Saturday, September 22, 2018

Gaming Ads: Namco

In 1955 Nakamura Manufacturing was founded by Masaya Nakamura and based in Tokyo. What seems to be a rather common theme among video game companies that were founded before the '70s, Nakamura began as a maker of amusement machines, specializing in wooden horse rides. The corporate website indicates the company changed its name to Namco in the '70s and entered the video game business with the release of Galaxian (1979) but that was its third game after Bee Gee and Bomb Bee. Galaxian is certainly well known but it was in 1980 that Namco became a household name with the release of Pac-Man, arguably the most recognizable video game character in the history of gaming.

Namco also released many Pac-Man spin-offs and other well known arcade games in the '80s, such as Galaga, Pole Position, Dig Dug, and Mappy. Some of its most recognizable game series that began in the '90s include Splatterhouse, Tekken, Ridge Racer, Ace Combat, Time Crisis, Tales, and Soul Calibur. While publishing home versions of its games for computers and consoles in Japan it used the brand name Namcot during the '80s and early '90s. It was in 1990 that Namco America opened which was an arcade sales division and Namco Hometek might also have been established that same year. Namco Hometek is responsible for the publishing of console video games in the North American market.

As I mentioned some time ago in the Bandai America ads post, Namco merged with Bandai in 2005. The company names from that merger have changed a few times and depending on the region each branch was based could be referred to as Bandai Namco Games or Namco Bandai Games before switching to Bandai Namco Entertainment on April 1, 2015. Normally I use the U.S. branch as the title for the ads post but these are close to evenly split between Namco and Namco Hometek, and Namco America appears as well so I'm just going to stick with Namco for this one.

Flickr album: Namco

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