Namco is a leading video games company in Japan, best known for developing the famous Pac-Man, Tekken, Ridge Racer and Soul Calibur series.
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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. In 1978, Namco released its first arcade video game Gee Bee which was designed by Toru Iwatani who also designed two sequels Bomb Bee and Cutie Q and later went on to design Pac-Man. 1980 saw the introduction of one of the company's most famous coin-operated arcade games, Pac-Man. The main character, Pac-Man, is now the company's official mascot. 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.
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