Namco has laid off 28 staffers at its American subsidary, San Jose, California-based Namco Hometek. According to the company the company is currently undergoing restructuring, which includes streamlining of operations, in other words layoffs. Hence the decision was being described as a strategic one, unrelated to the less-than-stellar sales performances of titles such as I-Ninja and R: Racing Evolution. Apart from May's Electronic Entertainment Expo E3 in Los Angeles, Namco plans to exhibit some of its new titles at its own Gamers' Day scheduled for April.
Namco's two GameCube RPGs Tales of Symphonia and Baten Kaitos: Owaranai Tsubasa to Ushinawareta Umi have been confirmed for releases on this side of the US (the latter not yet officially, though), and Monolith Soft's current PlayStation 2 title Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Boese is almost ensured to follow suit, following its June release in Japan. Additionally, Namco subsidary Tales Studio is currently working on the next installment in the popular series of the same name. The untitled game is expected to be available in Japan sometime later this year.