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Tekken creator Katsuhiro Harada has announced that he’ll be joining the Bandai Namco esports strategy team. His new duties won’t affect the production of Tekken or any of the other fighting games in Namco’s collection, though Harada said that the move should ultimately lead to a stronger relationship between the company and its various communities. The news comes after a string of Dragon Ball FighterZ tournament closures that came about due to licensing disputes.
Harada’s new role will see the entire company buy into the spirit of tournaments and events that have been mostly community-led so far, though the likes of Tekken already boasts one of the biggest fighting esports tournaments around. The move will see more activity from the three games, whether that be in ranked matches, tournaments or other community events for Tekken, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and SoulCalibur, with Harada sating saying that “BANDAI NAMCO are committed to [expanding] the horizons of both tournament and community scenes of these 3 franchises.”
Though Harada was quick to make clear that the new strategy team won’t see community-led activities dwindle, he said explained that “we are dedicated to [figuring] out ways where we can assist tournaments and community activities in the future.” It sounds like there’s still a lot to figure out in that respect but Harada seems to want to avoid stepping on any toes in his new role, though just how it all turns out remains to be seen.
The news was welcomed by Dragon Ball FighterZ fans, who were left in the lurch after the game was pulled from tournaments for issues surrounding licensing agreements. And fans have said that Harada’s work on other titles demonstrates that he has the pedigree to get the best out of the role. Though just how Harada will manage to get around the licensing issues that have been at the center of the recent Dragon Ball FighterZ tournament closures recently is the biggest obstacle for him.