Bandai Namco Group CGO (Chief Gundam Officer) and GUNDAM business supervisor, Koji Fujiwara has announced, “GUNDAM PROJECT,” which focuses on the worldwide strategy, brand and titles, and *GUDA, to increase the value of GUNDAM as an IP, and to nurture the GUNDAM brand into an iconic figure for society.
*Abbreviation of “GUNDAM UNIVERSAL CENTURY DEVELOPMENT ACTION,” a sustainability project that seeks to face social issues through the GUNDAM brand.
In worldwide strategy, Bandai Namco Group’s key initiatives under the mid-term vision, “Connect with Fans,” will begin in April 2022. Prospects were announced for the “GUNDAM Metaverse Project,” a new initiative seeking to connect the GUNDAM IP with fans. For the brand title project, the latest information was shared for the 2022 new television animation release, “Mobile Suit Gundam: THE WITCH FROM MERCURY”. For the GUDA project, updates have been announced for “GUNDAM Open Innovation,” a program that aims to fulfill future dreams and hopes by applying the ideals in GUNDAM to work towards a sustainable future and facing various social issues.
Bandai Namco Group will be following a new purpose, “Fun for All into the Future,” from April 2022, which defines Bandai Namco Group’s mission of seeking joy and happiness for the future by delivering fun and excitement to people worldwide.
Under this new purpose, Bandai Namco Group will start a mid-term plan with the new vision, “Connect with Fans,” so that the company can become a hub that connects more deeply, broadly, and in a more enjoyable way to IP fans, partners, group employees, and society worldwide.
The new mid-term plan will introduce a new means of connecting fans to entertainment properties by building a metaverse for each IP under Bandai Namco Group’s portfolio, which is also utilized as a key part of the company’s IP based strategies. The development will begin with the creation of the “GUNDAM Metaverse” which will become a platform of opportunities for GUNDAM fans worldwide to come together to converse and connect
in a variety of categories.
This metaverse will steadily grow to build a solid foundation as the project moves forward into the future. The first step for the metaverse is to create virtual communities for each category and to enable connections to the categories through the use of the *BANDAI NAMCO iD.
*The BANDAI NAMCO iD is a common account for the BANDAI NAMCO Group, allowing people to enjoy a variety of services and content offered by each group company with a single account
These virtual communities will meld with the world of GUNDAM as the virtual spaces will be made in the form of space colonies, which will be connected to the “GUNDAM Metaverse” space hub under the name “SIDE-G”.
Plans are underway to build more space colonies themed after a variety of “SIDE-G” categories such as anime, Gunpla, games, music, and more, which will be launched into the virtual space.
The first launch for the completion of “SIDE-G” will be the “Gunpla Colony,” where various Gunpla related experiences will be made available within the virtual world.
Test runs were held in 2021 for the project, “THE GUNDAM BASE VIRTUAL WORLD,” where people can converge from around the world to enjoy the virtual Gunpla entertainment space. Plans are for this virtual space to launch officially as “THE GUNDAM BASE GUNPLA COLONY STORE,” with limited access tests to be held this autumn.
Plans are also in place to install personalized room functions using the BANDAI NAMCO iD, and to form communities through Gunpla products. The “Gunpla Colony” will bring entertainment to the virtual space by merging digital and physical worlds with “Gunpla Battle,” where fans can scan their Gunpla to face others in battle, hosting “Gunpla Contest” events and providing Gunpla lessons online.
Next in line is the launch of the “Esports Colony,” which is currently in development for completion in 2023.
To mark the beginning of the “Esports Colony,” the “GUNDAM EVOLUTION” first-person shooter (FPS) game will officially launch in 2022. The title will incorporate the best of GUNDAM to provide the pinnacle of entertainment and establish itself as the GUNDAM brand’s first esports-centric FPS game. In tandem with the 6-vs-6 online multiplayer game, “Mobile Suit Gundam: BATTLE OPERATION 2,” the “Esports Colony” gaming community will
reach beyond Japan and into the world to bring fans and gamers together.
With “GUNDAM EVOLUTION” taking the lead, there will be a PC version network test of the game that will be held in Japan and the US on April 8 (FRI), so please wait for more to come.
Promote the entry of other companies and C to C business in GUNDAM
In the near future, Bandai Namco Group will urge companies other than the Bandai Namco Group to join the GUNDAM market and allow general users to conduct C2C businesses using the GUNDAM brand in the form of user-generated content (UGC).
By building a metaverse in which character rights are preserved and implementing this initiative, it expects that new Gundam businesses will be created and that this will lead to further expansion of Gundam IP co-created with fans.
The “GUNDAM Metaverse Project” will build “SIDE-G” by launching space colonies for each available category.
Bandai Namco Group will create a new economic domain to promote C2C businesses with an invitation for other companies to join a virtual space where GUNDAM fans around the world can enjoy the virtual world together as part of their daily lives.
In order to grow to an even larger scale after 2026, Bandai Namco Group will promote the development of each colony with the “Gundam Metaverse” as a pillar of the Group.