Namco

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Namco Limited
Native name
株式会社ナムコ
Kabushiki-gaisha Namuko
Formerly
  • Nakamura Seisakusho
  • Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryVideo games
FoundedJune 1, 1955; 66 years ago (June 1, 1955)
FounderMasaya Nakamura
DefunctMarch 31, 2006; 15 years ago (March 31, 2006)
FateMerged with Namco Bandai Games
SuccessorBandai Namco Entertainment
Headquarters,
Japan
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
ProductsVideo games
ParentNamco Bandai Holdings (2005–2006)
Divisions
  • Namco America
  • Namco Europe
  • Namco Taiwan
  • Shanghai Namco
Subsidiaries
Websitenamco.co.jp

Namco Limited[a] was a Japanese multinational video game developer and publisher headquartered in Ōta, Tokyo. It held several international branches, including Namco America in Santa Clara, California, Namco Europe in London, Namco Taiwan in Kaohsiung, and Shanghai Namco in mainland China.

Namco was founded by Masaya Nakamura on June 1, 1955, as Nakamura Seisakusho,[b] beginning as an operator of coin-operated amusement rides. After reorganizing to Nakamura Seisakusho Co., Ltd. in 1959, a partnership with Walt Disney Productions provided the company with the resources to expand its operations. It entered the video game industry after acquiring the struggling Japanese division of Atari in 1974, distributing games such as Breakout in Japan. The company renamed itself Namco in 1977 and published Gee Bee, its first original video game, a year later. Among Namco's first major hits was the fixed shooter Galaxian in 1979. It was followed by Pac-Man in 1980, the best-selling arcade game of all time. Namco prospered during the golden age of arcade video games in the early 1980s, releasing popular titles such as Galaga, Xevious, and Pole Position.

Namco entered the home console market in 1984 with conversions of its arcade games for the Nintendo Family Computer. Its American division majority-acquired Atari Games in 1985, before selling a portion of it in 1987 following disagreements between the two companies. Arguments over licensing contracts with Nintendo led Namco to produce games for competing platforms, such as the Sega Genesis, TurboGrafx-16, and PlayStation. Namco's early support of the PlayStation was crucial to the console's success. The company continued to produce hit games in the 1990s, including Ridge Racer, Tekken, and Taiko no Tatsujin. Namco endured numerous financial difficulties in the late 1990s and 2000s as a result of the struggling Japanese economy and diminishing arcade market. In 2005, Namco merged with Bandai to form Namco Bandai Holdings, a Japanese entertainment conglomerate. It continued producing games until it was merged into Namco Bandai Games in 2006.

Namco produced several multi-million-selling game franchises, such as Pac-Man, Galaxian, Tekken, Tales, Ridge Racer, and Ace Combat. It operated video arcades and amusement parks globally, and also produced films, toys, and arcade cabinets and operated a chain of restaurants. Namco is remembered in retrospect for its unique corporate model, its importance to the industry, and its advancements in technology. Its successor, Bandai Namco Entertainment, and its subsidiaries continue to use the Namco brand for their video arcades and other entertainment products.

History[edit]

Origins and acquisition of Atari Japan (1955–1977)[edit]

Nakamura Seisakusho logo
The logo of Nakamura Seisakusho

On June 1, 1955, Japanese businessman Masaya Nakamura founded Nakamura Seisakusho Co., Ltd. in Ikegami, Tokyo.[1][2] The son of a shotgun repair business owner, Nakamura proved unable to find work in his chosen profession of ship building in the struggling post-World War II economy. Nakamura established his own company after his father's business saw success with producing pop cork guns.[3] Beginning with only ¥300,000 (US$12,000), Nakamura spent the money on two hand-cranked rocking horses that he installed on the roof garden of a Matsuya department store in Yokohama.[4][5] The horses were loved by children and turned a decent profit for Nakamura, who began expanding his business to cover other smaller locations.[6] A 1959 business reorganization renamed the company Nakamura Seisakusho Company, Ltd.[2] The Mitsukoshi department store chain noticed his success in 1963, and approached him with the idea of constructing a rooftop amusement space for its store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo.[4] It consisted of horse rides, a picture viewing machine, and a goldfish scooping pond, with the centerpiece being a moving train named Roadaway Race.[4] The space was a hit and lead to Mitsukoshi requesting rooftop amusement parks for all of its stores.[6][7]

Along with Taito, Rosen Enterprises, and Nihon Goraku Bussan, Nakamura Seisakusho became one of Japan's leading amusement companies. As the business grew in size, it used its clout to purchase amusement machines in bulk from other manufacturers at a discount, and then sell them to smaller outlets at full price.[6] While its machines sold well, Nakamura Seisakusho lacked the manufacturing lines and distribution networks of its competitors, which made the production of them longer and more expensive.[4] The company was unable to place its machines inside stores because other manufacturers already had exclusive rights to these locations. In response, Nakamura Seisakusho opened a production plant in February 1966, moving its corporate office to a four-story building in Ōta, Tokyo.[2][6][8][9] The company secured a deal with Walt Disney Productions to produce children's rides in the likenesses of its characters, in addition to those using popular anime characters like Q-Taro; this move allowed the business to further expand its operations and become a driving force in the Japanese coin-op market.[9] Though the manufacturing facility was largely reserved for its Disney and anime rides, Nakamura also used it to construct larger, more elaborate mechanical games. The first of these was Torpedo Launcher (1965),[10] a submarine warfare shooting gallery later titled Periscope.[4][11] Its other products included Ultraman-themed gun games and pinball-like games branded with Osomatsu-kun characters.[12]

The name Namco was introduced in 1971 as a brand for several of its machines.[9][13] The company grew to having ten employees, which included Nakamura himself.[2][8] It saw continued success with its arcade games, which had become commonplace in bowling allies and grocery stores.[14] The company also established a robotics division to produce robots for entertainment centers and festivals, such as those that distributed pamphlets, ribbon making machines, and a robot named Putan that solved pre-built mazes.[15][16]

In August 1973, American game company Atari began establishing a series of divisions in Asia, one of which was named Atari Japan.[17] Its president, Kenichi Takumi, approached Nakamura in early 1974 to have his business become the distributor of Atari games across Japan.[17] Nakamura, already planning global expansion following his company's success, agreed to the deal. In part due to employee theft, Atari Japan was a financial disaster and nearly collapsed in its first few years of operation.[5][17] When Takumi stopped showing up to work, the company was handed to Hideyuki Nakajima, a former employee of the Japan Art Paper Company. Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, whose company was already struggling in America, chose to sell the Japanese division. His fixer, Ron Gordon, was given the task of finding the buyer for Atari Japan. After being turned down by Sega and Taito, Gordon's offer was accepted by Nakamura for ¥296 million ($1.18M), though Nakamura informed Bushnell his company was unable to pay the money by the deadline; with no other takers for Atari Japan, Bushnell ultimately allowed Nakamura to only pay $550,000 and then $250,000 a year for three years.[17] The acquisition allowed Nakamura Seisakusho to distribute Atari games across Japan, and would make it one of the country's largest arcade game companies.[5][18]

The Atari Japan purchase was not an immediate success, in part due to the medal game fad of the 1970s.[17] While Nakamura Seisakusho saw some success with imports such as Kee Games's Tank, the Japanese video game industry's decrease in popularity did not make them as profitable as hoped.[17] The market became more viable once restrictions on medal games were imposed by the Japanese government in 1976,[17] as Nakamura Seisakusho began returning higher profits; its import of Atari's Breakout was so successful that it led to rampant piracy in the industry.[5] By the end of the year, Nakamura Seisakusho was one of Japan's leading video game companies.[5]

Galaxian, Pac-Man, and arcade success (1977–1984)[edit]

Nakamura Seisakusho changed its corporate name to Namco in June 1977.[2][19] It opened a division in Hong Kong named Namco Enterprises Asia, which maintained video arcades and amusement centers.[2] As Namco's presence in Japan was steadily rising, Nakajima suggested to Nakamura that he open a division in the United States to increase worldwide brand awareness.[20][21] Nakamura agreed to the proposal, and on September 1, 1978, established Namco America in Sunnyvale, California.[20] With Nakajima as its president and Satashi Bhutani as vice president, Namco America's aim was to import games and license them to companies such as Atari and Bally Manufacturing.[20] Namco America would release a few non-video arcade games itself, such as Shoot Away (1977).[20][22]

As the video game industry prospered in Japan during the 1970s with the release of Taito's Space Invaders, Namco turned its attention towards making its own video games.[8][23] While its licensed Atari games were still profitable, sales were decreasing and the quality of the hardware used began deteriorating.[8] Per the recommendation of company engineer Shigekazu Ishimura, the company retrofitted its Ōta manufacturing facility into a small game division and purchased old stock computers from NEC for employees to study.[24] Namco released Gee Bee, its first original game, in October 1978.[24] Designed by new hire Toru Iwatani, it is a video pinball game that incorporates elements from Breakout and similar "block breaker" clones.[25] Though Gee Bee fell short of the company's sales expectations and was unable to compete with games such as Space Invaders, it allowed Namco to gain a stronger foothold in the video game market.[8] In 1979, Namco published its first major hit Galaxian, one of the first video games to incorporate RGB color graphics, score bonuses, and a tilemap hardware model.[26][27] Galaxian is considered historically important for these innovations, and for its mechanics building off those in Space Invaders.[28][8][29] It was released in North America by Midway Manufacturing, the video game division of Bally, where it became one of its best-selling titles and formed a relationship between Midway and Namco.[28]

Pac-Man in his "limbed" designed
Pac-Man has been Namco's mascot since the character's introduction in 1980.[23][30]

The space shooter genre became ubiquitous by the end of the decade, with games such as Galaxian and Space Invaders becoming commonplace in Japanese amusement centers.[31] As video games often depicted the killing of enemies and shooting of targets, the industry possessed a predominately male playerbase.[31] Toru Iwatani began work on a maze video game that was targeted primarily towards women, with simplistic gameplay and recognizable characters.[31][32] Alongside a small team, he created a game named Puck Man, where players controlled a character that had to eat dots in an enclosed maze while avoiding four ghosts that pursued them.[31] Iwatani based the gameplay off eating and designed its characters with soft colors and simplistic facial features.[32] Puck Man was test-marketed in Japan on May 22, 1980[33][34] and given a wide-scale in July.[33] It was only a modest success; players were more accustom to the shooting gameplay of Galaxian as opposed to Puck Man's visually distinctive characters and gameplay style.[31] In North America, it was released as Pac-Man in November 1980.[35] Pac-Man's simplicity and abstract characters made it a fixture in popular culture,[36] spawning a multi-million-selling media franchise.[37]

Namco regularly released several successful games throughout the early 1980s. It published Galaga, the follow-up to Galaxian, in 1981 to critical acclaim, usurping its predecessor in popularity with its fast-paced action and power-ups.[38] 1982 saw the release of Pole Position, a racing game that is the first to use a real racetrack (the Fuji Speedway) and helped laydown the foundations for the racing genre.[39] It released Dig Dug the same year, a maze chaser that allowed players to create their own mazes.[40] Namco's biggest post-Pac-Man success was the vertical-scrolling shooter Xevious in 1983, designed by new-hire Masanobu Endō.[41][42] Xevious's early usage of pre-rendered visuals,[43] boss fights, and a cohesive world made it an astounding success in Japan,[41][42] recording record-breaking sales figures that hadn't been seen since Space Invaders.[44] The game's success led to merchandise, tournament play, and the first video game soundtrack album.[45][46] The same year, Namco released Mappy, an early side-scrolling platformer,[47] and the Pole Position sequel Pole Position II.[48] Endō went on to design The Tower of Druaga a year later, a maze game that helped establish the concept for the action role-playing game.[49] Druaga's design influenced games such as Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda.[50] 1984 also saw the release of Pac-Land, a Pac-Man-themed platform game that paved the way for similar games such as Super Mario Bros.,[51] and Gaplus, a moderately successful update to Galaga.[52] The success of Namco's arcade games prompted it to launch its own print publication, Namco Community Magazine NG, to allow its fans to connect with developers.[53][54]

Success with home consoles (1984–1989)[edit]

The Nintendo Family Computer (Famicom)
Namco became one of the first third-party developers for the Famicom, with their arcade game ports increasing system sales.

In July 1983, Nintendo released the Family Computer, a video game console that utilized interchangeable cartridges to play games.[55] The console's launch came with ports of some of Nintendo's popular arcade games, like Donkey Kong, which at the time were considered high quality. Though Namco recognized the system's potential to allow consumers to play accurate versions of its games, the company chose to hold off on the idea after its ports for platforms such as the Sord M5 flopped.[8] Nakamura suggested that his son-in-law, Shigeichi Ishimura, work with a team to reverse-engineer and study the Famicom's hardware in the meantime.[8] His team created a conversion of Galaxian with their newfound knowledge of the console's capabilities, which exceeded the quality of previous home releases.[8] The port was presented to Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi alongside notification that Namco intended to release it with or without Nintendo's approval.[8] Namco's demonstration was the impetus for Nintendo's decision to create a licensing program for the console. Namco signed a five-year royalties contract that included several preferential terms, such as the ability to produce its own cartridges.[8][56][57]

A subsidiary named Namcot[c] was established in 1984 to act as Namco's console game division.[58] It released its first four titles in September: Galaxian, Pac-Man, Xevious, and Mappy.[55][59] Xevious sold over 1.5 million copies and became the Famicom's first "killer app".[60][61][62] Namcot also began releasing games for the MSX, a popular Japanese computer.[8] Namco's arcade game ports were considered high-quality and helped increase sales of the console.[8] Namcot was financially successful and became an important pillar within the company;[8] when Namco moved its headquarters to Ōta, Tokyo in 1985, it used the profits generated from the Famicom conversion of Xevious to fund its construction (the building was nicknamed "Xevious" as a result).[63][64] The Talking Aid, a speech impairment device, was part of the company's attempts in venturing into other markets.[65][66]

By the time the Video game crash of 1983 concluded in 1985 with the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES),[67][68] Atari had effectively collapsed. After enduring numerous financial difficulties and losing its control in the industry, parent Warner Communications sold the company's personal computer and home console divisions to Commodore International founder Jack Tramiel, who renamed his company Tramel Technology to Atari Corporation.[69][70] Warner was left with Atari's arcade game and computer software divisions, which it renamed Atari Games. Namco America purchased a 60% stake in Atari Games on February 4, 1985 through its AT Games subsidiary, with Warner holding the remaining 40%.[4][18] The acquisition gave Namco the exclusive rights to distribute Atari games in Japan.[18]

Nakamura began losing interest and patience in Atari Games not long after the acquisition.[18] As he started viewing Atari as a competitor to Namco, he was hesitant to pour additional funds and resources into the company. Nakamura also disliked having to share ownership with Warner Communications.[21] Nakajima grew frustrated with Nakamura's attempts at marketing Atari video games in Japan, and had constant disagreements with him over which direction to take the company.[71] Viewing the majority-acquisition as a failure, in 1987 Namco America sold 33% of its ownership stake to a group of Atari Games employees led by Nakajima.[72] This prompted Nakajima to resign from Namco America and become president of Atari Games. He established Tengen, a publisher that challenged Nintendo's licensing restrictions for the NES by selling several unlicensed games, which included ports of Namco arcade games.[56][73] Though its selloff made Atari Games an independent entity, Namco still held a minority stake in the company and Nakamura retained his position as its board chairman until the middle of 1988.[74]

In Japan, Namco continued to see expeditious growth. It published Pro Baseball: Family Stadium for the Famicom, which was critically acclaimed[75] and sold over 2.5 million copies.[76] Its sequel, Pro Baseball: Family Stadium '87, sold an additional two million.[76] In 1986, Namco entered the restaurant industry by acquiring the Italian Tomato café chain.[19] It also released Sweet Land, a popular candy-themed prize machine.[77] One of Namco's biggest hits from the era was the racing game Final Lap from 1987. It is credited as the first arcade game to allow multiple machines to be connected—or "linked"—together to allow for additional players.[78][79] Final Lap was one of the most-profitable coin-operated games of the era in Japan, remaining towards the top of sales charts for the rest of the decade.[80][81][82]

Namco's continued success in arcades provided its arcade division with the revenue and resources needed to fund its research and development (R&D) departments.[64] Among their first creations was the helicopter shooter Metal Hawk in 1988, fitted in a motion simulator arcade cabinet.[64][83] Its high development costs prevented it from being massed-produced.[64] While most of its efforts were commercially unsuccessful, Namco grew interested in motion-based arcade games and began designing those at a larger scale.[64][84] In 1988, Namco became involved in film production when it distributed the film Mirai Ninja in theaters,[85][86] with a tie-in video game coinciding with its release.[85] Namco also developed the beat 'em up Splatterhouse, which attracted attention for its fixture on gore and dismemberment,[87] and Gator Panic, a derivative of Whack-a-Mole that became a mainstay in Japanese arcades and entertainment centers.[23] In early 1989, Namco unveiled its System 21 arcade system, one of the earliest arcade boards to utilize true 3D polygonal graphics.[88] Nicknamed "Polygonizer",[88] the company demonstrated its power through the Formula One racer Winning Run.[89] With an arcade cabinet that shook and swayed the player as they drove,[88] the game was seen as "a breakthrough product in term of programming technique"[90] and garnered significant attention from the press.[88][89] Winning Run was commercially successful,[91] convincing Namco to continue researching 3D video game hardware.[8] Video arcades under the Namco banner continued opening up in Japan and overseas, such as the family-friendly Play City Carrot chain.[92]

Expansion into other markets (1989–1994)[edit]

Namco saw continued success in the consumer game market as a result of the "Famicom boom" in the late 1980s.[93] By 1989, sales of games for the Famicom and NES accounted for 40% of its annual revenue.[94] During the same time frame, the company's licensing contract with Nintendo expired; when Namco attempted to renew its license, Nintendo chose to revoke many of the preferential terms it originally possessed.[94] Hiroshi Yamauchi insisted that all companies, including Namco, had to follow the same guidelines.[57] The revocation of Namco's terms enraged Nakamura, who announced the company would abandon Nintendo hardware and focus on production of games for competing systems such as the PC Engine. Executives resisted the idea, fearing it would severely impact the company financially.[57] Against Nakamura's protest, Namco signed Nintendo's new licensee contract anyway. While it continued to produce games for Nintendo hardware, most of Namco's quality releases came from the PC Engine and Mega Drive.[57]

The Nintendo Super Famicom
Namco's unreleased 16-bit console had hardware comparable to the Nintendo Super Famicom.

In 1989, it was reported that Namco was underway with developing its own video game console to compete against companies such as Nintendo and NEC.[95] Electronic Gaming Monthly claimed that the system, which was nearing completion, featured hardware comparable to the then-upcoming Nintendo Super Famicom.[96] According to company engineer Yutaka Isokawa, it was produced to compete against the Mega Drive, a 16-bit console by Namco's arcade rival Sega.[97] With the console industry being crowded by other competing systems, publications were unsure how well it would perform in the market.[95][96] While the console was never released, it allowed Namco to familiarize itself with designing home video game hardware.[97]

Tadashi Manabe replaced Nakamura as president of Namco on May 2, 1990.[98] Manabe, who had been the company's representative director since 1981, was tasked with strengthening relationships and teamwork ethics of management.[98][99] Two months later, the company dissolved its remaining connections with Atari Games when Time Warner reacquired Namco America's remaining 40% stake in Atari Games.[99] In return, Namco America was given Atari's video arcade management division, Atari Operations, allowing the company to operate video arcades across the United States.[99] Namco Hometek was established as the home console game division of Namco America; the latter's relations with Atari Games and Tengen made the company ineligible to become a Nintendo third-party licensee,[100] instead relying on publishers such as Bandai to release its games in North America.[56] In Japan, Namco developed two theme park attractions, which were demonstrated at the 1990 International Garden and Greenery Exposition (Expo '90): Galaxian3: Project Dragoon, a 3D rail shooter that supported 28 players, and a dark ride based on The Tower of Druaga.[101][102] As part of the company's idea of "hyperentertainment" video games,[2] Namco engineers had drafted ideas for a possible theme park based on Namco's experience with designing and operating indoor play areas and entertainment complexes.[84] Both attractions were commercially successful and among the most popular of Expo 90's exhibitions.[102][103] In arcades, Namco released Starblade, a 3D rail shooter noteworthy for its cinematic presentation.[104]

In February 1992, Namco opened its own theme park, Wonder Eggs, in the Futakotamagawa Time Spark area in Setagaya, Tokyo.[105] Described as an "urban amusement center", Wonder Eggs was the first amusement park operated by a video game company.[23][106] In addition to Galaxian3 and The Tower of Druaga, the park featured carnival games, carousals, motion simulators, and Fighter Camp, the first flight simulator available to the public.[107][108] The park saw regularly high attendance numbers;[108] 500,000 visitors attended in its first few months of operation and over one million by the end of the year.[109][110] Namco created the park out of its interest in designing a Disneyland-inspired theme park that featured the same kind of stories and characters present in its games.[23][111] Wonder Eggs contributed to Namco's 34% increase in revenue by December 1992.[112] Namco also designed smaller, indoor theme parks for its larger entertainment complexes across the country, such as Plabo Sennichimae Tenpo in Osaka.[2]

Ridge Racer Full Scale arcade cabinet
A Ridge Racer Full Scale arcade machine

Manabe resigned as president on May 1, 1992 due to a serious anxiety disorder, and Nakamura once again assumed the role.[113] Manabe instead served as the company's vice chairman until his death in 1994.[114] The company's arcade division, in the meantime, began work on a new 3D arcade board named System 22, capable of displaying polygonal 3D models with fully-textured graphics. Namco enlisted the help of Evans & Sutherland, a designer of combat flight simulators for The Pentagon, to assist in the board's development.[115] The System 22 powered Ridge Racer, a racing game, in 1993.[116] Ridge Racer's usage of 3D textured polygons and drifting made it a popular title in arcades and one of Namco's most-successful releases, and is labeled a milestone in 3D computer graphics.[117] The company followed its success with Tekken, a 3D fighting game, a year later.[118] Designed by Seiichi Ishii, the co-creator of Sega's landmark fighting game Virtua Fighter, Tekken's wide array of playable characters and consistent framerate helped it outperform Sega's game in popularity, and launched a multi-million-selling franchise as a result.[118][119] The company continued expanding its operations overseas, such as the acquisition of the Aladdin's Castle chain from Bally Manufacturing.[120] In December, Namco acquired Nikkatsu, Japan's oldest-surviving film studio that at the time was undergoing bankruptcy procedures.[57][121][122] The purchase allowed Nikkatsu to utilize Namco's computer graphics hardware for its films, while Namco was able to gain a foothold in the Japanese film industry.[122]

Relationship with Sony (1994–1998)[edit]

The Sony PlayStation
Namco was one of the first third-party supporters for the PlayStation, and helped the system achieve success in its early years.

In early 1994, Sony announced that it was developing its own video game console, the 32-bit PlayStation. The console began as a collaboration between Nintendo and Sony to create a CD-based peripheral for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988.[123] Fearing that Sony would assume control of the entire project, Nintendo silently scrapped the add-on.[123] Sony chose to refocus its efforts in designing the PlayStation in-house as its own console.[123] As it lacked the resources to produce its own games, Sony called for the support of third-party companies to develop PlayStation software. Namco, frustrated with Nintendo and Sega's licensing conditions for its consoles, agreed to support the PlayStation and became its first third-party developer.[124] The company began work on a conversion of Ridge Racer, its most-popular arcade game at the time.[125] The PlayStation was released in Japan on December 3, 1994, with Ridge Racer as one of its first titles.[126] Sony moved 100,000 units on launch day alone; publications attributed Ridge Racer to the PlayStation's early success, giving it an edge over its competitor, the Sega Saturn.[127] For a time, it was the best-selling PlayStation game in Japan.[116]

Namcot was consolidated into Namco in 1995;[128] its final game was a PlayStation port of Tekken, published in March in Japan and in November worldwide.[129] Tekken was designed for Namco's System 11 arcade system board, which was based on raw PlayStation hardware;[130] this allowed the home version to be a near-perfect rendition of its arcade counterpart.[118][131] Tekken became the first PlayStation game to sell one million copies and played a vital role in the console's mainstream success.[118][131] Sony recognized Namco's commitment to the console, leading to Namco receiving special treatment from Sony and early promotional material adopting the tagline "PlayStation: Powered by Namco".[132][133] Namco was also given the rights to produce controllers, such as the NeGcon, which it designed with the knowledge it gained through developing its cancelled console.[97][132] Though it had signed contracts to produce games for systems such as the Sega Saturn and 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, Namco concentrated its consumer software efforts on PlayStation for the remainder of the decade.[134]

As a means to draw players into its video arcades, Namco's arcade game division began releasing titles that featured unique and novel control styles and gameplay.[23] In 1995, the company released Alpine Racer, an alpine skiing game that was awarded "Best New Equipment" during the year's Amusement and Music Operators Association (AMOA) exposition.[135][136] Time Crisis, a lightgun shooter noteworthy for its pedal ducking mechanic,[137] helped set the standard for the genre as a whole,[138][139][140] while Prop Cycle gained notoriety for its usage of a bicycle controller the player pedaled.[141] The photo booth machine Star Audition, which offered players the chance of becoming a star in the show business, became a media sensation in Japan.[142] Namco Operations, which was renamed Namco Cybertainment in 1996, acquired the Edison Brothers Stores arcade chain in April.[143] Namco also introduced the Postpaid System, a centralized card payment system, as a means to combat the piracy of IC Cards in Japanese arcades.[144][145]

In September 1997, Namco announced it would begin development of games for the Nintendo 64, a console struggling to receive support from third-party developers.[146] Namco signed a contract with Nintendo that allowed the company to produce two games for the console: Famista 64, a version of its Family Stadium series, and an untitled RPG for the 64DD peripheral. The RPG was never released while the 64DD went on to become a commercial failure.[147] In October 1998, which one publication described as being "the most stunning alliance this industry has seen in a long while",[148] Namco announced a partnership deal with long-time rival Sega to bring some of its titles to the newly unveiled Dreamcast.[148] As Namco primarily developed games for Sony hardware, and were among the biggest third-party developers for the PlayStation, the announcement surprised news outlets.[148] For its PlayStation-based System 12 arcade board, Namco released the weapon-based fighting game Soulcalibur in 1998. Its 1999 Dreamcast port, which features multiple graphical enhancements and new gamemodes, is an early instance of a console game being better than its arcade version. Soulcalibur sold over one million units, won multiple awards, and contributed to the early success of the Dreamcast.[149]

Financial decline and restructuring (1998–2005)[edit]

Namco began experiencing decline in its consumer software sales by 1998 as a result of the Japanese recession, which affected the demand for video games as consumers had less time to play them. The company's arcade division had similar struggles, having slumped by 21% at the end of its fiscal year ending March 1998.[150] Namco Cybertainment filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August, being forced to closed several hundreds of its under-performing arcades in North America as its parent underwent reorganization.[151] In its 1998 annual report, Namco reported a 26.3% drop in net sales, which it partly blamed on low consumer spending.[150] A further 55% drop was reported in November 1999 when its home console game output decreased.[152] As a means to diversify itself from its arcade and consumer game markets, Namco entered the mobile phone game market with the Namco Station, a marketplace for i-Mode cellular devices that featured ports of its arcade games like Pac-Man and Galaxian.[2][8][153] The company also majority-acquired Monolith Soft, an action role-playing game developer best known for creating the Xenosaga series.[154] It continued introducing novel concepts for arcades to help attract players, such as the Cyber Lead II, an arcade cabinet that features PlayStation and Dreamcast VMU memory card slots.[155][156]

A Namco video arcade
A Namco-branded video arcade in Osaka

Namco's financial losses worsened in the 2000s.[157] In October 2000, the Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shinbun reported that the company projected a loss of ¥2.1 billion ($19.3M) for the fiscal year ending March 2001; Namco had previously hinted at this during an event with industry analysists, blaming its struggles on the depressed Japanese economy and dwindling arcade game market.[157][158] The company closed its Wonder Eggs park on December 31, 2000,[159] which by that point saw an attendance number of six million visitors,[160] in addition to shuttering many of its video arcades that returned substandard profits.[161] Viewing the majority-acquisition as a failure, in 1987 Namco America sold 33% of its ownership stake to a group of Atari Games employees led by Nakajima.[162] In February 2001, Namco updated its projections and reported it now expected a ¥6.5 billion ($56.3M) net loss and a drop in revenue by 95% for the fiscal year ending March 2001, which severely impacted the company's release schedule and corporate structure.[163][164] The company's earnings forecasts were lowered to accommodate its losses, its development strategy was reorganized to focus largely on established franchises,[163] and 250 of its employees were laid off in what it described as "early retirement".[164] Namco underwent restructuring to increase its income, which included the shuffling of its management and the announcement of production of games for Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox.[164][165]

Following its financial struggles, Namco's arcade division underwent mass reorganization.[157] This division achieved strong success with Taiko no Tatsujin, a popular drum-based rhythm game where players hit a taiko drum controller to the beat of a song.[166] Taiko no Tatsujin became a best-seller and created one of the company's most popular and prolific franchises.[167] Namco's North American divisions, in the meantime, underwent reorganization and restructuring as a result of decreasing profits.[168] Namco Hometek was stripped of its research and development divisions following Namco's disappointment in the quality of its releases.[169] Its continuing expansion into other non-video game divisions, including rehabilitation electronics and travel agency websites, prompted the creation of the Namco Incubation Center, which would control these businesses.[170] The Incubation Center also hosted the Namco Digital Hollywood Game Laboratory game school, which designed the sleeper hit Katamari Damacy (2004).[171]

Nakamura resigned as company president later in the year, being replaced with Kyushiro Takagi.[172] Anxious about the company's continuing financial struggles, Nakamura suggested that Namco begin looking into the possibility of merging with another company.[7][173] Namco first looked to Final Fantasy developer Square and Dragon Quest publisher Enix, offering to combine the three companies into one.[173] Yoichi Wada, the president of Square, disliked Namco's financial showing and declined the offer.[173] Square instead agreed to a business alliance with Namco. Following this, Namco then approached Sega, a company struggling to stay afloat after the commercial failure of the Dreamcast.[174] Sega's development teams and extensive catalog of properties caught Namco's interest, and believed a merge could allow the two to increase their competitiveness.[174][175][176] Sega was already discussing a merge with pachinko manufacturer Sammy Corporation; executives at Sammy were infuriated at Sega's consideration of Namco's offer. A failed attempt to overturn the merge led Namco to withdraw its offer the same day Sega announced it turned down Sammy's.[174][175] While Namco stated it was willing to negotiate with Sega on a future deal, Sega turned down the idea.[177]

Shigeichi Ishimura, the son in-law of Nakamura, succeeded Takagi as Namco president on April 1, 2005; Nakamura retained his role as the company's executive chairman.[172] This was part of Namco's continuing efforts at reorganizing itself to be in line with changing markets.[172] On July 26, as part of its 50th anniversary event, Namco published NamCollection—a compilation of several of its PlayStation games—for the PlayStation 2 in Japan.[178] Namco also opened the Riraku no Mori, a companion to its Namja Town park that held massage parlors for visitors; Namco believed it would help make relaxation a source of entertainment.[179] The Idolmaster, a rhythm game that incorporated elements of life simulations, was widely successful in Japan and resulted in the creation of a multi-million-grossing franchise.[180]

Bandai takeover and dissolution (2005–2006)[edit]

Bandai Namco logo
Namco Bandai Holdings was established on September 25, 2005, combining the corporate assets of Namco and Bandai.

In early 2005, Namco began merger talks with Bandai, a toy and anime company.[181] The two discussed a year prior about a possible business alliance after Namco collaborated with Bandai subsidiary Banpresto to create an arcade game based on Mobile Suit Gundam.[182] Bandai showed interest in Namco's game development skills and believed combining this with its wide library of profitable characters and franchises, such as Sailor Moon and Tamagotchi, could increase their competitiveness in the industry.[182][183] Nakamura and Namco's content development division advisors pushed against the idea, as they felt Bandai's corporate model wouldn't blend well with Namco's more agricultural work environment.[182] Namco's advisors were also critical of Bandai for focusing on promotion and marketing over quality.[182] As Namco's financial state continued to deteriorate, Ishimura pressured Nakamura into supporting the merger.[182] Bandai's offer was accepted on May 2, with both companies stating in a joint statement their financial difficulties were the reason for the merger.[183][184]

The business takeover, where Bandai acquired Namco for ¥175.3 billion ($1.7B), was finalized on September 29.[183][184] An entertainment conglomerate named Namco Bandai Holdings was established the same day; while their executive departments merged, Bandai and Namco became independently-operating subsidiaries of the new umbrella holding company.[185][186] Kyushiro Takagi, Namco's vice chairman, was appointed chairman and director of Namco Bandai Holdings. The combined revenues of the new company were estimated to be ¥458 billion ($4.34B), making Namco Bandai the third-largest Japanese game company after Nintendo and Sega Sammy Holdings.[183][187] As its parent company was preparing for a full business integration, Namco continued its normal operations, such as releasing Ridge Racer 6 as a launch title for the newly-unveiled Xbox 360 in October and collaborating with Nintendo to produce the arcade game Mario Kart Arcade GP.[188][189] The company honored the 25th anniversary of its Pac-Man series with Pac-Pix, a puzzle game for the Nintendo DS,[190] and entered the massively multiplayer online game market with Tales of Eternia Online, an action role-playing game based on its Tales franchise.[191][192]

Namco Bandai Games headquarters
Former Namco Bandai Games (Bandai Namco Entertainment) headquarters in Shinagawa, Tokyo

On January 4, 2006, Namco Hometek was merged with Bandai Games—Bandai America's consumer game division—to create Namco Bandai Games America, absorbing Namco America's subsidiaries and completing Namco and Bandai's merge in North America.[193][194] Namco's console game, business program, mobile phone, and research facility divisions were merged with Bandai's console division to create a new company, Namco Bandai Games, on March 31, as Namco was effectively dissolved.[195][196][197][198] The Namco name was repurposed for a new Namco Bandai subsidiary the same day, which absorbed its predecessor's amusement facility and theme park operations.[195] Namco's European division was folded into Namco Bandai Networks Europe on January 1, 2007, as it was reorganized into the company's mobile game and website division.[199] Until April 2014, Namco Bandai Games used the Namco logo on its games to represent the brand's legacy.[200]

The Namco Cybertainment division was renamed Namco Entertainment in January 2012, and to Namco USA in 2015. A division of Bandai Namco Holdings USA, Namco USA worked with chains such as AMC Theatres to host its video arcades in their respective locations.[201] The second Namco company was renamed Bandai Namco Amusement on April 1, 2018 following a corporate restructuring by its parent. Amusement took over the arcade game development branch of Namco Bandai Games, which renamed itself to Bandai Namco Entertainment in 2015.[202][203] Namco USA was absorbed into Bandai Namco Amusement's North American branch in 2021 following its parent company's decision to exit the arcade management industry in the United States.[204] This makes Namco Enterprises Asia and Namco Funscape―Bandai Namco's arcade division in Europe―the last companies to use the original Namco trademark in their names.[205] Bandai Namco Holdings and its subsidiaries continue to use the Namco name for a variety of products, including mobile phone applications, streaming programs,[206] and eSports-focused arcade centers in Japan.[207]

Legacy[edit]

Namco was one of the world's largest producers of video arcade games, having published over 300 titles since 1978.[208] Many of its games are considered some of the greatest of all time, including Pac-Man,[209][210] Galaga,[43][209][211] Xevious,[43][212] Ridge Racer,[213] Tekken 3,[214] and Katamari Damacy.[215][216]

Pac-Man is considered one of the most important video games ever made, having helped encourage originality and creative thinking within the industry. Namco was recognized for the game's worldwide success in 2005 by Guinness World Records;[217] by that timeframe, Pac-Man sold over 300,000 arcade units and grossed over $1 billion in quarters globally. In an obituary for Masaya Nakamura in 2017, Nintendo Life's Damien McFerran wrote: "without Namco and Pac-Man, the video game arena would be very different today."[57]

Namco's corporate philosophy and innovation have received recognition from publications. In a 1994 retrospective on the company, a writer for Edge described Namco as being "among the true pioneers of the coin-op business", a developer with a catalog of well-received and historically significant titles. The writer believed that Namco's success lay in its forward-thinking and firmness on quality, which they argued made it stand out from other developers.[64] A staff member of Edge's sister publication, Next Generation, wrote in 1998: "In a world where today's stars almost always become tomorrow's has-beens, Namco has produced consistently excellent games throughout most of its history." The writer credited the company's connections with its players and its influential releases, namely Pac-Man, Xevious, and Winning Run, as the keys to its success in a rapidly changing industry.[218]

Publications and industry journalists have identified Namco's importance to the industry. Hirokazu Hamamura, chief editor of Famitsu, credited the company's quality releases to the rise in popularity of video game consoles, and, in turn, the entirety of Japan's video game industry.[219] Writers for Ultimate Future Games and Official UK PlayStation Magazine have credited the company and its games to the early success of the PlayStation, one of the most iconic entertainment brands worldwide. In addition, Official UK PlayStation Magazine wrote that Namco serves as "the godfather of game developers", and one of the most important video game developers in history.[133] Staff for IGN in 1997 claimed that Namco represents the industry as a whole, with titles like Pac-Man and Galaga being associated with and representing video games. They wrote: "Tracing the history of Namco is like tracing the history of the industry itself. From its humble beginnings on the roof of a Yokohama department store, to the impending release of Tekken 3 for the PlayStation, Namco has always stayed ahead of the pack."[220] In 2012, IGN listed Namco among the greatest video game companies of all time, writing that many of its games—including Galaga, Pac-Man, Dig Dug, and Ridge Racer—were of consistent quality and helped define the industry as a whole.[221]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Japanese: 株式会社ナムコ, Hepburn: Kabushiki-gaisha Namuko
  2. ^ Japanese: 株式会社中村製作所, Hepburn: Kabushiki gaisha Nakamura Seisakujo
  3. ^ 株式会社ナムコット, Kabushiki-gaisha Namukotto

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kikuchi, Daisuke (January 30, 2017). "'Father of Pac-Man,' Masaya Nakamura, dies at age 91". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on November 8, 2017. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Corporate History". Bandai Namco Entertainment (in Japanese). Archived from the original on December 10, 2018. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  3. ^ "K. Endo Celebrated As AM Business Pioneer" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 335. Amusement Press. July 1, 1988. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 24, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Maeno, Kazuhisa (November 4, 1985). "Venture Business – Namco: Makers of the Video Age". Journal of Japanese Trade & Industry. Japanese Economic Foundation. pp. 38–40.
  5. ^ a b c d e Kent, Steven L. (2002). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. New York: Random House International. pp. 74–77. ISBN 978-0-7615-3643-7.
  6. ^ a b c d Smith, Alexander (November 19, 2019). They Create Worlds. Boca Raton: CRC Press. pp. 117–118. ISBN 978-0-4297-5261-2.
  7. ^ a b Soble, Jonathan (January 30, 2017). "Masaya Nakamura, Whose Company Created Pac-Man, Dies at 91". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 23, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Kurokawa, Fumio (March 17, 2018). "ビデオゲームの語り部たち 第4部:石村繁一氏が語るナムコの歴史と創業者・中村雅哉氏の魅力" [Video game storytellers Part 4: The history of Namco and the charm of its founder, Masaya Nakamura, talked about by Shigekazu Ishimura]. 4Gamer (in Japanese). Archived from the original on August 1, 2019. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Plunkett, Luke (April 5, 2011). "How A Company Went From Rocking Horses To Pac-Man". Kotaku. Archived from the original on July 20, 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  10. ^ Horowitz, Ken (2018). The Sega Arcade Revolution, A History in 62 Games. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-1-4766-3196-7.
  11. ^ Lally, Ralph (January 1977). "Projection Racing: Conversation with Masaya Nakamura, Inventor of F-1". Play Meter. Vol. 3 no. 1. p. 13.
  12. ^ Zaku; Game Yume Area 51 (November 12, 2017). ギャラクシアン創世記 -澤野和則 伝- [Galaxian Genesis -Kazunori Sawano Den-] (in Japanese). Junrinsha. p. 21.
  13. ^ Nishijima, Takanori (December 1, 1987). 新明解ナム語辞典 [New Clear Nam Language Dictionary] (in Japanese). Softbank. ISBN 978-4-930795-86-1.
  14. ^ Wong, Alistar (March 11, 2019). "Chasing Down Memories Of Making Arcade Racers With Namco Veteran Sho Osugi". Siliconera. Archived from the original on August 27, 2019. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  15. ^ Yamamoto, Yusaku (November 2011). "マッピーから『ギャラクシアン3』まで 「ナムコのメカ」を創った男が登場!" [The man who created Namco's mecha, from Mappy to Galaxian 3, is here!]. Shooting Gameside (in Japanese). Vol. 0. Translated by Alex Highsmith. pp. 68–71.
  16. ^ Murakami, Mazura (February 3, 2016). "ナムコ社長「受付はロボットにしろ」 30年前の無茶ぶりを伝説的クリエイター陣が語る (2/3)" [President Namco "Reception should be a robot" – Legendary creators talk about the unreasonableness 30 years ago (2/3)]. ITMedia (in Japanese). Archived from the original on February 25, 2016. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g Smith, Alexander (November 19, 2019). They Create Worlds. Boca Raton: CRC Press. pp. 287–290. ISBN 978-0-4297-5261-2.
  18. ^ a b c d "Atari Turns 25". RePlay. Vol. 22 no. 10. July 1997. pp. Atari 28-Atari 30. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  19. ^ a b Clam Art Plus (February 1, 2017). "「パックマン」「ゼビウス」…創業者の他界で思い返される"ナムコ伝説"" ["Pac-Man" "Xevious" ... "Namco Legend" reminiscent of the founder's death]. Livedoor (in Japanese). Archived from the original on July 20, 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  20. ^ a b c d "Namco America Opens With Bhutani Heading Up Office". Cash Box. September 23, 1978. pp. 53–55. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  21. ^ a b Sheff, David (1993). Game Over. New York: Random House. p. 239-242. ISBN 0-679-40469-4.
  22. ^ "Namco's AMOA Exhibit Will Focus On Four Machines" (PDF). Cash Box. November 11, 1978. p. C-16.
  23. ^ a b c d e f Koyama, Nobuyuki (June 9, 2005). 遊びのチカラ ナムコの高付加価値戦略 [The Power of Play: Namco's High Value-Added Strategy] (in Japanese). Tokyo: Nikkei BP Planning. ISBN 978-4-8613-0101-8.
  24. ^ a b Microcomputer BASIC Editorial Department (December 1986). All About Namco (in Japanese). Tokyo: Dempa Shimbun. ISBN 978-4-8855-4107-0.
  25. ^ Burnham, Van (2001). Supercade. Cambridge: MIT Press. p. 181. ISBN 0-262-02492-6.
  26. ^ "Arcade Games". JoyStik. Vol. 1 no. 1. Publications International. September 1982. p. 10. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  27. ^ Mark J. P. Wolf (June 15, 2012). Before the Crash: Early Video Game History. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. p. 173. ISBN 978-0-8143-3722-6.
  28. ^ a b Kent, Steven L. (2002). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. New York: Random House International. pp. 137–138. ISBN 978-0-7615-3643-7.
  29. ^ Clive, Sir (October 25, 2007). "Galaxian". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  30. ^ "ナムコ、往年の名作集ソフト第5弾 PS用「ナムコミュージアムVOL.5」を発売". Namco WonderPage (in Japanese). February 1997. Archived from the original on June 19, 2000. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  31. ^ a b c d e Pittman, Jamey (February 23, 2009). "The Pac-Man Dossier". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on January 9, 2020. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  32. ^ a b Purchese, Robert (May 20, 2010). "Iwatani: Pac-Man was made for women". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on March 4, 2019. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  33. ^ a b Kent, Steven L. (2002). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. New York: Random House International. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-7615-3643-7.
  34. ^ Kohler, Chris (May 21, 2010). "Q&A: Pac-Man Creator Reflects on 30 Years of Dot-Eating". Wired. Archived from the original on July 27, 2019. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  35. ^ "Midway Bows New 'Pac-Man' Video" (PDF). Cash Box. November 22, 1980. p. 42.
  36. ^ Champagne, Christine (May 22, 2013). "How "Pac-Man" Changed Games and Culture". Fast Company. Archived from the original on December 4, 2020. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  37. ^ "Namco Networks' PAC-MAN Franchise Surpasses 30 Million Paid Transactions in the United States on Brew". Business Wire. June 30, 2010. Archived from the original on June 29, 2017. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  38. ^ Birnbaum, Mark (April 18, 2007). "Galaga Review". IGN. Archived from the original on April 29, 2019. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  39. ^ Reilly, Luke (April 3, 2015). "The Top 10 Most Influential Racing Games Ever". IGN. pp. 1–2. Archived from the original on June 3, 2019. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  40. ^ "Dig Dug". Blip Magazine. No. 1. February 1983. pp. 18–19. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  41. ^ a b Grifford, Kevin (October 19, 2011). "Xevious: The 29-Year-Old Portmortem". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  42. ^ a b Savorelli, Carlo (May 6, 2015). "Xevious". Hardcore Gaming 101. Archived from the original on September 20, 2019. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  43. ^ a b c "Top 100 Games of All Time". Next Generation. No. 21. Imagine Media. September 1996. p. 39.
  44. ^ ARCADE GAMERS白書 : 完全保存版. vol.1 [ARCADE GAMERS White Paper: Complete Preservation Edition, Vol . 1] (in Japanese). Tokyo: Mediaparu. 2010. p. 10. ISBN 978-4-8961-0108-9.
  45. ^ Savorelli, Carlo (December 10, 2011). "Xevious - Other". Hardcore Gaming 101. Archived from the original on September 26, 2019. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  46. ^ Ombler, Mat (May 6, 2020). "Are bootleg game soundtracks damaging the industry?". Gamesindustry.biz. Archived from the original on May 7, 2020. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  47. ^ Kalata, Kurt (June 15, 2018). "Mappy". Hardcore Gaming 101. Archived from the original on December 29, 2019. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  48. ^ Buchanan, Levi (January 17, 2006). "Pole Position II". IGN. Archived from the original on July 3, 2019. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  49. ^ Parish, Jeremy (July 30, 2012). "What Happened to the Action RPG?". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on October 3, 2018. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  50. ^ Pepe, Filepe (October 10, 2016). "1982–1987 – The Birth of Japanese RPGs, re-told in 15 Games". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on November 11, 2018. Retrieved August 3, 2019.
  51. ^ Bevan, Mike (March 22, 2014). "The Ultimate Guide to Pac-Land". Retro Gamer. No. 127. Imagine Publishing. pp. 67–72. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  52. ^ Campbell, Stuart (December 2006). "The Definitive Galaxian". Retro Gamer. No. 32. Imagine Publishing. pp. 68–75. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  53. ^ Kurokawa, Fumio (July 28, 2018). "ビデオゲームの語り部たち 第7部:Mr.ドットマンこと小野 浩氏が,制約の中で追求した自由" [Video game storytellers Part 7: Freedom pursued by Mr. Hiroshi Ono, also known as Mr. Dotman, within constraints]. 4Gamer.net. Archived from the original on March 31, 2019. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  54. ^ Yoshida, Ranbu (March 24, 2002). "第12回 NG ゲーム人生回顧録 – 乱舞吉田" [The 12th NG Game Life Memoirs – Ranbu Yoshida]. Famitsu (in Japanese). Archived from the original on April 1, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  55. ^ a b "Namco Releases Its "Galaxian" For Nintendo Family Computer" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 245. Amusement Press. October 1, 1984. p. 36. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 23, 2020. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  56. ^ a b c Parish, Jeremy (October 9, 2019). "Gauntlet – Pac-Man – R.B.I. Baseball retrospective: Tengen trio – NES Works #053". YouTube. Archived from the original on April 9, 2020. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  57. ^ a b c d e f McFerran, Damien (January 30, 2017). "Namco Founder Masaya Nakamura Dies Aged 91". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on August 28, 2019. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  58. ^ Smith, David (June 13, 2005). "Feature: What's In A Name?". 1UP.com. p. 2. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  59. ^ Szczepaniak, John (August 11, 2014). The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers (First ed.). SMG Szczepaniak. p. 363. ISBN 978-0-9929-2600-7.
  60. ^ Sheff, David (1993). Game Over. New York: Random House. p. 70. ISBN 0-679-40469-4.
  61. ^ Endo, Akihiro (June 2003). "100 selections of Famicom masterpiece software presented by Yuge Action category". Yuge. No. 7. Killtime Communication. pp. 6–12.
  62. ^ "Japan Platinum Game Chart". The Magic Box. Archived from the original on August 1, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  63. ^ Anderson, John (March 24, 2016). "The Demolition of Japan's Videogame History". Kill Screen. Archived from the original on June 15, 2019. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  64. ^ a b c d e f "Namco: Leader of the Pac". Edge. No. 8. Future plc. May 1994. pp. 54–61.
  65. ^ Zaku; Game Yume Area 51 (November 12, 2017). ギャラクシアン創世記 -澤野和則 伝- [Galaxian Genesis -Kazunori Sawano Den-] (in Japanese). Junrinsha. p. 36.
  66. ^ "ナムコ、Windows CE搭載の福祉向け携帯端末「トーキングエイドIT」" [Namco, Windows CE-equipped mobile terminal for welfare "Talking Aid IT"]. Keitai Watch (in Japanese). October 9, 2003. Archived from the original on July 20, 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  67. ^ "Toy Trends". Orange Coast. Vol. 14 no. 12. Emmis Communications. December 1988. p. 88.
  68. ^ Consalvo, Mia (2006). "Console video games and global corporations: Creating a hybrid culture". New Media & Society. 8 (1): 117–137. doi:10.1177/1461444806059921. S2CID 32331292.
  69. ^ "An Interview with Dan Van Elderen". Next Generation. No. 35. Imagine Media. November 1997. p. 82.
  70. ^ Thomas, Don (December 1996). "Atari's Historic Road to Nowhere". Next Generation. No. 24. Imagine Media. pp. 97–104.
  71. ^ Kent, Steven L. (2002). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. New York: Random House International. p. 371. ISBN 978-0-7615-3643-7.
  72. ^ McNeil, Steve (April 18, 2019). Hey! Listen!: A journey through the golden era of video games. London: Headline. p. 104. ISBN 978-1-4722-6134-2.
  73. ^ Lazzareschi, Carla (December 13, 1988). "Claims Japanese Rival Monopolizes Market : Atari Games Sues Nintendo for $100 Million". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 25, 2020. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  74. ^ Compasio, Camille (August 6, 1988). "Coin Machine – Around The Route". Cash Box. p. 29. Retrieved April 8, 2021.
  75. ^ "「5月10日号特別付録 ファミコンロムカセット オールカタログ」" [May 10 issue special appendix Famicom ROM cassette all catalog]. Family Computer Magazine. Vol. 7 no. 9. Tokuma Shoten. May 19, 1991. p. 255.
  76. ^ a b "Game Search (based on Famitsu data)". Game Data Library. March 1, 2020. Archived from the original on April 24, 2019. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  77. ^ "『ワニワニパニック』開発者からグループ会長にまで上り詰めた男が語る、ナムコ激動の40年。創業者・中村雅哉との思い出、バンダイ経営統合の舞台裏【バンダイナムコ前会長・石川祝男インタビュー:ゲームの企画書】" [40 years of Namco's turbulence, told by a man who has gone from the developer of "Gator Panic" to the chairman of the group. Memories with founder Masaya Nakamura, behind the scenes of Bandai's management integration [Interview with former Chairman of Bandai Namco, Shukuo Ishikawa: Game plan]]. Den Famicogamer. September 14, 2018. Archived from the original on January 14, 2020. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  78. ^ "Final Lap – Videogame by Namco". Killer List of Videogames. Archived from the original on March 25, 2019. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  79. ^ Kelly, Nick (May 1988). "Arcades – Final Lap". Commodore User. No. 56. EMAP Publishing. pp. 102–103. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  80. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 325. Amusement Press. February 1, 1988. p. 23.
  81. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 360. Amusement Press. July 15, 1989. p. 23.
  82. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 368. Amusement Press. November 15, 1989. p. 23.
  83. ^ "Confrontation: Coin-Op – Metal Hawk". The Games Machine. No. 17. Newsfield Publications. April 1989. p. 62. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  84. ^ a b "ドラグーンが飛翔した日" [The Day the Dragoon Took Flight]. Bandai Namco (in Japanese). February 21, 2005. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  85. ^ a b Provost, Hugo (January 9, 2020). "Mirai Ninja". Hardcore Gaming 101. Archived from the original on April 8, 2020. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  86. ^ Dr. Ishii (1997). Nihon tokusatsu gensō eiga zenshū (in Japanese) (Shohan ed.). Tokyo: Keibunsha. pp. 328–330. ISBN 978-4-7669-2706-1.
  87. ^ Strangman, Rob (May 20, 2006). "Splatterhouse". Hardcore Gaming 101. Archived from the original on August 5, 2019. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  88. ^ a b c d Harrison, Phil (September 1989). "Arcades – Namco's Winning Streak". Commodore User. No. 72. EMAP. pp. 90–91. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  89. ^ a b Hogg, Robin (March 1989). "Confrontation: Coin-Op". The Games Machine. No. 16. Newsfield Publications. pp. 68–71. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  90. ^ Cook, John (October 1989). "Winning Run". Advanced Computer Entertainment. Future plc. Archived from the original on May 14, 2019. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  91. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 – アップライト, コックピット型TVゲーム機 (Upright/Cockpit Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 351. Amusement Press, Inc. March 1, 1989. p. 29.
  92. ^ Ishii, Zenji (July 15, 2002). "石井ぜんじの「GGXX」ゲーセン放浪記 ~街中で見かける対戦状況~" [Zenji Ishii's "GGXX" arcade wandering record-competition situation seen in the city-]. Game Watch (in Japanese). Archived from the original on August 7, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  93. ^ Matsuura, Toshiyuki (July 1988). "Amusement Industry Flies High With New Products". Business Japan. Nihon Kōgyō Shinbun-Sha. pp. 121–123.
  94. ^ a b Sheff, David (1993). Game Over. New York: Random House. p. 74. ISBN 0-679-40469-4.
  95. ^ a b "Kyoto D.C. Snubs Namco's Lawsuit" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 353. April 1, 1989. p. 26. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 24, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  96. ^ a b Harris, Steve (July 1989). "The War Is About To Begin!". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 2. EGM Media. p. 32.
  97. ^ a b c Szczepaniak, John (August 4, 2014). The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers. pp. 641–669. ISBN 978-0-9929-2602-1.
  98. ^ a b "T. Manabe Was Apptd Namco's New President" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 381. Amusement Press. June 1, 1990. p. 30. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 24, 2020. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  99. ^ a b c "Namco, Atari Games Dissolve Capital Ties" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 383. Amusement Press. July 1, 1990. p. 34. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 24, 2020. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  100. ^ "Namco Ltd. Reports Its Earnings '89" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). Amusement Press. June 15, 1990. p. 382. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 24, 2020. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  101. ^ "花博で芽吹いた「ハイパーエンターテイメント構想」~参加体験型アトラクションの誕生~" ["Hyper Entertainment Concept" that sprouted at the Expo-Birth of Participatory Experience-based Attractions-]. Dengeki. ASCII Media Works. Archived from the original on April 24, 2019. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  102. ^ a b "Namco's Two Attractions in Expo '90" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 380. Amusement Press. May 15, 1990. p. 30. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 23, 2020. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  103. ^ Davies, Jonti (October 2009). "The Making of Starblade". Retro Gamer. No. 68. Imagine Publishing. p. 44.
  104. ^ Rignall, Julian (April 1992). "Arcade Action: Starblade". Computer + Video Games. Future Publishing. pp. 71–72. Archived from the original on September 16, 2019. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  105. ^ "Namco To Open New Theme Park in Ikebukuro". Leisure Line. Leisure & Allied Industries. March 1996. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  106. ^ "もう一度だけ行きたい―― 重苦しい90年代を支えた大人の遊び場「ナムコ・ワンダーエッグ」の思い出". Yahoo! News (in Japanese). February 3, 2021. Archived from the original on February 3, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  107. ^ "Namco Plans To Top High-Tec Theme Park" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 418. Amusement Press. January 15, 1992. p. 38. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 24, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  108. ^ a b "Wonder Egg?". Ultra Game Players. No. 90. Imagine Publishing. November 1996. p. 87. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  109. ^ "History of Wonder Eggs – 1992". Namco (in Japanese). 2001. Archived from the original on August 16, 2002. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  110. ^ "The History of Wonder Eggs – 1993". Namco (in Japanese). 2001. Archived from the original on October 2, 2002. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  111. ^ Burkett, Stephen; Greening, Chris (September 18, 2016). "Hiroyuki Kawada Interview: Namco Sounds in the 1980s". VGMOnline. Archived from the original on December 29, 2019. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  112. ^ ""St. Fighter II" Has Big Effect On Results" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 440. Amusement Press. December 15, 1992. p. 30. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 22, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  113. ^ "ナムコのトップ異動" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 425. Amusement Press. May 1, 1992. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 23, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  114. ^ "T. Manabe, Namco's Vice Chairman, Dies" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 474. Japan: Amusement Press. July 15, 1994. p. 26. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 23, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  115. ^ Mintz, John (July 13, 1993). "From The War Room to the Game Room". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on February 9, 2021. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  116. ^ a b "Arcade – Namco". Ultimate Future Games. No. 11. Future Publishing. October 1995. pp. 62–65. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  117. ^ Shea, Cam; Reilly, Luke (July 28, 2020). "The Best Racing Games of All Time". IGN. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  118. ^ a b c d Langshaw, Mark (December 20, 2014). "Tekken retrospective: How the 3D brawler rose to power". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on December 14, 2020. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  119. ^ Sato (February 21, 2020). "Tekken 7's 5 Million Units Shipped Celebrated With Artwork Update; Tekken Series Reaches 49 Million". Siliconera. Archived from the original on February 26, 2020. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  120. ^ "Namco Purchases Aladdins Castle" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 442. Amusement Press. February 1, 1993. p. 26. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 24, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  121. ^ Frater, Patrick (January 30, 2017). "'Pac-Man' Pioneer Masaya Nakamura, Founder of Namco, Dies at 91". Variety. Archived from the original on February 9, 2021. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  122. ^ a b "The Business". Sight & Sound. British Film Institute. December 1993. p. 5. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  123. ^ a b c Lai, Richard (November 6, 2015). "We turned on the Nintendo PlayStation: It's real and it works". Engadget. Archived from the original on November 9, 2020. Retrieved December 5, 2020.
  124. ^ "Pssstt! Wanna Buy a Game System?". Next Generation. No. 14. Imagine Media. February 1996. p. 77.
  125. ^ "Namco Discuss the Making of Ridge Racer for the Sony PlayStation!". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 66. Ziff Davis. January 1995. pp. 170–171.
  126. ^ Roberts, Dave (September 29, 2005). "The day our world changed". MCV. Archived from the original on April 15, 2015. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  127. ^ "Daytona USA". Edge. Vol. 3 no. 21. June 1995. pp. 72–5. cf. McNamara, Andy; et al. (September 1995). "Prepare Yourself for the Ultimate Racing Experience". Game Informer. Archived from the original on November 20, 1997. Retrieved April 15, 2014. cf. Air Hendrix (August 1995). "Pro Review: Daytona USA". GamePro. Vol. 7 no. 73. p. 50.
  128. ^ Romano, Sal (February 3, 2020). "Bandai Namco trademarks Namcot Collection in Japan, Mikage trademarks 99girls Bullseye". Gematsu. Archived from the original on March 19, 2020. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  129. ^ Clements, Ryan (September 18, 2009). "The Evolution of Tekken". IGN. Archived from the original on October 30, 2020. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  130. ^ "Tekken". Edge. Vol. 3 no. 21. June 1995. pp. 66–70.
  131. ^ a b Mott, Tony (2013). 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. New York: Universe Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7893-2090-2.
  132. ^ a b Manent, Mathieu (February 1, 2018). PlayStation Anthology. Paris: Geeks-Line. pp. 30–32. ISBN 979-1-0937-5233-4.
  133. ^ a b "So Who The Hell Is: Namco". Official UK PlayStation Magazine. No. 33. Future Publishing. June 1999.
  134. ^ "Prescreen – Namco". Edge. No. 15. Future Publishing. December 1994. pp. 50–53. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  135. ^ Alan Weiss, Brett (1998). "Alpine Racer – Review". Allgame. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  136. ^ "US Arcades Get Ready for War". Next Generation. No. 12. Imagine Media. December 1995. p. 24.
  137. ^ "NG Alphas: Time Crisis". Next Generation. No. 27. Imagine Media. March 1997. p. 75.
  138. ^ Guise, Tom; Key, Steve (November 1997). "Time Crisis". Computer and Video Games. No. 192. pp. 68–73. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  139. ^ "Review Crew: Time Crisis". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 100. Ziff Davis. November 1997. p. 202.
  140. ^ "See the Light". Next Generation. No. 38. Imagine Media. February 1998. p. 112.
  141. ^ "Prop Cycle". Retro Gamer. Archived from the original on November 1, 2015. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  142. ^ Tanikawa, Miki (December 21, 1997). "Where Stars Are Born: In The Arcade". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on March 8, 2021. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  143. ^ Webb, Marcus (April 1996). "Namco to Buy Edison Arcade Chain". Next Generation. No. 16. Imagine Media. p. 27.
  144. ^ ポストペイドシステムへ [Post Paid System]. Namco WonderPage (in Japanese). 1996. Archived from the original on May 5, 1997. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  145. ^ "Namco Debuts "Postpaid System"" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 530. Amusement Press. p. 26. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 23, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  146. ^ "Namco Go Go!". N64 Magazine. No. 6. Future Publishing. September 1997. pp. 14–15. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  147. ^ "Everything About the 64DD". IGN. February 9, 2001. Archived from the original on June 14, 2020. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  148. ^ a b c "Namco Turns to the Dark Side". IGN. October 6, 1998. Archived from the original on July 18, 2020. Retrieved July 18, 2020.
  149. ^ McFerran, Damien. "Retroinspection: Dreamcast". Retro Gamer. No. 50. Imagine Publishing. pp. 66–72. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  150. ^ a b "Namco Annual Report 1998" (PDF). Namco. March 1998. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 19, 2004. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  151. ^ Feldman, Curt (April 28, 2000). "Namco Arcades in Dire Straits". GameSpot. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  152. ^ Yukiyoshi Ike Sato (November 10, 1999). "Latest Word On Namco". GameSpot. Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  153. ^ Softbank (January 18, 2001). "「パックマン」「ギャラクシアン」が携帯電話に登場!" ["Pac-Man" and "Galaxian" are now available on mobile phones!]. Soft Bank News. Archived from the original on May 27, 2019. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  154. ^ Sato (August 21, 2017). "Monolith Soft Executive Producer On Going From Namco To Nintendo". Siliconera. Archived from the original on August 21, 2017. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  155. ^ Ohbuchi, Yutaka (April 26, 2000). "AOU 2000: Namco". GameSpot. Archived from the original on July 19, 2020. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  156. ^ Ike Sato, Yukiyoshi (February 14, 2000). "Namco Announces Cyber Read II". GameSpot. Archived from the original on July 19, 2020. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  157. ^ a b c "Namco Annual Report 2001" (PDF). Namco. March 31, 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 19, 2004. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  158. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (May 23, 2001). "Namco Releases Financial Statement". IGN. Archived from the original on July 19, 2020. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  159. ^ "ナムコのワンダーエッグ3が12月31日で閉園". SoftBank News (in Japanese). December 4, 2000. Archived from the original on July 19, 2020. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  160. ^ Hara, Takehiko (May 24, 1999). "「ナムコ・ワンダーエッグ3」が 通算入園者数600万人を突破" ["Namco Wonder Egg 3" surpasses 6 million visitors in total]. SoftBank News (in Japanese). Archived from the original on July 19, 2020. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  161. ^ Kent, Steven L. (2002). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. New York: Random House International. p. 582. ISBN 978-0-7615-3643-7.
  162. ^ McNeil, Steve (April 18, 2019). Hey! Listen!: A journey through the golden era of video games. London: Headline. p. 104. ISBN 978-1-4722-6134-2.
  163. ^ a b Ahmed, Shahed (May 24, 2000). "Namco Expects Massive Losses". GameSpot. Archived from the original on January 20, 2021. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  164. ^ a b c Gantayat, Anoop (February 28, 2001). "Namco Incurs Losses". IGN. Archived from the original on July 19, 2020. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  165. ^ "Microsoft and Namco Team Up for Xbox Alliance". Microsoft. August 27, 2001. Archived from the original on August 15, 2019. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  166. ^ "Taiko No Tatsujin". IGN. September 10, 2002. Archived from the original on March 14, 2017. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  167. ^ "大ヒット「太鼓の達人」 ボツ寸前からの復活劇". Nikkei Style (in Japanese). October 11, 2019. Archived from the original on October 17, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  168. ^ Sulic, Ivan (September 10, 2002). "Namco Lay Offs". IGN. Archived from the original on June 29, 2020. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  169. ^ "Namco Annual Report 2001" (PDF). Namco. March 31, 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 19, 2004. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  170. ^ Tochen, Dan (March 25, 2004). "Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani ponders his next step". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on November 11, 2020. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  171. ^ Kidwell, Emma (October 17, 2018). "The uphill battle of getting Katamari Damacy noticed by Namco". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on November 9, 2020. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  172. ^ a b c Niizumi, Hirohiko (March 14, 2005). "Namco gets new president". GameSpot. Archived from the original on August 24, 2019. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  173. ^ a b c Masamune (February 22, 2017). "VG人物:中村雅哉与他的Namco帝国" [VG Persons: Masaya Nakamura and the Namco Empire]. VG Time (in Chinese). pp. 1–3. Archived from the original on October 28, 2020. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  174. ^ a b c Rodriguez, Steven (April 16, 2003). "Namco and Sega Merger?". Nintendo World Report. Archived from the original on June 24, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  175. ^ a b Varanini, Giancarlo (April 16, 2003). "Namco to merge with Sega?". GameSpot. Archived from the original on July 23, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  176. ^ "Dreamcast may be discontinued, Sega says". USA Today. Associated Press. January 24, 2001. Archived from the original on December 24, 2014. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  177. ^ Horowitz, Ken (2018). The Sega Arcade Revolution, A History in 62 Games. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. pp. 253–254. ISBN 978-1-4766-3196-7.
  178. ^ "Namco celebrates 50th birthday with compilation". GameSpot. March 24, 2005. Archived from the original on March 24, 2014. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  179. ^ Otake, Tomoko (July 17, 2005). "Taking it easy in the urban jungle". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on January 8, 2019. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  180. ^ Loo, Egan (December 29, 2015). "Top-Selling Media Franchises in Japan: 2015". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on July 7, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  181. ^ "すべては1カ月で決まった バンダイとナムコの統合" [Bandai and Namco integration all decided in one month]. Nikkei Style (in Japanese). October 22, 2018. pp. 1–2. Archived from the original on January 9, 2020. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  182. ^ a b c d e Kobayashi, Shinya (May 2, 2005). "きっかけは「一年戦争」──ナムコ・バンダイの進化論" [The trigger was "One Year War" ── Namco Bandai's theory of evolution]. ITMedia (in Japanese). Archived from the original on January 29, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  183. ^ a b c d Feldman, Curt (December 13, 2005). "Bandai, Namco to merge". GameSpot. Archived from the original on April 6, 2019. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  184. ^ a b Carless, Simon (May 2, 2005). "Namco, Bandai To Merge". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on April 2, 2019. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  185. ^ "Namco 2005 Annual Report" (PDF). Bandai Namco. Japan. March 31, 2005. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 17, 2006. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  186. ^ "Namco, Bandai announce merger to gain edge". Game Machine (in Japanese). May 2005. Archived from the original on September 10, 2019. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  187. ^ "Bandai, Namco to merge in Sept to form Japan's No 3 toy, game group – UPDATE 2". Forbes. February 5, 2005. Archived from the original on August 14, 2011. Retrieved September 18, 2007.
  188. ^ Brotherson, Corey (August 5, 2005). "Ridge Racer 6 online details". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on July 27, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  189. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (September 1, 2005). "JAMMA 2005: Hands On with Mario Kart". IGN. Archived from the original on May 7, 2020. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  190. ^ Slagle, Matt (June 17, 2005). "Pac-Man going strongafter 25 years in a maze". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 30, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  191. ^ "More details on Tales of Eternia Online". GameSpot. October 20, 2004. Archived from the original on July 27, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  192. ^ Niizumi, Hirohiko (August 8, 2005). "Tales of Eternia Online beta begins". GameSpot. Archived from the original on July 27, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  193. ^ Saeki, Kenji (September 13, 2005). "バンダイナムコグループ、ゲーム部門は2006年4月に 株式会社バンダイナムコゲームスを設立し統合" [Bandai Namco Group and Game Division established and integrated Bandai Namco Games Co., Ltd. in April 2006.]. Game Watch (in Japanese). Archived from the original on August 8, 2017. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  194. ^ Adams, David (January 4, 2006). "Namco, Bandai Complete North American Merger". IGN. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  195. ^ a b Karlin, David (January 11, 2006). "Bandai and Namco Finalize Merger Details". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on March 12, 2014. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  196. ^ Niizumi, Hirohiko (September 13, 2005). "Bandai and Namco outline postmerger strategy". GameSpot. Archived from the original on July 24, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  197. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (January 11, 2006). "Bandai Namco Games Opens Doors in March". IGN. Archived from the original on October 13, 2020. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  198. ^ "ニユースダイジェスト". Game Machine (in Japanese). January 12, 2006. Archived from the original on February 6, 2017. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  199. ^ GamesIndustry International (November 10, 2006). "Namco Bandai Strengthens Its European Mobile Business with the Formation Of Namco Bandai Networks Ltd". Gamesindustry.biz. Archived from the original on July 27, 2006. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  200. ^ "「バンダイナムコゲームス」にレーベル統一 ゲームから「バンダイ」「ナムコ」「バンプレスト」消滅" ["Bandai", "Namco", "Banpresto" disappeared, game label unified as "Bandai Namco Games"]. ITmedia (in Japanese). February 5, 2014. Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  201. ^ "Examples". Namco USA. Archived from the original on June 25, 2018. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  202. ^ "最先端技術によるキッズ向け冒険施設"屋内冒険の島 ドコドコ"、立川高島屋S.C.に10月11日よりオープン!" [The state-of-the-art adventure facility for kids "Indoor Adventure Island Dokodoko" will open in Tachikawa Takashimaya S.C. from October 11th!]. Famitsu. August 8, 2018. Archived from the original on May 9, 2019. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  203. ^ "バンダイナムコアミューズメント,イギリスの玩具店「Hamleys」のFC展開を年内に実施予定" [BANDAI NAMCO Amusement plans to launch FC of British toy store "Hamleys" by the end of this year]. 4Gamer.net. May 25, 2018. Archived from the original on August 4, 2020. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  204. ^ Stenbuck, Kite (March 1, 2021). "Bandai Namco Will No Longer Handle Amusement Facilities in America". Siliconera. Archived from the original on March 1, 2021. Retrieved April 2, 2021.
  205. ^ "Main Group Companies". Bandai Namco Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 27, 2019. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  206. ^ "情報配信スタジオ"ナムコハイシーンスタジオ"がオープン" [Information distribution studio "Namco High Scene Studio" opens]. Dengeki (in Japanese). July 19, 2020. Archived from the original on July 19, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  207. ^ Wong, Alistar (December 22, 2019). "Bandai Namco To Open New eSports-Focused Arcade in Ikebukuro, Tokyo". Siliconera. Archived from the original on January 16, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  208. ^ "Namco – Coin-Operated Machines". Killer List of Videogames. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  209. ^ a b "The Top 100 Video Games". Flux (4). April 1995.
  210. ^ "The Greatest Games of All Time". GameSpot. 2007. Archived from the original on July 26, 2008. Retrieved May 9, 2020.
  211. ^ Semrad, Steve (February 2, 2006). "The Greatest 200 Videogames of Their Time". 1UP.com. p. 9. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  212. ^ Reader's Choice of Best Game. Tokyo: Gamest. p. 48. ISBN 978-4-8819-9429-0.
  213. ^ "100 Greatest Retro Games part 1". NowGamer. March 31, 2010. Archived from the original on May 2, 2019. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  214. ^ "The 100 Best Games of All-Time". GamesRadar+. February 25, 2015. Archived from the original on March 21, 2015. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  215. ^ "The 100 best games of all time". GamesRadar+. April 1, 2011. Archived from the original on January 18, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  216. ^ "All-TIME 100 Video Games". Time. November 15, 2012. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  217. ^ "Most successful coin-operated arcade game". Guinness World Records. Archived from the original on March 3, 2015. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  218. ^ "NG Alphas – The Secret Of Namco's Success". Next Generation. No. 47. Imagine Media. November 1998. pp. 27–31.
  219. ^ Warnock, Eleanor (February 4, 2017). "Japanese Executive Turned Pac-Man into Massive Hit". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company.
  220. ^ "Namco: A Brief History Through Time". IGN. November 17, 1997. Archived from the original on July 16, 2016. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  221. ^ "Namco – #21 Top Video Game Makers". IGN. 2012. Archived from the original on September 21, 2019. Retrieved July 2, 2020.

External links[edit]