Namco Bandai Opens Vancouver Studio

Pac-Man | BCBusiness
Namco Bandai released Pac Man in 1980.

The Japanese gaming company opened its offices Tuesday in Vancouver’s Centre for Digital Media

Namco Bandai opened its new Vancouver gaming studio on Tuesday which will act as the Japanese company’s North America head office focusing on mobile and online game production, according to the company.

The developer of such classic titles as Pac-Man and Tekken announced its new studio in April, where it will house a team of 30 digital artists, designers and engineers. According to company president Hajime Nakatani, it was the city’s cluster of talent that attracted Namco Bandai to B.C. over Ontario and Quebec.

The company has signed a two-year lease with the Centre for Digital Media on Great Northern Way, a post-graduate school focused on digital media training, and has already started collaboration with students at the centre,  says director Richard Smith.

The legacy game-maker’s new shop on the West Coast is yet another marker of Vancouver’s reputation as a hub for digital media and game design. 

“It’s further recognition of the quality of our people, and it brings a new, integrated player with a lot of merchandising and a full service offering to Vancouver,” says Smith.

According to the labour minister Pat Bell‘s office, Namco Bandai received “significant assistance” from the province’s Major Investment Office hosting program and trade office in Japan, in addition to assistance from the federal government. 

While neither ministry specified what assistance the company received, incentives and tax breaks from the Ontario and Quebec governments have put pressure on Vancouver’s gaming industry, as large-scale game-makers like Electronic Arts have shuttered local subsidiaries and expanded operations in Eastern Canada.