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The Nihon Keizai Shimbun paper reported on Friday that Namco Bandai Holdings is aiming to bring in 60 billion yen (about US$500 million) in sales from the Gundam franchise during its current fiscal year, which ends in March of 2008. This represents a 10% increase from the previous all-time high of the last fiscal year. The parent company is depending on plastic models and products tied to October's Mobile Suit Gundam 00 television series from the various Bandai Namco Group companies to fuel the growth. Home video games, which contributed to last year's all-time high revenues, are expected to continue supporting the franchise.
As a whole, Namco Bandai Holdings had 459.132 billion yen (US$3.723 billion) in net sales in the last fiscal year. Namco Bandai Holdings is known as "Bandai Namco Holdings" in Japanese, but the order of the brand names is reversed in the company's official English name.
In a separate development, the Sunrise animation company has opened Gundam.info, the official Japanese portal site for the franchise. Sunrise and Bandai Networks has been co-hosting the Gundam Perfect Web site for similar news and product information. Gundam.info adds a Gundam MS (Mobile Suit) Video Encyclopedia mecha catalog (available only to users with Japanese Internet addresses), video blog entries from published Gundam expert Yuka Minakawa, and columns.