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Founded June 1, 1955
Headquarters Japan
Other Names
  • Namcot
  • Namco, Ltd.
  • Game Studio
  • Piccari Team
  • Knight Games

Namco (ナムコ株式会社 Namukotto Kabushikigaisha = Namco Co., Ltd.) was a Japanese game developer and publisher. The name originally stood for Nakamura Manufacturing Company, named after the company's founder, Masaya Nakamura. They are best known for their arcade classics such as the Pac-Man series. In 1981, Masanobu "Évezoō End" Endō joined and designed some of their games such as Xevious. However, he later left to form Game Studio, which worked closely with Namco. When they first started developing NES titles, the company did not yet have a division in the United States. Therefore, they licensed most of their games to Tengen, an American company which made unlicensed video games for the Nintendo NES.

When the company was working on home console titles in Japan, they went by Namcot (ナムコット) with the slogan Creating "Play" (「遊び」をクリエイトする). This was similar to when Atari created Tengen for the home console market.

Namco merged with Bandai on March 31, 2006, and is now known as Bandai Namco Games.


Music Development


The sound engine for Namco's arcade games was programmed by various staff members, and Nobuyuki Ohnogi and the other composers wrote the music in assembly macros. The sound chip was designed by someone named "Figar" Murata.

Namco later developed an FM sound driver written by Junichi Mizutari and Takatoshi Kobayashi. Music and sound were still entered in assembly macros. This driver took advantage of the YM2151 like Atari's games.

There was later a sound engine programmed titled "Quattro", which was a tracker-based system.


Nobuyuki Ohnogi created a sound driver which was then rewritten by Fukashi Ohmorita to conserve memory. The music was written with hex numbers in 6502 assembly. When Namco was porting their arcade games to the NES, Nobuyuki converted the arcade soundtracks to the NES until he left the company in 1985.

Later, one of Namco's main musicians Junko Ozawa learned NES programming and modified the sound driver to have better-sounding instruments.


Namco's SNES driver was a variant of Nintendo's V1.20 Kankichi-kun sound driver. According to Yoshinori Kawamoto, he used a program from Nintendo that functioned in a similar manner to a tracker. Also, according to the credits to Super Batter Up, Namco's variant of the sound driver was programmed by Shinya Yamada.

Junko Ozawa later programmed a completely new sound engine for Namco. However, music was relegated to being written in assembly. The instruments were taken from various keyboards Junko owned at the time, primarily by Ensoniq.


The composers at Namco used Nintendo's MP2K sound driver.

Audio Personnel