Game maker Namco has announced ambitious plans to build a "movie village", in cooperation with film subsidiary Nikkatsu, government bodies and local businesses. The project will include a major film and television studio as well as a film school, a film museum and movie theatres for the general public. The aim, says Namco president and chairman Masaya Nakamura, is to "build a '(movie) village' that can compete with Hollywood."

Namco plans to acquire a site in the Tokyo-Yokohama area by the end of March and start construction by the end of the year. The budget for the site has not yet been announced.

The core of the project will comprise between six and ten studios that will be rented out for making films, both foreign and domestic, as well as television dramas and commercials. One of the first tenants will be Nikkatsu, which sold its studio complex in the Chofu district of Tokyo last year as part of a court-ordered restructuring plan. Also expected to use the facility are filmmakers from Asia, including those making co-productions with Japanese partners.

With Nakamura serving as chairman, a committee has been established to lay the groundwork for the project, starting with the recruitment of private and government investment partners.