Bandai Namco Entertainment’s Vancouver, B.C.-based development studio has been shut down, according to senior VP of development Landon Nguyen, who posted the news on Twitter Thursday. The studio was established in 2013 and had primarily worked on mobile adaptations of Bandai Namco’s franchises, such as Tekken Mobile, Tap My Katamari, and Pac-Man 256.
Nguyen confirmed in a follow-up tweet that a small skeleton crew will remain in place, presumably to maintain the company’s servers. Neither Nguyen nor Bandai Namco have confirmed anything further, including the reasons behind the shutdown. The closure of Bandai Namco Vancouver means around 40 employees are expected to lose their jobs.
I’m sad to announce that as of today Bandai Namco Studios Vancouver will be shutting down. I want to thank everyone who came with us on this journey. We shipped some awesome experiences together. Thank you to all the fans who supported our games and our studio #gamedev
— Landon Nguyen (@Arc9ine) November 16, 2018
Japan-based Bandai Namco Entertainment was created in 2006 by a merger between the games divisions of the Bandai and Namco corporations. The company is perhaps best-known for its ownership of the Pac-Man and Tekken franchises. In addition to its now-closed Canadian office, the company maintains its headquarters in Tokyo and satellite development studios in Singapore and Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Its most recent high-profile release was the medieval-themed fighting game Soul Calibur VI.
The shutdown of Bandai Namco’s Vancouver office is another recent blow to games development in B.C., following the similarly-abrupt closure of Capcom Vancouver in September. It also comes at the end of a tumultuous year in the larger games industry, with multiple other major studios shutting their doors.