Bandi Namco is a renown Japanese publisher in the gaming community. Some of their most known projects include fighting games such as the Soulcaliber & Tekken series and the infamous Dark Soul series. Their most recent project Twin Mirror just released on the PC/PS4/Xbox One, and their upcoming Elden Ring is one of the most hotly anticipated releases of coming years. Needless to say, if you are a gamer, you've most likely played one of their many releases.
Then there is UK animation specialist Aardman. A name that might not be so familiar, but their projects should certainly ring a few bells. Their animation style is not only very specific, but also very highly regarded. You would know their works from films such as Chicken Run (200), Flushed Away (2006) , and Shaun the Sheep (2015)--though mostly likely, you would know them from their most famous work: Wallace and Gromit . Their animation is brimming with personality, and it's the type of work that you can immediately see the passion behind every frame.
Now what could these two things possibly have in common?
It has just been announced that UK animation specialist Aardman has officially entered an agreement with Japanese publisher Bandai Namco on a brand new IP. There were not many details given on the new property itself. All that was mentioned was that the collaboration is expected to extend over multiple projects, the first of which is said to exist across multiple media.
Work on this new mystery project will ramp up in early 2021, with Aardman and Bandai Namco both hoping to create stories tailored for current and future platforms. In regard to the collaboration announcement, Aardman's managing director Sean Clarke had the following to say:
Interactive Entertainment is a huge growth area within the entertainment world. With new emerging technology blurring the lines of watching and playing, we are keen to develop strategic partnerships with partners such as Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe that share our vision of creating new IP that embraces this new world and cement our studio's reputation as a multi-disciplinary creative hub.
This won't be the first time that the two companies have worked together. 11-11: Memories Retold was one of their past collaborative projects. The game was a narrative driven title set during World War I and marked Aardman's first commercial video game.
WHAT THIS MEANS
Immediately, it would seem a Wallace & Gromit styled Elden Ring , or even Souls game, is off the table. This is a shame, as that would actually be pretty insane. Nonetheless, this is a pretty exciting announcement. In a world where sequels and franchises are all the rage, new IP's are a rare breed. So, in general, it's hard not to be excited for new and unique experience in Aardman's unique and engrossing animation style.
Seeing as no information about the new project was given in the report, it's hard to make any educated guess as to what form the new game will take. Not only that, but seeing as work is only set to start ramping up in early 2021, this new project is easily years away from being in our hands. It is said that the first project will exist across multiple media, which could point at it wanting to reach a wide audience--so we can likely rule out any M-Rated experience right out of the gate. That being said, it's hard not to stop thinking about what a Wallace & Gromit styled Souls game would be like.