Bandai Namco has announced the appointment of a new president, as it prepares to push through plans to merge its toy and games businesses.
The Japanese corporation confirmed in its latest financial results that company veteran Masaru Kawaguchi will be appointed President and Representative Director and lead “a new strategic direction” at the company.
Kawaguchi joined Bandai Co Ltd. In 1983 and following its 2006 merger with Namco, eventually climbed the ranks to become Bandai president by 2015. Since 2019, the executive has acted as part-time director for all Bandai Namco Entertainment.
From April 2021, Bandai Namco will push forward with previously announced plans to reorganise its divisions. As part of the changes, it will reduce its operating units from five to three.
The Toys and Hobby Unit and Network Entertainment Unit will be merged into the Entertainment Unit. The Visual and Music Production Unit and IP creation Unit will be merged into the IP Production Unit. Finally, the Real Entertainment Unit will be renamed Amusement Unit.
Bandai Namco said the changes reflected a new strategic direction for the company, “in a new era of dramatically changing sense of values and lifestyles.”
It said: “From April 2021, each business will join together in a united effort to a greater degree than before under the ALL BANDAI NAMCO concept in preparation for the next Mid-term Plan.
“The Company will reorganize its Unit structure to further strengthen its IP Axis Strategy in the global market, and will change to a new structure for its directors.”
By merging games and toy divisions, Bandai Namco said it believed it would be able to better leverage its many IPs, which include Pac-Man, Dark Souls, Tekken and more.
The company’s games division has been shifting focus over the past few years, in an attempt to give more power to its Western divisions and create more new game IPs in Europe.
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