Namco Bandai Locks Down Dragon Ball License For AmericaS

If you live in the lovely continent of North America, expect all Dragon Ball games you buy (or your parents buy you) over the course of the next five years to have a Namco Bandai label on them.

The publisher has secured exclusive rights to the franchise, it announced today, granting it the power to publish Dragon Ball games "across all major consoles and hand held platforms." Prior to today's announcement, the license was handled by both Namco Bandai and Atari in the Americas. The latter had a dispute with rights holder FUNimation in 2007, with the former already responsible for publishing Dragon Ball games in its native Japan.

Atari's loss of the license can't be good revenue news for the company, which has been giving signals of financial shakiness all year.

The first three games to ship after the Namco Bandai deal are Dragon Ball: Raging Blast for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo for Wii, and Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans for Nintendo DS.

With the Dragon Ball saga spanning "11 years of manga, over 500 television episodes, [and] 23 feature films," according to the publisher, we envision a long, rich history of dude's with bad hair and hideous character designs punching each other in the sack for decades to come.