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Bandai Namco Opens New Studio With Pokemon Remake Developer, ILCA

Last year, Bandai Namco and Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl developer ILCA announced they were partnering up to create the next Ace Combat game. Given ILCA’s history of remakes, this fueled rumors that the next Ace Combat could be a remake of an older Ace Combat game, rumors that were stoked further by Ace Combat brand lead Kazutoki Kono in an interview with Famitsu last November.

Now, Bandai Namco and ILCA have codified their relationship with a brand-new studio. Bandai Namco Aces, as the studio is called, will be headquartered in Tokyo at the same offices used by ILCA and will be helmed by executives from both Bandai Namco and ILCA.

Ace Combat producer, brand leader, and Project Aces studio head Kazutoki Kono will become executive vice-president of Bandai Namco Aces, while ILCA CEO Takuya Iwasaki will server as the new studio’s president and CEO. A capital investment of 10 million yen from both Bandai Namco and ILCA will go into creating Bandai Namco Aces.

ILCA first formed in 2010 as a video production company, but soon found itself branching out into video games with the Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remakes. That success led to Bandai Namco reaching out for the Ace Combat series, the latest of which surpassed 3 million units sold as of last summer.

"Embracing the name ‘Aces’ as representing those who are best or leading in any field," wrote Bandai Namco in its press release. "The newly created studio will leverage the know-how of both companies and continue to deliver deep and lasting, high-quality content to fans around the world, including for the Ace Combat series."

While we wait for the next Ace Combat game to arrive, Ace Combat 7 fans can relive the action of Top Gun: Maverick thanks ot the Top Gun: Maverick Aircraft DLC. This adds Maverick's F/A-18 and F-14, both painted with the movie's livery, as well as the "Fifth Generation Fighter" and the DarkStar. Best of all, there's a banger remix of Kenny Loggins’ "Danger Zone" included for multiplayer.

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