Update: We slightly changed some wording in the article as we initially shared this as ILCA “merging” with Bandai Namco, but that is not the case, and to avoid any confusion, this is a collaboration between the two to form a new studio.

Japanese developer ILCA has announced that they will join Bandai Namco in forming a new studio, Bandai Namco Aces. Bandai Namco is the bigger shareholder of the new studio with 51%, while ILCA holds 49%. ILCA’s current CEO, Takuya Iwasaki, will be the president and CEO of Bandai Namco Aces, and Kazutoki Kono, who is the director and producer of the Ace Combat series, will take the role of vice president. The new studio has not revealed what their projects are at the moment, but they promise to “continue to deliver high-quality content,” which includes the Ace combat series. Check out the official website for more information (English version available).

ILCA (which stands for “I LOVE COMPUTER ART”) started as a CG-based video production company in 2010 and then expanded to include video game development; they supported the developments of games such as NieR: Automata, Dragon Quest XI, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, and most recently, they were the developers behind Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. You can find their official website here.

Takuya Iwasaki (President & CEO):

We have started a project that is also our slogan, “Crossing Genres and Borders!”. Why don’t we all take off into a new world utilizing high-end 3DCG? The era of Singularity by AI is just around the corner. As a member of the Bandai Namco Group, I will pass on the future that I have envisioned for a long time to the next generation. To this end, we will continue to work together with creators in the game and computer graphics industries and game players around the world as one organization, and create experiences that enables them to be a task force. As the digital twin/mirror world evolves toward the year 2040, please look forward to the entertainment we will create.

Kazutoki Kono (Executive Vice President):

We “connect creativity directly to emotion.” We have always strived to provide contents and services that give intense satisfaction and excitement to our fans. In the process, we have come to realize that the core of entertainment lies in the “heart-pounding emotion” that comes at the moment when creativity moves the “emotions” of our fans. In order to maximize this value, we hoped to create a new development environment where creators and fans could co-create in the future. Creativity moves fans, and fans who are moved create new creativity, which in turn influences creators. We aim to create a next-generation entertainment experience in which people empathize with each other and share their excitement.

Background and Purpose of Establishment

With the recent remarkable growth of the global game market, the demand for more high-end games is increasing.

On this basis, in order to deliver high-end games that exceed the expectations of fans around the world, we have decided to establish a new company to strengthen our capacities to develope games with hyper-photorealistic expression.

Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc. has cultivated its expertise in game production through its production of the “Tekken” series and the “Ace Combat” series. Iruka has the technical capabilities to produce high quality content using state-of-the-art technology.

Going forward, while leveraging the strengths and know-how of both companies, we will continue to deliver high-quality contents that can be played in-depth and for a long time to fans around the world.

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