Namco to ax 168 staffers

Cuts will save $33 million in personnel costs

Japanese arcade and home gamemaker Namco Bandai Games plans to ax 168 employees through early retirement by March 31.

The company, a subsid of media conglom Namco Bandai Holdings, had hoped to persuade 200 staffers, 10% of its workforce, to volunteer for the early exits.

The cuts are expected to save Namco Bandai $33 million in personnel costs.

The company is facing a $19 million special loss for the current fiscal year, ending in March.

Among the games on the company’s line-up are “Afro Samurai 2009,” based on a popular U.S.-Japan toon co-production, as well as entries in the “Tekken,” “Naruto,” “Digmon,” “Ace Combat” and “Tales of Vesperia” series.

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