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Issue Date: Vol. 54, No. 4, April 2014, Posted On: 4/3/2014


Arcade Game Giant Becomes Bandai Namco Amusement America Inc.


Nick Montano
Nick@vendingtimes.net
TAGS: amusement business, coin-op, Namco Bandai 2005 merger, Bandai Games Inc., Bandai Namco Games, Namco America Inc., Bandai Namco Amusement America Inc., BNAA, Pac-Man Battle Royale, Naoharu Yamashina, Masaya Nakamura

bandai namco TOKYO -- After the merger of the Namco and Bandai in 2005, Bandai Games Inc. has been releasing consumer products under the Bandai, Namco and Banpresto labels. Beginning on April 1, 2014, the unified label "Bandai Namco Games" will be used for all new products. Simultaneously, the English name of the company changes from Namco Bandai Games to Bandai Namco Games Inc., and will be promoted as "Bandai Namco."

Bandai Co. Ltd. and Namco Ltd. merged in 2005 after Bandai paid about $1.7 billion in cash and stock, on a two shares-for-one swap basis, to acquire a controlling interest in Namco. As a result, a joint stock company called Namco Bandai Holdings Inc. was created; once again, Bandai is listed first in the holding company name.

After the merger, the company's U.S.-based amusements division, which manufactures and markets coin-op video and arcade games, continued to operate as Namco America Inc. That longtime company designation, employed since the unit was established in 1978, is also being superseded and replaced by Bandai Namco Amusement America Inc. The new corporate name and the Bandai Namco Games logo have been fully integrated into the company's communications and branding elements, effective April 1. BNAA's new Web address -- bandainamco.am.com -- is now live, and all staff emails now carry the @bandainamco-am.com domain.

"Since the merger of Namco and Bandai in 2005, there has been a steady movement of unification of the brands across the group," a BNAA spokesman said. "This name change will help present a unified worldwide brand for Bandai Namco Games."

Based in Elk Grove Village, IL, BNAA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings (USA) Inc. BNAA bills itself as the "premier" manufacturer of coin-operated arcade games and attractions, and Namco's Pac-Man property is still a big part of the amusement segment. Its latest products include Dark Escape 4D, Deadstorm Pirates and Pac-Man Battle Royale, along with popular redemption games like BarBerCut Lite, Pac-Man Chomp Mania and Drop The Hook.

Bandai is the world's third-largest producer of toys, after Mattel and Hasbro. The company was founded in Tokyo in July 1950 by Naoharu Yamashina, and its first product, “Rhythm Ball,” launched in September that year.

Namco's roots also date back to the 1950s. Masaya Nakamura founded the company as Nakamura Manufacturing in 1955. Based in Tokyo, the company started out by operating 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 later underwent a name change to Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Co., which was abbreviated to NAMCO. In 1970, the company produced a coin-operated mechanical driving simulator called Racer. It went on to become a dominant force in the arcade videogame industry.

Click here for the Banda Namco's consolidated financial report for the third quarter of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014.

Click here financial highlights for the third quarter of the fiscal year ending March 2014.


Topic: Music and Games Features

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