Bandai Namco has been in a bit of trouble as of late, thanks to the removal of Dragon Ball FighterZ on the tournament front. There's a lot of finger pointing going on regarding its disappearance, though Toei Animation recently noted that it's not to blame.
While there's still a heated discussion over what's happening, one of Bandai Namco's power players just made a shift that promises big things for the company's tournament scene moving forward. Hopefully, that means FighterZ's return to prominence.
Katsuhiro Harada, the mastermind behind the popular Tekken fighting series, recently took to Twitlonger to announce his new position as leader and supervisor for the Bandai Namco Fighting eSports Strategy Team. With this position, he promises to expand the tournament scene with the company's games, although he will continue to produce content in the future for Tekken 7, including the ongoing second season that features The Walking Dead's Negan. (He's set to debut sometime in 2019.)
Said Harada in the post, "I wanted to notify everyone that I have become the leader and supervisor of the Bandai Namco Fighting Game eSports Strategy team today (Of course, I'll continue producing the game as well). And first I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who held and/or participated in various tournaments this year."
He continued, "We at Bandai Namco are committed to expand the horizons of both tournament and community scenes of these 3 franchises. We are already planning to have as many official tournaments as possible for next year while continue supporting tournaments held by the community.
"Furthermore, we are dedicated to figure out ways where we can assist tournaments and community activities in the future."
He concluded his post with, "We will continue to bring you the ultimate experience through Bandai Namco Fighting Games next year."
The publisher may have made this move in an effort to cool down fans angered that FighterZ isn't featured in the EVO Japan event taking place next month, as well as another big-name anime convention.
It sounds like Harada wants to get FighterZ back on the board in a big way. But the real question is if the publisher will do it by participating in other tournaments, or hosting their own. It looks like we'll find out in the months ahead.
Congrats to Harada for landing the position; and here's hoping we see more SoulCalibur VI and Dragon Ball FighterZ competitive action in the coming year!