Namco: Wikis


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Namco Ltd.
Type Private subsidiary of Namco Bandai Holdings
Founded June 1, 1955 (1955-06-01)
Re-established March 31, 2006 (2006-03-31)
Founder(s) Masaya Nakamura
Headquarters Ōta, Tokyo, Japan
Area served Japan
Industry Video arcade, amusement park
Products List of Namco games
Parent Namco Bandai Holdings
Subsidiaries Namco Enterprises Asia
Shanghai Namco
Namco America
Namco Cybertainment
Namco Operations Europe
Website Japan

Namco Ltd. (株式会社ナムコ Kabushiki Kaisha Namuko?) is a Japanese corporation best known as a former video game developer and publisher. Following a merger with Bandai in September 2005,[1] the two companies' game production assets were spun off into Namco Bandai Games on March 31, 2006. Namco Ltd. was re-established to continue domestic operation of video arcades and amusement parks.[2] Its headquarters are located in Ōta, Tokyo.[3]

Namco was a forerunner during the golden age. Pac-Man, its most famous title, went on to become the best-selling arcade game in history[4] and an international popular culture icon.



Masaya Nakamura founded the company as Nakamura Manufacturing in 1955.[5] Based in Tokyo, the company started out by running children's rides on the roof of a department store in Yokohama. The business eventually expanded throughout the Tokyo area. Nakamura Manufacturing was reorganized in 1958 and underwent a slight name change to Nakamura Manufacturing Co., which would later be used to form the acronym Namco. In 1970 the company produced a coin-operated mechanical driving simulator called "Racer".

Everyone thought [Nakamura] was mad when he paid so much for Atari, but it turned out to be a very wise investment.[6]

—Hide Nakajima, former vice president of Namco

Atari Japan, the Tokyo-based subsidiary of Atari, was struggling financially by 1974.[7] General manager Hide Nakajima was left in charge of the company after his boss had quit. Nakajima claims that employees had been stealing money and that he had contributed funds from his personal savings in order to pay creditors and stave off bankruptcy. Though Nakajima wanted to try saving Atari Japan, owner Nolan Bushnell was already struggling to keep the parent company afloat due to undercapitalization and was looking to sell the Japanese subsidiary for some badly-needed cash.[6][8] Sega, then a manufacturer of pinball machines, offered to acquire Atari Japan for $50,000. Nakamura put in a bid for $800,000 and shocked others out of competition. The deal was finalized at $500,000 and Bushnell was glad to take it. Debts inherited from Atari Japan would take Nakamura two years to pay off, but the deal had also secured for him an exclusive license to distribute Atari's games in Japan for ten years. Nakamura would follow up by opening video arcades featuring Atari games.

Nakajima was promoted to vice president in 1978, and on his recommendation Namco opened a subsidiary, Namco America, in the United States. The location he chose was across the street from Atari's former headquarters in Sunnyvale, California.[9] At the time, games were not released in the U.S. under the Namco label. Namco America existed mainly to license Namco's games to companies such as Atari and Midway Games for distribution in the U.S.

U.S. headquarters of the former Namco Hometek, now Namco Bandai Games America, in Santa Clara, California.

In 1985, after the video game crash, and after previously having been sold to Warner Communications, Atari had been split into two corporate entities: Atari Corporation, which took over the home computer and console hardware business; and Atari Games, which retained the arcade game business. Namco America acquired a controlling interest in Atari Games for $10 million, against the advice of their accountants at Price Waterhouse.[10] Disagreement over how to run the Atari Games subsidiary led to a falling out between Nakamura and Nakajima. Nakamura considered Atari to be a competitor. Back in Japan, Namco still held distribution rights for Atari's games, and Nakamura refused to sell them to other arcades. Nakamura also resented sharing ownership of Atari Games with Warner. Nakajima grew increasingly frustrated with his boss, and in 1987 the two arrived at a means to part ways: Namco would sell part of its interest in Atari Games to Nakajima and the Atari Games employees, and the rest back to Warner. Nakajima and Wood then resigned from Namco to head Atari Games.

By 1989, games for the Nintendo Entertainment System accounted for forty percent of Namco's sales.[11] As Nintendo's first licensee, Namco had previously been given privileged terms, such as the right to manufacture their own cartridges.[12] However, upon renewal of the license, these special terms were revoked, prompting Nakamura to publicly criticize Nintendo for monopolistic behavior. In addition, Nakamura announced that Namco would support Sega's Mega Drive/Genesis console.

Later expanding into the amusement park business, Sennichimae Plabo was opened in Osaka, featuring a new concept of large-scale arcade amusement, and Namco Wonder Eggs, a theme park, was opened in Tokyo. Additional amusement parks were opened, including Namco Wonder Park Sagamihara and Namco Wonder City.

In 1996 Namco acquired a controlling share of the Japanese film company Nikkatsu, but its interest would be sold during the merger with Bandai.

In September 2005, Namco merged with Bandai to become "Namco Bandai Holdings", the 3rd largest video game entity in Japan. On March 31, 2006, Namco's game development operations absorbed that of Bandai's. From then on, the part of the company that was most closely associated with the Namco label would become Namco Bandai Games. The Namco Ltd. name was retained by its Japanese arcade management division, and now operates as part of Namco Bandai's Amusement Facility SBU.


Namco's first original video game was Gee Bee (1978).[13] Galaxian (1979) revolutionized the industry as the first video game to use RGB color graphics.[14] It was Pac-Man (1980), however, that would become definitive of Namco's legacy, going on to become a fixture in popular culture.[15] Galaga (1981), a follow-up to Galaxian, was one of the most successful sequels of the era.[16] Dig Dug (1982), Xevious (1982), and Pole Position (1983) continued Namco's success in establishing iconic franchises during the so-called Golden Age.

Namco was the industry's first manufacturer to develop and release a multi-player, multi-cabinet competitive game, Final Lap, in 1987. This game allowed up to 8 players to compete when four 2-player cabinets were linked in a simple network. By 1988, the company's capital exceeded 5,500 million Yen. In 1989, another racing simulation game, Winning Run, was released; that same year, the company's expertise with driving simulation matured with the development of the Eunos Roadster Driving Simulator, a joint venture with the Mazda Motor Corporation, followed by an educational program for traffic safety developed with Mitsubishi. In a bid to win over a new kind of audience, Namco started up business for the elderly and the disabled with "Talking Aid" in 1985.

In 1989 it was revealed that Namco was developing a true 16-bit game console inspired by the success of NEC's PC Engine. In its July 1989 issue, Electronic Gaming Monthly reported that "Namco has a machine comparable to the Super Famicon almost completed, but is unsure which way to market it with so many other game machines already in the marketplace." .[17] Namco decided to partner themselves with NEC to release their Super System as the PC Engine 2. However, talks fell apart because NEC's other partner, Hudson Soft feared that NEC would abandon them in favor of Namco. Hudson pushed the completed, but technically inferior version of the PC Engine 2, which came to be known as the ill fated SuperGrafx.

In 1993, Ridge Racer, a driving simulation game, entered arcades, featuring 3D computer graphics; the game was later released for the PlayStation. Another of the company's most famous games, Tekken, was released in 1994, which was also soon ported to the PlayStation. In 1995 the game Soul Edge (Soul Blade in the PAL region) was released. With its Tekken and Soul franchises, Namco has been dominating the 3D fighting game market. Some light gun games were also released such as Point Blank and Time Crisis.

International arcade operations

In 1977, Namco launched its first international arcade subsidiary, Namco Enterprises Asia Ltd., in Hong Kong. Further expansion in Asia would follow in 1993 with Shanghai Namco Ltd., based in mainland China.[18] However, their arcade operations on the mainland are quite limited compared to in Hong Kong, with the Shanghai arcade being tucked away in a corner of an underground shopping center distantly linked to a large subway station. It only keeps its Taiko no Tatsujin machines up-to-date as those are the main (possibly the only) draw.

Namco purchased the arcade operations of Atari Games in 1990, renaming it Namco Operations Inc. With the purchase, Namco began its arcade management business in the United States. Namco Operations managed several large facilities in venues such as Pier 39 in San Francisco, California, and Church Street Station in Orlando, Florida.

In 1993, Namco purchased the Aladdin's Castle arcade chain from Bally and merged it with Namco Operations to form Namco Cybertainment Inc. The merger produced the largest arcade operator in the United States. Arcades were branded under the principal trade names of Aladdin's Castle and Cyberstation. Throughout the 1990s, NCI continued to merge or purchase several arcade companies. Chief among them was Edison Brothers Mall Entertainment (operating under the Time-Out and SpacePort names) in 1996. Also in the late 1990s, Namco acquired Diamond Jim's and in the early part of the new century purchased Pocket Change.

The Namco Bandai merger had little effect on the Namco Cybertainment subsidiary, which continues its original mission of operating arcades in the U.S. It has been organized under the parent company's Amusement Facility SBU.

Namco Cybertainment's corporate offices reside in Bensenville, Illinois. Its sister company, Namco America, which manufactures the arcade cabinets, relocated to Elk Grove, Illinois, in 2008.[19]

See also


  1. ^ Bandai, Namco to merge in Sept to form Japan's No 3 toy, game group - UPDATE 2 -
  2. ^ Company profile from official website
  3. ^ "Company Profile." Namco. Retrieved on March 16, 2010.
  4. ^ The History of Pac-Man
  5. ^ Burnham, Van (2001). Supercade. Cambridge: MIT Press. pp. 181. 
  6. ^ a b Sheff, David (1993). Game Over. New York: Random House. pp. 239. ISBN 0679404694. 
  7. ^ Sheff, David (1993). Game Over. New York: Random House. pp. 238. ISBN 0679404694. 
  8. ^ Burnham, Van (2001). Supercade. Cambridge: MIT Press. pp. 90. 
  9. ^ Sheff, David (1993). Game Over. New York: Random House. pp. 240. ISBN 0679404694. 
  10. ^ Sheff, David (1993). Game Over. New York: Random House. pp. 241. ISBN 0679404694. 
  11. ^ Sheff, David (1993). Game Over. New York: Random House. pp. 74. ISBN 0679404694. 
  12. ^ Sheff, David (1993). Game Over. New York: Random House. pp. 61. ISBN 0679404694. 
  13. ^ Burnham, Van (2001). Supercade. Cambridge: MIT Press. p. 181. ISBN 0262024926. 
  14. ^ Burnham, Van (2001). Supercade. Cambridge: MIT Press. p. 200. ISBN 0262024926. 
  15. ^ Burnham, Van (2001). Supercade. Cambridge: MIT Press. p. 234. ISBN 0262024926. 
  16. ^ Burnham, Van (2001). Supercade. Cambridge: MIT Press. p. 261. ISBN 0262024926. 
  17. ^ "Namco Super System History History". Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  18. ^ Namco to open office in Korea
  19. ^ Namco America’s New Office

External links



Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun

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  1. (video games, corporation) A Japanese video game developer.


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Up to date as of January 23, 2010
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Cleanup required: Namco ceased being a company when it merged with Bandai to make Namco Bandai Holdings. After March 2006, no new games were released by Namco. Anything released after that date should be moved to Category:Namco Bandai Games or whichever subsidiary released it. All those subcompanies should be categorized under Namco

Namco's company logo.
Founded 1955
Located Japan

Based in Tokyo, Namco was formed in 1955 by Masaya Nakamura. The company originally made rocking horses and other toys until 1971 when it acquired Atari's Japanese division and started developing video games. Namco America was then formed in California.

Namco started making arcade games in Japan and its first game Gee Bee was released in 1978. A year later Galaxian was released and was Namco's first big hit in the video gaming market. The following years in the 80's Namco released some of its best arcade games including Pac-Man, Galaga, Dig Dug and Xevious. Namco continued to release arcade titles while shifting their focus to the video console market. It continues to expand its Tekken and Time Crisis series in arcades and also released Mario Kart Arcade GP into arcades in 2005. Tekken 6 and Bomberman Stadium are being released in 2007.

The company first got into the console market when it licensed some of its arcade games to the Atari, and they programmed several conversions for the MSX line of computers. It was one of the first 3rd party companies to develop games for the NES.

Many of Namco's biggest franchises were developed during the mid-90s. In 1993 the driving simulation game Ridge Racer was released into arcades and later on the PlayStation. Tekken was released in 1994.

In the new millennium Namco started developing for the new era of consoles, the Nintendo GameCube, Sony PlayStation 2, Sega Dreamcast, Microsoft Xbox and the Nintendo Game Boy Advance. In 1999, Namco released Soul Calibur onto the Dreamcast as a spin-off to the Soul Edge series. The franchise would soon to become major in its second installment and, with Tekken as well, it cemented Namco's dominance in the fighting game genre. The company helped all consoles, contributing many exclusives to each console. Although less so for the Xbox because of it being American, and it was Microsoft's first stab in the video gaming market.

The PlayStation got many games from the Tales and Xenosaga series. The GameCube got the new RPG series Baten Kaitos and the hugely successful Tales of Symphonia. Namco also helped Nintendo develop the Donkey Konga series and Star Fox Assault. A new franchise was also developed for the Game Boy Advance called Klonoa. Also the company started developing for the Xbox with Pac-Man World.


On 29th September 2005 Namco merged with Japanese toymaker Bandai to form one of the largest companies in Japan, Namco Bandai Holdings Inc. In 2006, the joint company took its first steps into mobile phone gaming in America.

Namco announced support for the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP in 2004. It has since developed Ridge Racer and Tales games for both handhelds. It also exclusively developed Pac-Pix and Point Blank DS for the Nintendo DS. And for the Sony PSP it exclusively developed Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception and Me and My Katamari.

Namco has started developing games for the Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation 3. Some games they have released include Ridge Racer 7 and Soulcalibur IV.


This category has the following 5 subcategories, out of 5 total.






Pages in category "Namco"

The following 189 pages are in this category, out of 189 total.













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  • Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht
  • Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse
  • Xenosaga Episode III: Also sprach Zarathustra
  • Xevious



Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Type Public Company
Founded 1955
Headquarters Tokoyo, Japan
Parent Company N/A
Website Official site

Fan site

Namco is the game developing company behind such classics as Galaga and Pac Man. They were founded in 1955 as a company that created children's toys. Then known as Nakamura Manufacturing, their name was changed to "Namco" when they obtained Atari's Japan division, their first step into the video game industry.

Unfortunately, many recent games remain without a quality English translation, if one at all. Other famous Namco intellectual properties include the Tekken series, the Soul Calibur games, the Tales of Action RPGs, the Ridge Racer series and Katamari Damacy.

In 2005, Namco merged with Bandai, creator of many anime-licensed games such as Gundam Battle Assault, One Piece: Grand Battle and the various .hack// games.

Namco games

  • Air Combat
  • Ace Combat 2
  • Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere
  • Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies
  • Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War
  • Anna Kournikova's Smash Court Tennis
  • Baten Kaitos
  • Battle City (video game)
  • Bosconian
  • Break Down
  • Burning Force
  • Cyber Sled
  • Dig Dug
  • Dig Dug II: Trouble in Paradise
  • Digital Devil Story - Megami Tensei
  • Digital Devil Story - Megami Tensei II
  • Dragon Buster
  • Dragon Buster II: Yami no Fuuin
  • Dragon Valor
  • Dead to Rights
  • Death By Degrees
  • Donkey Konga
  • Donkey Konga 2
  • Donkey Konga 3
  • Erika to Satoru no Yume Bouken
  • Final Lap
  • Fushigi no Umi no Nadia
  • Galaga
  • Galaxian
  • Ghoul Panic
  • Hydlide 3: Yami kara no Houmonsha
  • I-Ninja
  • J-League Prime Goal EX
  • Jr. Pacman
  • Kaena
  • Katamari Damacy
  • Klonoa
  • Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Valor
  • Klonoa: Door To Phantomile
  • Kaena
  • Libero Grande
  • Mappy
  • Megami Tensei
  • Metal Marines
  • Metro Cross
  • MotoGP
  • MotoGP3
  • Motos
  • Mr. Driller
  • Mr. Driller 2
  • Mr. DRILLER: Drill Spirits

This article uses material from the "Namco" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English





Namco Limited

Type Private
(subsidiary of Namco Bandai)
Founded 1955
Headquarters Ōta, Tokyo, Japan
Santa Clara, California, USA
Key people Masaya Nakamura (Founder)
Kyushiro Takagi (CEO)
Industry Leisure industry
Products (see List of Namco games)
Parent Namco Bandai Holdings
Website Namco official site

Namco Limited (株式会社ナムコ Kabushiki Kaisha Namuko?) is an amusement company. They make video games, and are famous for retro games like Pac-Man and Space Invaders.


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