Atari's power levels with Dragon Ball gaming fade, as Namco Bandai confirms it is the new video game licensee for the celebrated anime franchise. The publisher secures exclusive publishing rights for Dragon Ball video games in North America over the next five years beginning January 2010.
Anime distributor FUNimation previously threatened to terminate Atari's Dragon Ball Z North American software licenses back in 2007 due alleged violation of licensing agreements. Atari would eventually reach a settlement with FUNimation, allowing the publisher to retain its licensing for DBZ until (you guessed it) next January.
Namco Bandai is already billed as publisher for the next batch of licensed games due later this year including Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo for the Wii, Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans for the DS, and Dragon Ball: Raging Blast for the Xbox 360 and PS3. The publisher is also handling North American distrubtion of the Naruto and One Piece lineup of video games, so they've definitely gained ground with all the Shonen Jump manga fans.