Game maker Namco has abandoned its plan to move the studio of film subsidiary Nikkatsu from its current location in a Tokyo suburb to a new site in Yokohama.

The plan, announced by Namco president Masaya Nakamura in July 2001, called for the construction of a new studio on a 2.2 hectare site in Yokohama's Minato Mirai 21 area. In addition to advanced digital production and editing equipment, the studio site would have training and amusement facilities.

The cost of the plan, at nearly $100 million, was later judged to be too high for Namco's already strained finances, however. Namco may still build the studio at another, more affordable site, though no candidates have yet been announced.

Opened in 1954, Nikkatsu Studio is the largest and busiest working film studio in Japan, with an area of nearly 25,000 sq, m. As part of a corporate rationalisation drive, Nikkatsu sold the studio in 1968, but re-acquired it a decade later. It currently operates as a subsidiary of the Namco Group, which also owns Nikkatsu, Japan's oldest film production company. In addition to Nikkatsu's own films, the studio is used for filming independent productions, TV dramas and commercials.

Founded in 1955, Namco operates amusement arcades and theme parks, develops and market game software and produces and distributes film through its Nikkatsu subsidiary.