Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc. (BNEI) (株式会社バンダイナムコエンターテインメント Kabushiki Gaisha Bandai Namuko Entāteinmento), officially stylized as BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc., is a video game developer and publisher based in Tokyo, Japan. BNEI is the product of a 2006 merge between Bandai and Namco, two separate video game developers (with the former also being a toy manufacturer).
In the United States and Europe, video game publishing is handled by subsidiary companies named BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. and BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Europe S.A.S., respectively. In addition to Ace Combat, Bandai Namco is also known for the Tales, Soul, Tekken, Ridge Racer, and Pac-Man series.
Prior to the 2006 merge, all games currently owned by the company were published solely by Namco. Immediately following the merge, the company was known as Bandai Namco Games Inc. (with variants on the name for its respective subsidiaries). In April 2015, the company renamed to Bandai Namco Entertainment.
Since 2001, an internal development team within Bandai Namco has been credited for the development of the Ace Combat series. The team was known as the "AC04 Project" for Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, but was later renamed to Project Aces for all subsequent games. They have persisted through Bandai Namco's merge and name changes. Other development studios, particularly Access Games, have also worked on the series with Project Aces involvement.
All Ace Combat games up to and including Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War were published by Namco. Following the merge, all games in the series starting with Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War up to Ace Combat Infinity were published by Bandai Namco Games.
Following the April 2015 name change, Ace Combat Infinity was updated to use the new Bandai Namco Entertainment name. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown will be the first Ace Combat game to be published under this new name.
- Old Bandai Namco's HQ appears as an easter egg in Gracemeria. It is also accessible in the Tokyo map in Ace Combat: Joint Assault, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon and Ace Combat Infinity.