Bandai Namco is known for publishing a wide variety of games based on popular anime properties, including Naruto and Once Piece. According to the company, if there is enough fan interest, another anime IP could join their roster: Sailor Moon.
The Sailor Scouts and their adventures were catapulted back into the spotlight last year with the launch of a new animated television series; the show would differ from its lengthy predecessor by more closely following the plot of creator Naoko Takeuchiâ€™s manga, which ran from 1992 to 1997. Speaking at a press event this weekend, senior manager of IP strategy Tak Miyazoe suggested that a game based on the popular magical girl series isnâ€™t entirely off the table.
Miyazoe acknowledged that Viz Media, the distributor of the anime and manga in North America, is pushing hard with the new wave of Sailor Moon. In addition to the new anime, the resurgence in popular interest has sparked a variety of merchandise. The new uptick in mainstream interest has many fans hopeful for a new video game adaptation.
â€œWeâ€™re always exploring ideas, the potential is always there,â€ Miyazoe said. â€œItâ€™s more about, are there fans out there who want it? Can we hear enough voices? From a business perspective, would [a Sailor Moon game] make sense, and more importantly, what do the fans want?â€
There have been Sailor Moon-based games in the past. All except one were released only in Japan, with the one outlier also launching in France. One game was released specifically for the U.S., called The 3D Adventures of Sailor Moon.
Sailor Moon games have mostly been beat â€˜em ups and fighting games, with a few side-scrolling and puzzle titles in the mix. One, Pretty Solider Sailor Moon: Another Story, featured an original storyline not tied to the anime or manga.
Bandai Namcoâ€™s North American branch is responsible for localizing games from Japan, so itâ€™s not up to them to develop the game. However, the idea of the company developing in the name of the moon makes the most sense. Bandai Namco has had a business relationship with Toei Animation, the company heading the new Sailor Moon anime, since 2007. Toeiâ€™s properties make up most of the anime games Bandai Namco publishes; Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya, One Piece, Digimonâ€¦the list is long.
Miyazoe suggested that the idea of Sailor Moon game is something heâ€™s heard before. And with its pedigree of bringing quality anime tie-in games, many of them brawlers, to North America, it seems Bandai Namco would be the best choice to bring the gift of Sailor Moon to the West.