In an interview with MCV, Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe senior vice president of marketing, digital and content Hervé Hoerdt said that the publisher has no interest in putting its games on the Epic Games store.
Hoerdt acknowledged the opportunities of Epic exclusivity arrangements, but affirmed that this sort of partnership is not conducive to the company’s business strategy. ‘Epic is just another store,’ he said. ‘It’s fantastic, they have a lot of strength and [lots of] users, the business model is attractive to us because it’s more profitable but still, their interest is, if I’m correct, exclusivity. And this is not our vision.’
He added, ‘The main focus for us is the consumer and the brand. And for each brand we decide what’s the best way to satisfy the consumer and to engage the widest audience possible. So for instance, I don’t see any point of putting Tekken 7 on the Epic Store.’ AAA titles and independent projects have been included in Epic’s sweep of exclusivity announcements, and many developers have received backlash for seemingly refuting a consumer’s right to the game.
Hoerdt explained that releasing on Steam is the best and most rational approach for its PC titles, yet he did not rule out Epic Games partnership in the future: ‘I don’t think we’ll deal with Epic in the short term, while we have this strategy. But of course, if they’re open, we’ll go there.’ When asked about how streaming will feature into Bandai Namco’s vision, Hoerdt was more positive.
‘I think there’s a misconception: streaming doesn’t mean subscription. It’s not mandatory. And we’ve put some games there, we’ve made some tests, we have Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 [coming to Stadia] but we also have more projects in the pipeline,’ he stated, ‘Not on the first wave, but there will be three or four waves in the coming years so we’ll have some titles then and I think this is important for us to make this bet and to see how it reacts.’
The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan is the next game published by Bandai Namco, to be released on August 30. The upcoming spooky adventure will have unique multiplayer modes that will let players act out the story through online co-op.