Taito

Last updated
Taito Corporation
Native name
株式会社タイトー
Romanized name
Kabushikigaisha Taitō
Formerly
Taito Trading Co. Ltd.
Subsidiary
Industry Video games
FoundedAugust 24, 1953 [lower-alpha 1]
Founder Michael Kogan
Headquarters,
Key people
  • Koichi Ishii
  • (President)
  • Tetsu Yamada
  • (Vice president)
  • Yukio Lizawa
  • (Honorary chairman)
Products Video games
Mobile games
Video arcades
Total equity Increase2.svg¥447.9 billion
Number of employees
694 (March 2019)
Parent Square Enix
Website www.taito.com
Footnotes /references
"Taito Corporation Company Profile 2019" (PDF) (in Japanese). Taito. 2019. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 May 2020. Retrieved 27 May 2020. "Square Enix 2019 Annual Report" (PDF). Square Enix. 2019. p. 30. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 December 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.

Taito Corporation [lower-alpha 2] is a Japanese company that specializes in video games, toys, arcade cabinets and game centers, based out of Shinjuku, Tokyo. The company was founded by Michael Kogan in 1953 as the Taito Trading Company, importing vodka, vending machines and jukeboxes into Japan. It would begin production of video games in 1973. In 2005, Taito was purchased by Square Enix, becoming a wholly owned subsidiary by 2006. [1]

Contents

Taito is recognized as an important player in the early days of video games, producing several hit games such as Space Invaders , Bubble Bobble , Arkanoid , and Darius . Alongside Konami, Namco and Sega, it is one of the most prominent video game companies from Japan and the first that exported its games into other countries. [2] Several of its games have since been recognized as important and revolutionary for the industry - Space Invaders in particular was a major contributor to the growth of video games in the mid-1970s, and the aliens featured in the games are seen as iconic emblems within the video game industry.

The company maintains a chain of arcade centers, known as "Game Taito Stations", across Japan, alongside being a manufacturer of toys, plush dolls and UFO-catcher prizes. It is currently housed in Shinjuku Bunka Quint Building in Yoyogi, Shibuya, the same building as parent company Square Enix. [3] [4] [5]

History

The company was founded in 1953 by a Ukrainian Jewish businessman named Michael Kogan as Taito Trading Co., Ltd. (太東貿易株式会社, Taitō Bōeki Kabushiki gaisha). [6] Taito started out importing and distributing vending machines. It was the first company to distill and sell vodka in Japan. [7] Later, it began leasing jukeboxes and eventually started to manufacture its own. Taito began producing electro-mechanical arcade games in the 1960s.

Taito changed its name from Taito Trading Company to Taito Corporation in August 1972 and introduced its first video arcade game in 1973. It established its American subsidiary in 1973 in downtown Chicago, Taito America. [8] In 1978 Toshihiro Nishikado, a designer at Taito, created Space Invaders which became the company's most popular title and one of the most memorable games in arcade history, responsible for beginning the golden age of arcade video games. [9] [10]

Logo until August 1988 Taito logo (old).svg
Logo until August 1988

In April 1986 and barely a month after becoming part of the Kyocera group, Taito merged with two of its subsidiaries, Pacific Industrial Co., Ltd. and the Japan Vending Machine Co., Ltd, and absorbed them both. Japan Vending Machine was once an independent company but was purchased by Taito in July 1971 to strengthen its presence in the operation of amusement facilities. [11] Pacific Industrial was created by Taito itself in 1963 to develop products for the company. [11]

In 1992, Taito announced a CD-ROM-based video game console named WOWOW, that would have allowed people to play near-exact ports of Taito's arcades (similar to the Neo Geo), as well as download games from a satellite transmission (as the Satellaview would do later). It was named after the Japanese television station WOWOW and would have utilized its stations to download games. The WOWOW was never released. [12]

Taito America ceased operations in July 1996 after more than 20 years of existence. Taito had already sold exclusive rights for publishing its games in America to Acclaim Entertainment the previous year. [13] [14] Similarly, a division existed in London, England, United Kingdom to distribute Taito games in Europe. Taito (Europe) Corporation Limited was created in 1988 and liquidated in February 1998.

Taito Ebina Development Center in Ebina, Kanagawa Prefecture. Opened in 1979, it closed in 2014. TAITO Ebina Development Center.jpg
Taito Ebina Development Center in Ebina, Kanagawa Prefecture. Opened in 1979, it closed in 2014.

When Taito was owned by Kyocera, its headquarters were in Hirakawachō, Chiyoda. [16] Taito entered the Tokyo Stock Exchange in January 1993, listed in the Second Section. It transitioned to the First Section in September 2003. In October 2000, Taito merged with Kyocera Multimedia Corporation to enter the market of mobile phones for the first time. [17]

On August 22, 2005, it was announced that the gaming conglomerate Square Enix would purchase 247,900 Taito shares worth ¥45.16 billion (US$409.1 million), to make Taito Corporation a subsidiary of Square Enix. [18] The purpose of the takeover by Square Enix was to both increase Taito's profit margin exponentially as well as begin its company's expansion into new forms of gaming (most notably, the arcade scene), and various other entertainment venues. The takeover bid from Square Enix was accepted by previous stockholder Kyocera, making Taito a Square Enix subsidiary. [19] On September 22, 2005, Square Enix announced successfully acquiring 93.7% of all shares of Taito, effectively owning the company by September 28, 2005. [20] [21] By March, 2006 Taito became a subsidiary wholly owned by Square Enix and was delisted from the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. [22]

Square Enix announced on July 28, 2008, that it would liquidate two subsidiaries of Taito, Taito Art Corporation (an insurance and travel agent subsidiary) and Taito Tech Co., Ltd. (an amusement and maintenance subsidiary) on the grounds that both had fulfilled their business purpose. The process ended in October 2008. [23]

Bust of founder Michael Kogan - By Daniel Baharier Michael Kogan.jpg
Bust of founder Michael Kogan - By Daniel Baharier

In February 2010, Taito's unit for home video games split into a separate company called Taito Soft Corporation (not to be confused with Taito Software, the North American division of the late 1980s). [22] On March 11, 2010, Taito Soft was folded into Square Enix. [24] All of Taito's franchises for video game consoles in Japan are since published by Square Enix.

On November 30, 2016, Taito announced that it will distribute Space Invaders and Arkanoid for Facebook with Instant Games on Facebook Messenger and Facebook News Feed. [25]

On July 3, 2018, Taito announced in Famitsu that it will return to the software publishing business for the eighth generation of video game consoles. The intention to return to the home console market came about because the company decided that it would be necessary to release Taito's intellectual properties on current platforms in order to increase profit. The company has various properties planned in its software pipeline, from re-releases to new titles for various platforms; however, Taito highlighted that the console software market is a challenging business for the company. Taito intends to develop original games for consoles in the future. [26]

Mergers

Taito Corporation has uninterruptedly incarnated three different companies over the course of its existence.

First company

The company was founded in 1953 as "Taito Trading Company". In 1972, the name of the company was changed to "Taito Corporation".

Second company

In March 2006, Square Enix, which already owned 93% of the company, wanted to make Taito a wholly owned subsidiary. [27] [22] To accomplish this goal, Square Enix merged Taito into SQEX Corporation. [27] [22] Although the combined company took on the name "Taito Corporation", it was actually Taito that was dissolved and SQEX that was the surviving entity. [22]

SQEX was established on June 22, 1999, under the name The Game Designers Studio as a shell corporation of the defunct Square Co, Ltd. The Game Designer Studios was used by Square to bypass an exclusivity deal to develop for Sony's PlayStation consoles. [28]

Third company

Square Enix Holdings wanted all of its arcade operations to be regrouped into one subsidiary. And so, the third and present Taito Corporation came to being on February 1, 2010, by merging the second company (formerly SQEX/Game Designers Studio) with ES1 Corporation. [29] In an "absorption-type company split" move, the second company was split and renamed Taito Soft Corporation, while ES1 Corporation became the third Taito Corporation. [29]

During its merger with the second company to become itself the new Taito Corporation, ES1 inherited all of Taito's arcade and mobile businesses, and nearly the totality of its employees. [29] On the other hand, Taito Soft Corporation (formerly SQEX) was left with 10 employees to concentrate exclusively on the development and publishing of video games for home consoles. [29] Taito Soft Corporation was eventually merged into Square Enix in March 2010 and dissolved.

ES1 Corporation was established on June 1, 2009, as an operator of arcade facilities. [29] ES1 Corporation was owned by the shell company SPC1, itself a wholly owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings. [29] SCP1 dissolved when ES1 became Taito Corporation in February 2010. [29]

As such, the current Taito Corporation is technically the company formerly called ES1 Corporation. [29]

Games

Taito has developed and published video games since 1973, becoming one of the earlier Japanese video game developers and one of the largest arcade game manufacturers in the world. Space Invaders is the company's most notable work, grossing $13.93 billion as of 2016. [30] Alongside Space Invaders, Taito has created several well-regarded video game franchises, including Bubble Bobble , Arkanoid , Groove Coaster , Elevator Action , Qix , RayForce , Battle Gear and Densha de Go! .

See also

Note

  1. Current company established in June 2009
  2. Japanese: 株式会社タイトー Hepburn: Kabushiki gaisha Taitō

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<i>Space Invaders</i> Landmark fixed shooter arcade video game from 1978

Space Invaders is a 1978 arcade game created by Tomohiro Nishikado. It was manufactured and sold by Taito in Japan, and licensed in the United States by the Midway division of Bally. Within the shooter genre, Space Invaders was the first fixed shooter and set the template for the shoot 'em up genre. The goal is to defeat wave after wave of descending aliens with a horizontally moving laser to earn as many points as possible.

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<i>Arkanoid</i> 1986 video game

Arkanoid is a 1986 block breaker arcade game developed and published by Taito. In North America, it was published by Romstar. Controlling a paddle-like craft known as the Vaus, the player is tasked with clearing a formation of colorful blocks, accomplished by deflecting a ball towards it without letting the ball leave the playfield. Some blocks contain power-ups that have various effects on the player, such as increasing the length of the Vaus, creating several additional balls, or turning the Vaus into a laser cannon.

Square Enix Japanese video game company

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Tomohiro Nishikado Japanese video game designer, creator of the video game "Space Invaders"

Tomohiro Nishikado is a Japanese video game developer. He is best known as the creator of the shooter game Space Invaders, released to the public in 1978 by the Taito Corporation of Japan, often credited as the first shoot 'em up and for beginning the golden age of video arcade games. Originally Nishikado wanted to use airplanes as enemies for Space Invaders, but would have encountered problems making them move smoothly due to the limited computing power at the time. Humans would have been easier to render, but management at Taito forbade the use of human targets. Prior to Space Invaders, he was also the designer for many of Taito's earlier hits, including the early team sport games Soccer and Davis Cup in 1973, the early scrolling racing video game Speed Race in 1974, the early dual-stick on-foot multi-directional shooter Gun Fight in 1975, and the first-person combat flight simulator Interceptor in 1975.

1986 has seen many sequels and prequels in video games and several new titles such as Metroid, Out Run and Bubble Bobble.

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Densha de Go! is a Japanese train simulation game series originally produced by Taito and more recently by Square Enix and Railfan Holdings Co., Ltd. The game originates from a 1996 arcade version and was first released for the PlayStation in 1997. There are also PC versions released by the Japanese publisher Unbalance. All of the games in the series are exclusively available in Japanese. As for the celebration for the 20th anniversary of the game series, Square Enix released two games, the first one was released for Android and iOS in winter 2016, and the second was released for the arcade in 2017.

The Taito F3 Package System is a 32-bit arcade system board released by Taito Corporation in 1992.

Yoyogi town located in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Yoyogi (代々木) is a neighbourhood in the northern part of Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan.

<i>Popn Pop</i> 1998 video game

Pop'n Pop is puzzle video game released in arcades by Taito in February 1998. It features characters from Taito games Rainbow Islands, KiKi KaiKai, Don Doko Don, and The NewZealand Story,

<i>Arkanoid DS</i> 2008 video game

Arkanoid DS is a breakout video game developed by Taito and published by Square Enix for the Nintendo DS. It was released on June 18, 2008.

<i>Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders</i> paid mobile game developed by Taito

Arkanoid vs Space Invaders is a paid mobile game developed by Taito and published by Taito in Japan and Square Enix worldwide. As the name suggests, it is a crossover between Arkanoid and Space Invaders and features gameplay elements adapted from both games. The game was released without any prior announcement by Square Enix internationally on May 17, 2017.

References

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