Image from DeviantArt
There were already a few signs hinting that Atari was having some trouble holding on to the Dragon Ball franchise. A couple of years ago, the publisher clashed with FUNimation over the game license. Namco Bandai announced last month that it had secured publishing rights to three new entries in the franchise.
Today, Namco Bandai has announced that it's finishing what it started. Starting in January 2010, they will be publishing Dragon Ball games on all major consoles and handhelds in North America. The publishing deal made with rights-holders Toei and FUNimation will run for five years.
This is a pretty big blow for Atari and a big coup for Namco Bandai. In fiscal 2008, about half of Atari's sales came from Dragon Ball games. You know, if you consider the earlier acquisition or Atari Europe, it kinda feels like Namco Bandai is taking over Atari piece by piece.