Namco and Bandai tie the knot in US

North American publishing outfits merged by Japanese parent company; now known as Namco Bandai Games America.

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The long merger process that Bandai and Namco began last May has culminated with today's announcement that the two companies have merged their North American operations.

Since Monday, all US subsidiaries of the Bandai Namco group have been operating as Namco Bandai Games America Inc. The newly integrated group combines Bandai's toy and DVD businesses with Namco's arcade, mobile, PC, and console game divisions, all operating out of what used to be Namco Hometek's Santa Clara, California, offices.

"We are thrilled that the integration of the two North American entities is now complete and we are all now under one roof," said the new company's president and CEO, Genichi Ito, in a statement. "We are proud to be part of the new Namco Bandai Games America family and look forward to a successful year ahead."

Ito's enthusiasm was echoed by his new corporate planning senior vice president Naruo Uchida, formerly of Bandai Games.

"The integration of our two companies has been a team effort over the last several months," Uchida said. "We have worked together to fuse the many strengths each of our companies have to form one strong North American operation."

When Bandai and Namco originally announced plans for the merger of US operations, they said that the resulting boost in efficiency would increase the Japanese companies' foreign revenue for the current business year by 19 percent, and are targeting a 50-percent boost in that area for the long term.

Bandai is best known for its many anime-based game lines like Gundam, Ghost in the Shell, and Cowboy Bebop, though it also owns popular toy properties like Tamagotchi. Namco's lengthy roster of recognizable franchises includes Pac-Man, Tekken, Ridge Racer, Ace Combat, Soul Calibur, Katamari Damacy, and Klonoa.

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