A surprise occurred at IAAPA 2018 (November 13 in Orlando FL). Namco USA INC. (NUSA) announced that the company is going to expand its amusement operations under a new brand name, Pac-Man Entertainment. The world knows ‘Pac-Man’ as Namco’s famous character and mascot, so this is a terrific name choice. BANDAI NAMCO GROUP (BNG), NUSA’s parent company, will be focusing on growing its business on three continents over the next ten years:  China, India and North America.

As a multinational company, BNG is divided into many departments, which sometimes operate under similar names, but manage different branches of the industry. Examples are Namco Cybertainment (FEC consulting & revenue-share), Pac-Man Zone, Pac-Man Café, and Level 257 (named after the number of levels in the original Pac-Man game).

BMG President and CEO, Kiyoshi Saito, stated, “Over the past few months, we have evolved our full-scale restaurant and entertainment center in Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, IL, from Level 257 to Pac-Man Entertainment. It is only natural that we expand on this change and embrace it across our operations.”

Pac-Man Entertainment wants the re-branded entertainment centers to be more atmospheric and experiential, focused on families and groups. Socialization with great food & beverage is a major drawing card and team play is a key ingredient.

Namco’s comment on the above says it perfectly:

“We’ve brought together an arsenal of high-caliber multiplayer experiences, nostalgic throwbacks and high-tech simulations that will send jaws to the floor – all to bring you & your crew together like never before.”

[Frank ‘the Crank’:  As one of the largest companies in our industry, BNG will always have many different names for its multiple operating arms throughout the world.  But no matter what the names are, my instincts tell me that Namco will be the short name. Pac-Man will be the most famous game ever made (including Ms Pac-Man), at least in my lifetime.]

About NAMCO USA, INC (NUSA). North American Operations were founded in 1990 and are now headquartered in Wood Dale, IL. NUSA is the owner and operator of 48 manned centers in North America and Puerto Rico that provide entertainment and encourage customers to “Play Together Again”. NUSA currently operates over 8,000 machines amongst over 1,000 revenue share facilities within other businesses.

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