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Namco is a company based in Japan, best known for developing video games. Some of the company's most famous games include Pac Man, Pole Position, Xevious and the Ridge Racer series.


Namco was founded in Tokyo in 1955, by Masaya Nakamura under the name Nakamura Manufacturing Ltd. It began by producing mechanical rocking-horses and similar children's rides, which were installed in a number of department stores in Yokohama and Nihonbashi. It continued this line of production through the 1960s, and expanded with the addition of rides modeled after Walt Disney characters in 1966.

The company's brand name was changed to Namco in 1972, and acquired the Japanese division of Atari in 1974, thus bringing Namco into the coin-operated video game market. Namco Enterprises Asia Ltd. was established in Hong Kong, soon followed by Namco America, Inc. in California. 1980 saw the introduction of one of the company's most famous coin-operated arcade games, Pac Man. When Nintendo began producing its Famicom home console unit, Namco started the development of game titles for it, beginning with Galaxian, which had first been introduced to arcades in 1979.

Namco was the industry's first to develop a multi-player competitive game, Final Lap, in 1987. 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 Roadstar Driving Simulator, a joint venture with the Mazda Motor Corporation, followed by an educational program for traffic safety developed with Mitsubishi.

In the 1990s, Namco began selling coin-operated arcade games in the United States, and expanded their market into Europe with the foundation of Namco Europe, Ltd. in London. 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.

Aladdin's Castle, Inc., was acquired by Namco in 1993, bringing the company to the forefront as the largest arcade company in the United States. Additional amusement parks were opened, including Namco Wonder Park Sagamihara and Namco Wonder City. Ridge Racer, a driving simulation game, entered arcades, featuring 3D computer graphics; the game was later released for the Sony Playstation. Another of the company's most famous games, Tekken, was released in 1994, which was also soon ported to the Playstation. Subsidiaries in Germany, France, Spain, and Israel were established, and soon began developing arcade games there.

List of games (selection)