If you’ve ever played a game published by Namco Bandai you may have noticed something odd. During the logo reel when the game first boots up, the words are reversed—Bandai Namco. This isn’t some dyslexic slip-up.
Since the two companies merged in 2005, Namco Bandai has been called Bandai Namco in Japan. Namco Bandai Games America was the name chosen for American operations. Now the company plans to end the confusion once and for all, announcing that this April Namco Bandai Games America will be Bandai Namco Games America.
“Since its merger in late 2005, BANDAI NAMCO Games has grown to be one of the largest and most successful game publishers in its native Japan, the United States, Latin America, and Europe,” Nobuhiro Kasahara, Chief Operating Officer at NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. said in a statement. “The BANDAI NAMCO Games logo has now become synonymous with great gaming products and services; it’s the perfect time for us to unify our corporate brand around the world and move forward together in a united front as a global company.”
For my part, I find the entire rebranding absolutely backwards. Japan should have changed its division to Namco Bandai Games Japan, not the other way around.
Of course, this is for entirely selfish reasons. Just like it’s hard to adjust to writing the new calendar year in January, it’s going to be a real trick remembering to write Bandai Namco after the change this April.
It also sounds wrong. There’s a cadence to Namco Bandai that just isn’t there with Bandai Namco. It’s like someone being named Smith John. I want to put a comma in between the words.
Still, there may be some merit in brand unity in the long-term, in spite of annoying short-term tongue-twisting effects. (We will all be calling them Bamco Namdai before this is over.)
Besides, Namco Bandai (or, Bandai Namco) is releasing both Dark Souls II and Lords of the Fallen this year, two of my most-anticipated games. If brand unity helps get the Souls games into more peoples’ hands, that’s a win in and of itself.