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Namco Ltd.
Namco Ltd. 株式会社ナムコ's company logo.
Founder(s)Masaya Nakamura
MergedNamco Bandai Games in 2006

Based in Tokyo, Namco (株式会社ナムコ Kabushiki Kaisha Namuko?) 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 The company originally made rocking horses and other toys until 1971 when it acquired Atari's Japanese division and started developing video games.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. Some games, mostly ports of arcade games to home consoles, were labeled with the name Namcot.

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.


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