It seems like Bandai Namco is doing quite well for itself. It's enjoying a strong relationship with Nintendo, it has multiple highly anticipated games in development, and its Tekken 7 fighting game recently passed a milestone of 7 million units sold worldwide. But the same cannot necessarily be said for its employees, specifically the ones working at Bandai Namco's office in Santa Clara, which is located in Northern California, and that's because the office is being shut down.
To be more precise, the office is being relocated. According to VentureBeat, Bandai Namco has opted to close the Santa Clara office and open a new one in Southern California. A spokesperson has stated that the decision was made so different group companies within Bandai Namco can integrate, allowing for new cross-collaboration opportunities across Bandai Namco's portfolio of physical and digital goods sectors. Aside from its multiple video game franchises, Bandai Namco creates toys based on other franchises like Power Rangers and Gundam, as well as its own Tamagotchi digital pets.
The reason why this is a serious problem for the people working there is because, while the office isn't going to be shut down until April 2022 next year, employees only have until the end of May to decide whether or not they will relocate to the office in Southern California. An exact location hasn't been established yet but it will be somewhere between South Los Angeles and Orange County.
Not only that but, despite many companies adopting new remote working policies in response to the coronavirus pandemic (Square Enix has even introduced a permanent work-from-home plan), Bandai Namco says that full-time remote working will not be an option. So, if anyone wishes to continue working for the company, they essentially have no choice but to relocate, which unsurprisingly hasn't gone down well with the staff.
According to unnamed sources, the announcement came out of nowhere and the majority of staff (reportedly 150 to 200 employees) are upset by the decision. One person even said that many see the situation as a layoff, and relocation and severance plans are being put together as well. Remote working options will remain available until next April but, afterwards, Bandai Namco expects everyone to join the Southern California offices under a hybrid online/in-person schedule.
Despite the aforementioned successes it's been enjoying, Bandai Namco has suffered some losses recently. Last month, the company announced it was withdrawing from the arcade business in North America, transferring ownership of its various stores to three other companies.
Despite taking the world by storm with its big E3 reveal, Jump Force didn't exactly hit the mark in the way that many anime fans hoped it would. Fortunately, that doesn't mean that an improved sequel is out of the realm of possibility.
Having been developed in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Weekly Shōnen Jump, the expectations for Jump Force were extremely high from the beginning. It didn't live up to the hype that surrounded it in a lot of ways, but the crossover anime fighter did still manage to garner a loyal following. For many of those fans, a burning question is whether or not a Jump Force sequel will happen in the foreseeable future. Nothing has been announced, but there are some pretty strong arguments for why Jump Force 2 could happen and how it could end up being even bigger than the first.
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