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Not to be confused for Bandai Namco Games Inc. or Namco Hometek.

Namco Limited was a Japan-based company that lasted from 1955 to 2006. They were the original creators of the Pac-Man series.




Namco was founded in 1955 by a man named Masaya Nakamura under the name Nakamura Manufacturing Ltd. Most of their early projects were machines designed for entertainment, like amusement park rides and robots, both of which were technical marvels upon their releases. Some of their notable early products include children's rides that were installed on the roofs of department stores, and their Maze-Solving Robots, which would later inspire the game Mappy.

Nakurma Manufacturing was shortened to Namco in 1971, and acquired the Japanese division of Atari in 1974. This allowed Namco to create a sucessful range of arcade games, starting with a game called Racer. In 1980, Namco developed the original Pac-Man which became their best seller.

Toru Iwatani and the creation of Pac-Man

Main article: Toru Iwatani

Toru Iwatani is the well-known creator of Pac-Man. Toru Iwatani is also known for making the Gee Bee and Pole Position series also financed by Namco. According to Iwatani, he first conceived the idea of Pac-Man when he ordered a pizza in Tokyo, Japan. Once the first quarter of the pizza was cut out, it resembled a mouth, which would become the basis for Pac-Man's original design.

Iwatani didn't create any of the future Pac-Man titles, with the exception of Pac-Mania, in which he was the producer. Iwatani relied more on other companies, most notably Bally Midway, to make other Pac-Man installments. However, he returned to make Pac-Man Championship Edition in 2007, the final game before his retirement.

Other games by Namco

Namco Limited was also likely the developer of the ill-fated Pac-Man Carnival, which was cancelled and reworked into Namco Museum Remix by Bandai Namco.