18 Facts About Taito


Taito Corporation is a Japanese company that specializes in video games, toys, arcade cabinets and game centers, based in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

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Taito was founded by Michael Kogan in 1953 as the Taito Trading Company, importing vodka, vending machines and jukeboxes into Japan.

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In 2005, Taito was purchased by Square Enix, becoming a wholly owned subsidiary by 2006.

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Taito is recognized as an important industry influencer in the early days of video games, producing a number of hit arcade games such as Speed Race, Western Gun (1975), Space Invaders (1978), Bubble Bobble (1986) and Arkanoid (1986).

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The second business, a clothing distributor named Taito Yoko, struggled financially as a result of employee carelessness and constant loss of products.

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The recovering Japanese economy allowed Taito to become the official distributor of AMI jukeboxes in the country.

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Taito began manufacturing electro-mechanical games in the 1960s.

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Taito spent six months dissecting Atari's Pong arcade unit and learning how the game's IC chips worked, and began modifying the game.

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Taito then developed several original arcade video game hits for Taito, notably the sports game TV Basketball, the racing game Speed Race, and the shooter game Western Gun (1975); these three titles were localized by Midway Manufacturing in North America as TV Basketball, Wheels, and Gun Fight, respectively.

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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, as well as download games from a satellite transmission (as the Satellaview would do later).

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Taito America ceased operations in July 1996 after more than 20 years of existence.

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Taito had already sold exclusive rights for publishing its games in America to Acclaim Entertainment the previous year.

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When Taito was owned by Kyocera, its headquarters were in Hirakawacho, Chiyoda.

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In October 2000, Taito merged with Kyocera Multimedia Corporation to enter the market of mobile phones for the first time.

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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.

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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.

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Taito 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.

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Taito intends to develop original games for consoles in the future.

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