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Bandai before Namco: when did it enter games?

A Bandai was created in 1947 by Makoto Yamashina, at a time when Japan was suffering serious financial problems, considering that the Second World War had ended just two years earlier. Initially in the textile industry, Yamashina switched to the toy business when a neighbor said this was a market gap.

In 1950, he created a separate company called Bandai-Ya, made only for toy production. With the popularity that it acquired over the years, the “textile” part was extinguished, and they started to focus only on toys, producing action figures of Astro Boy in the 1960s and also of Ultraman, which is a series Tokusatsu is very famous in Japan.

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As early as 1980, Makoto's son, Naoharu, became president of the company and changed the company's focus. He retired old employees and replaced them with newer employees, as he wanted new ideas and also changed the market strategy.

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It was in this context that they saw the home console market as a good sector that “had a future”, and Bandai ended up being one of Nintendo's first partners to develop games for the Famicom (Japanese Nintendo).

And it was precisely in the 1980s that Bandai consolidated itself as the main toy company in Japan and, to this day, it launches products from licensed franchises “in droves”, including Kamen RiderPower Rangers, Super Sentai, Gundam etc.

In the mid-1990s, Bandai approached the SEGA for both to merge into one company, as Bandai was very strong in its home country, while SEGA had properties that were very successful in the West. Despite many negotiations, the union did not end up taking place, but SEGA and Bandai established a business partnership.

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And in 2005, Bandai acquired Namco to form Bandai Namco.

Bandai before Namco: when did it enter games?

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