A Concept That Hit Maker BANDAI NAMCO Takes Seriously

by Shukuo Ishikawa

ISBN978-4-7631-3567-4 C0036

191 pages / October 2016 / 1,400 yen (w/o tax)

The president of successful game company, BANDAI NAMCO reveals the most important concept for any top business person


Shukuo Ishikawa joined BANDAI NAMCO Holdings 38 years ago, and after being appointed president persevered through a 30 billion yen deficit. However, he has always focused on how to create a hit”- and working with hit makers, regardless of the circumstances. Ishikawa believes that hit products are not the result of genius or ability; rather, they are born of the passion of one individual. For example, no matter how much resistance you get from your superiors or peers, whether or not you have the confidence to carry your project through to completion greatly affects your results. This is because big successes arent produced by the mainstream. In other words, Many people can produce hit products, but very few can produce smash hits.This principle is evident in any business enterprise. Successes that live on in the history of the company or industry are produced by those few who persevere even when 7 out of 10 people oppose them. Thats precisely why you should not consider a lack of support for your ideas and way of thinking an obstacle, but a motivator to tackle the challenge at full speed. This book will guide you through how to embrace being in the minority, and provide you with the reckless advice you need to confidently work towards great success. Many of you – especially those who make things as I do – may feel you arent getting the results you expected at work, or maybe you wish to be better recognized for the work youve done. You may also wish to be involved in work that suits you better, or that is more enjoyable. If you feel this way, this book will clear a new path for you.

From the table of contents

Chapter One: Hits are generated by the mainstream, smash hits come from the subculture

– Go from being a hit maker to a smash hit maker

– How did the smash hit Crocodile Panic come about?

–  When you are stuck on an idea, take notes in the middle of the night

–  What was the inspiration behind cola-flavored potato chips?

–  Go to a supermarket early in the morning to clear your senses


Chapter Two: Charge forward boldly

–  Break through the boundaries of common sense

–  Cool is a complex mix of sharpness and coarseness

–  In any occupation, be self-driven

Create a theoretical enemy if you want to grow

–  What important lesson do leaders learn from receiving a 10,000-yen mini bonus?


Chapter Three: Prioritize fun over figures

–  Why is there a Chief Gundam Officer”?

Dont react to the market so much that you are chasing it

– Theres more value in subjective than objective (numerical) superiority

– Choose a day and time for a fixed-point observation of customers and employees


Chapter Four: The people whove failed are the ones who evolve

–  What can you learn from NHKs year-end special, Yukutoshi Kurutoshi?

– Three principal mindsets that are strong against adversity: Whatever, So what? and To each his own

–  Dialing down your intensity will enhance concentration


–  Overwhelming ideas lead not only to hardship, but also to breakthroughs

From the editor

As a game, anime and toy lover Id long wondered how Bandai Namco could continually put out so many hit products. Wanting to hear more about it, I pursued Shukuo Ishikawa doggedly about working on a book together. As president of the company, Ishikawa is known not only for developing Crocodile Panic but also for restoring the companys overall performance. I thought a successful man like him would surely have an austere presence, but I found him to be a very warm-hearted individual. Once you get him talking, his eyes and demeanor change instantly as he speaks from the point of view of a president of a successful company. I also got a lot out of our meetings together many things I actually hope to apply to my own career as a publisher. He taught me important concepts that businesspeople should never forget. I recommend this book to people in any line of work, but especially to those like me who make things for a living. This book will undoubtedly inspire fundamental change in you.


Shukuo Ishikawa

Shukuo Ishikawa, president of Bandai Namco Holdings, was born in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan in 1955. After graduating from the Kansai University Department of Literature, he joined Namco (currently Bandai Namco Holdings) in 1978. He led the planning and development of the smash hit Crocodile Panic, his product, released in 1989. He was also the executive producer of the hit video game The Idolmaster, earning him the position of trend setter in idol-related content. With the merging of Namco and Bandai in 2006, Ishikawa was made president of the newly formed Bandai Namco Games (now Bandai Namco Entertainment). In 2009, Ishikawa was appointed Representative Director and President of Bandai Namco Holdings. Inheriting a 30-billion yen deficit, Ishikawa introduced the IP Axis Strategy, effecting a V-shaped recovery and resulting in the company recording all-time highs in revenue and profits in FY2014. This feat earned the company widespread press coverage along with attention in and outside of the video game industry. Ishikawa was appointed Chairman and Representative Director in 2015, and continues to serve in that capacity today.