Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada will head Bandai Namco’s new esports strategy team

During a messy period, Bandai Namco looks to right the ship.

Photo via Katsuhiro Harada

At a key time for several fighting games that are still in their early stages, Bandai Namco is making moves to strengthen its support for those titles in the competitive scene.

With the massive success Bandai Namco has seen over the past year with new titles like Dragon Ball FighterZ, Soulcalibur VI, and Tekken 7, making a move to expand the community and game support isn’t that surprising.

This commitment to growth started with the legendary producer of the Tekken series, Katsuhiro Harada, announcing he would lead the publisher’s fighting game esports strategy team. In a post on TwitLonger, Harada confirmed that the three franchises would have “many” tournaments in 2019, both official and some run by the community.

“First, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who held and/or participated in various tournaments this year,” Harada said. “We at Bandai Namco are committed to expanding the horizons of both tournament and community scenes of these three franchises.”

This news comes at a perfect time for the company, since it recently faced criticism after Dragon Ball FighterZ was pulled from prominent tournaments like EVO Japan and Anime Ascension. According to DualShockers, no explanation has been given by the tournament organizers or Bandai Namco for why the game was removed.

Harada is beloved in all circles of the fighting game community and his very direct attitude toward fans is something that will hopefully bring some stability and personality to the turbulent scene. It also helps that early reactions to the announcement have been extremely positive.

Through the announcement, Harada told fans to contact their regional Bandai Namco office for details on upcoming events. But we’ll have to wait and see how much this expansion is pushed in the new year.