UK stop-motion specialist Aardman Animations is building up its interactive entertainment business by partnering with video game publisher Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe to develop new IPs.
The companies are planning content that will live across gaming platforms, and they will seek out partners for the first project in early 2021. To develop titles, Aardman will create characters and focus on world-building, while Bandai Namco handles publishing and development for mobile devices and consoles.
Aardman has been expanding into games in a bigger way recently, and is launching a new AR experience called Wallace & Gromit: The Big Fix Up (pictured) on December 30. The company also made a StorySign app that helps kids with hearing impairments learn to read. In March, Daniel Efergan was promoted to a new exec role in Aardman’s interactive division, and Joshua Baldwin was also brought in as game director.
Bandai Namco, meanwhile, experienced some slight financial dips this year due to the pandemic, despite having popular franchises like Pac-Man and Dark Souls in its portfolio. In Europe, where the gameco is teaming up with Aardman as part of an ongoing strategy to drive new growth in the region, Bandai Namco’s net sales dropped 3% year over year, according to its 2020 financial report.