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Namco Executive Talks Tales, Baten Kaitos
01.15.04 - 3:26 PM

In a recent interview, Namco's senior executive officer Youichi Haraguchi commented on his company's plans for 2004. He revealed that Tales Studio was working on a entry in Namco's flagship RPG series Tales. While the existence of this new title was already confirmed by Tales Studio's Akira Yoshizumi last year, Haraguchi mentioned the game would be available sometime this year. Just like Yoshizumi however, Haraguchi made a secret of the target platform.

In the meantime, the executive made no secret of his disappointment regarding the sales of Monolith Soft's original GameCube RPG Baten Kaitos: Owaranai Tsubasa to Ushinawareta Umi. In the first two weeks following its December 5th release, the game has sold only 80,000 copies in Japan. These numbers stand in contrast to the sales target of 500,000 units Namco had given out prior to the game's release. For reference, Namco's second major GameCube RPG Tales of Symphonia sold 290,000 copies following its August 29th release (just like in Baten Kaitos' case, Namco originally expected to sell 500,000 copies in Japan). According to Haraguchi, Baten Kaitos did not mix with the GameCube's userbase. That being said, he reiterated Namco's intention to continue the cooperation with Nintendo in 2004.

As far as online games are concerned, he mentioned his company would seriously enter that business with PC-based titles, while at the same time planning PlayStation 2 online games. He did not provide any details regarding the number or genre of the titles which Namco plans to release in 2004.


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Chris Winkler





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