Namco Bandai surprised by success of F2P Gundam game

By Brenna Hillier
24 September 2012 06:49 GMT

During a Tokyo Game Show keynote address, CESA chairman and Namco Bandai executive vice president Shin Unozawa said Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation is performing well beyond expectations.

The PlayStation 3 exclusive is entirely free-to-play, but 75% of users have made purchases, Unozawa revealed, as reported by Siliconera.

The six-versus-six multiplayer battler released earlier this year and had brought in ¥700 million by the end of August. The executive said this represents a profit on top of recouped development costs accrused over three years.

Although Namco Bandai believed in the title strongly enough to throw up to ¥150 million at its marketing, Unozawa said its success surprised the publisher.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation restricts the player to a small number of matches per day, but more play time can be unlocked via micro-transaction. Players can also purchase a master unlock rather than wade through the whole game collecting all the weapons, customisations and Mobile Suits. It is not expected to bge localised.

During his keynote, Unozawa said the growth of digital content, free-to-play and downloadable business models has made it hard to track the Japanese games industry’s performance.

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