Gaming Alexandria has yet again been able to acquire a large lot of a Japanese magazine to release scans of to the public for all to enjoy! This time it’s NG – Namco Community Magazine (エヌジー ゲーム情報誌). (If you just want to look at the magazines and skip the article then click here)
Years ago as a teenager I was exposed to this magazine for the first time via the Namco Museum game series on the original PlayStation. I was a huge Pac-Man and classic gaming fan at the time, so the Namco Museums were an eye-opener into all the memorabilia that Namco created for its arcade releases. I had always hoped to someday get a hold of NG – Namco Community Magazine in order to flip through them and enjoy all the articles and artwork they contained.
While the magazines are on the small side they do not disappoint. It took around 20 years for me to acquire them but finally, Gaming Alexandria has a large chunk of the NG – Namco Community Magazine preserved. However, we are still missing some issues, so if you or anyone you know may have this magazine in their collection, please have them reach out so we can scan and preserve them!
NG – Namco Community Magazine was created to highlight new game releases as well as merchandise by Namco in both the arcade and as well as for consoles. As the magazine grew though, more features were added including mangas related to the games, fan questions being answered by game developers, drawing workshops by the famous Mr. Dotman (who created much of the pixel art for Namco games), and much more.
A few highlights include:
Issue 5 – All about Pac-Man special which includes some information on the Bally-Midway connection as well as the American Pac-Man cartoon and memorabilia. Another interesting article in this issue is about Namco’s board games based on their video games and the background of some including Pac-Land and Tower of Druaga.
Issue 7 – “Human Special” article focusing on a meeting between then Namco president Masaya Nakamura and famous filmmaker George Lucas.
You could grab the magazine in Namco-owned Game Centers (arcades) throughout Japan though they would occasionally be distributed through other stores. There, you could also backorder past issues, but they were limited releases due to budget constraints, making them difficult to acquire. Many Game Centers even gave copies of NG – Namco Community Magazine for free, which likely added to the scarcity issues. Even later issues were sold for just 150 yen apiece. It was clear Namco’s aim wasn’t to profit from the magazine itself, but instead to promote its games.
Perhaps as a result of this, the issue numbers are a bit of a mess. Originally, the NG – Namco Community Magazine was released quarterly and printed on A5 sized paper for the first fourteen issues (from 1983-1986). They were labeled with issue numbers instead of by date of publication. But, starting in November of 1986, the magazine went monthly and the page size increased slightly to B4 and for whatever reason, the issue numbers were reset back to 1.
While the magazine was usually released monthly that was not always the case. For example, there is no Issue 20 because Issue 19 covers two months’ worth of content. Issue 27 is when NG – Namco Community Magazine went bi-monthly, but luckily this time the issue numbers are not reset. The final issue is No. 52, released in April 1993, and then the magazine was retired. Namco started another similar magazine shortly after this called NOURS. Upon merging with Bandai later on NOURS became B-NOURS which finally was discontinued on April 12, 2009. So if you count the name changes the magazine ran for 26 years, which is quite a feat! Namcokid pointed out in the comments of this post that B-NOURS actually became Side-876 a digital only newsletter.
Please spread the word on these and share what you find, either via comments below, on Twitter, forums, etc. We want the world to see what fantastic treasures are there for all to enjoy. Please let us know via a tweet!
To see what we currently have scanned in high resolution, check out the collection on archive.org. We will continue adding magazine to this as we acquire them so be sure to check it often as well as follow us on Twitter where we will post when new issues are added.
We hope you enjoy these magazines! If you want to dig into more details about NG – Namco Community Magazine, you can always start with their Japanese Wikipedia page.