What’s in a name? While gameplay videos and tech specs may dominate the public’s perception of the gaming industry, there are countless other factors that generally go unnoticed or unquestioned. A prime example of this is the naming of gaming properties. From the perceptively simple Battlefield to the controversial Wii U, an incredible amount of time goes into defining these gaming brands through something as simple as their names. For industry standard Namco Bandai, it seems as though a name change is imminent.
Known in English-speaking countries as Namco Bandai, the Japanese company will be rebranding itself as Bandai Namco. This move is meant to establish a unity within the brand all across the globe. Rather than going by a different name in different regions, the same name will be shared worldwide. According to their announcement, this will only benefit the brand, increasing its “value” and “appeal”.
In a similar sense, this name change could also be seen as a clever method of improving their visibility both online and in print. It may not seem significant, but the placement of the letter “b” is obviously far ahead of that of the letter “n”. That means that any list that categorizes the company alphabetically will see them appearing much earlier than they previously would have. For someone with a shorter attention span, this could be the amount of time needed to make the cut of said person’s attention.
The official change date of the name is listed as April 1st, 2014. With Dark Souls II and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS on the horizon, it’s not a bad time to be Bandai Namco — especially since it has been trusted with such a prestigious brand as Super Smash Bros.. While a name change could very well hurt an established company at a time where it has properties readying for release, the name change here is about the furthest thing from significant.
Whether you think the new name rolls off the tongue better or simply sounds odd, it’s still refreshing to see companies step back and attempt to revise and consolidate their already-established brands in order to push them forward. Even if this revision is motivated by personal gains, sometimes change is necessary. Looking at Nintendo and their recent sales forecast reduction, sometimes a revitalization of an existing brand can make all the difference to shareholders.
Regardless, name change or not, Bandai Namco looks to be going strong and likely won’t be slowing down any time soon. Between the announcement of a release date for Dark Souls II and the fact that the game made our list of most anticipated titles of 2014, there’s still a lot to be excited about coming out of Bandai Namco in the coming year.
Are there any brands that you think could benefit from a name change? Do you think this name change will have any affect on the brand as a whole?
Source: Bandai Namco