥23,500. For its video game business, it lowered sales forecasts from ¥158,000 million to ¥140,000 million and earnings forecasts from ¥11,000 million to ¥5,500 million.

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