It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings, an entertainment conglomerate. Bandai Namco Entertainment was formed on 31 March 2006, following a corporate merge between Namco and Bandai on 29 September of the previous year. Originally known as Namco Bandai Games, it merged Bandai Games and Namco Networks in January to create Namco Bandai Games America. Namco Bandai Games absorbed Banpresto's video game division in 2008 and dissolved Bandai Networks in 2009. Development operations were spun off into a new company in 2012, Namco Bandai Studios , to help create faster development time and tighter cohesion between development teams. Namco Bandai Games was renamed Bandai Namco Games in 2014 and again to Bandai Namco Entertainment a year later. Bandai Namco Entertainment owns several multi-million video game franchises, including Pac-Man, Tekken, Gundam, Soulcalibur, Tales, Ace Combat, Taiko no Tatsujin, The Idolmaster and Dark Souls. Pac-Man, himself serves as the official mascot of the company. As of March 2022, it is the third largest video game company in Japan in terms of revenue and market capitalization, after Sony Interactive Entertainment and Nintendo, ahead of Sega, Square Enix, Nexon, Capcom and Konami. The company also owns the licenses to several Japanese media franchises, such as Shonen Jump, Kamen Rider, Super Sentai, Sword Art Online, and the Ultra Series. It is the core publishing and development area of the Bandai Namco Group's "Content Strategic Business Unit" , and the main video game branch of Bandai Namco Holdings. In February 2005, in the wake of their 50th anniversary, Namco announced their intent to merge with Bandai to form Bandai Namco Holdings. Bandai purchased Namco for US$1.7 billion, with Namco receiving 43 percent of shares and Bandai receiving the other 57 percent. Both companies in a joint statement cited Japan's decreasing birth rates and advancements in technology as the reason for the merge, and to increase their relevance to newer audiences. Earlier on 26 January, Namco Hometek and Bandai Games merged to form Namco Bandai Games America, the North American division. On 1 April 2008, Banpresto's video game operations were absorbed by Namco Bandai Games. They created 100 versions of the ad as the game consists of 100 chapters. In early 2011, Namco Networks was absorbed into Namco Bandai Games America, effectively consolidating Namco Bandai's American console, handheld, and mobile video game development operations. On 2 April 2012, Namco Bandai Games spun off its development operations into a new company called Namco Bandai Studios. In July 2013, Namco Bandai Partners , which used to oversee the PAL distribution network since September 2012, merged with Namco Bandai Games Europe in order to push distribution and publishing into one entity, Namco Bandai Games Europe . In 2014, Namco Bandai Games and Namco Bandai Studios became Bandai Namco Games and Bandai Namco Studios, respectively.
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