Bandai Quits Pippin

Although the Pippin is dead, Bandai will enter the PC gaming world at full speed.

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Due to disappointing sales, Bandai Co. Ltd has decided to stop production of its Pippin Atmark. At the same time, one of its divisions, Bandai Digital Entertainment (BDE), is forming a new publishing unit to create PC- and Mac-based games.

The Pippin, a multimedia console based on a Macintosh operating system that also allowed users to access the Internet, apparently didn't live up to the company's expectations. In fact, Bandai had to revise its figures for the year ending March 31, 1997, to reflect a loss based on Pippin's operation costs and sluggish sales. And in light of the upcoming merger with Sega this October, the company decided to trim a little fat by withdrawing from unprofitable businesses, which included the Pippin. Now Bandai can focus on its new venture, which will create Windows and Macintosh edutainment and entertainment products. According to the company, Bandai Digital is expanding its operations and has named John McGanty (BDE's software marketing manager) as director of the new unit. It's currently trying to establish strategic partnerships with CD-ROM and online game developers and publishers.

On tap for BDE are several action and adventure games and other entertainment titles, due this summer. Five of these will be shown next month at E3, including two from San Diego-based Presto Studios called Pegasus Prime and Gundam (based on the anime). Fans can also look forward to a CD-ROM version of Tamagotchi, the virtual pet that is driving the virtual pet craze.

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