The etymology of video game company names: history behind SEGA, Capcom, Square and more

As a gamer you may be familiar with the Japanese giants like SEGA and Square Enix, but do you know how they were named? Here’s some trivia to share with your like-minded friends:


With memorable game console releases like Genesis and Dreamcast, you can’t write about gaming history without SEGA. Public relations said that:

SEGA was a company that served games, so we took the characters from SERVICE and GAMES.

Simple, isn’t it?


Celebrating 30 years in June, Capcom is known for their big hits like Monster Hunter and Mega Man. According to PR:

The Personal Computer (PC) was big at the time, so we came up with Capsule Computer to compete with it.

As for reason of why we picked Capsule, it was because we wanted to pack fun into our games, like a capsule for our customers. A capsule can also protect the game content inside, safe from piracy and imitation.


Western fans of Final Fantasy may be more familiar with the company’s sister studio, Squaresoft. PR says:

Square comes from the term used in golf. Square can mean many things in English, like the shape, plaza, stubborn, and neat. In golf, it means that the club head position is 90 degrees against the ball. We wanted to convey that we would face our problems and create a company head on.

Also, the development environment is populated with creators specifically chosen for a project, in other words a plaza of creativity. We wanted the name Square to create a well-equipped, relaxed environment that inspired the creators, so to make entertainment that can be enjoyed around the world.


The other half of Square Enix, the creators of the mega-hit series Dragon Quest. PR shares:

ENIX comes from combining ENIAC and Phoenix.

For the geeks out there, ENIAC was the world’s first all-purpose computer, and phoenixes are legendary immortal birds.


Gaming wouldn’t be where it is without Namco — surely you’ve played Pac-man! Here’s the history behind their name:

Bandai Namco Games comes from our merger in 2006, but NAMCO comes from the letters derived from Nakamura Amusement Machine Company.

Will you be spending the rest of the day looking up the history behind your favorite game companies? I just might.

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