Sunsoft is the video game division of Sun Electronics Corporation (Sun Denshi), a Japanese company founded in 1971.
In 1978, Sun Electronics began producing Arcade Games
. The company never became a major player in the arcades, though Sunsoft continued sporadically to develop arcade games into the 1990s.
In 1985, Sun Electronics began releasing games for the Nintendo Family Computer
under the Sunsoft label. A few years later, the company began to distribute NES games in the U.S. through Sun Corporation of America. In 1988, Sunsoft formed a partnership with Tokai Engineering (TEC); exactly what this partnership contributed to Sunsoft's games is not clear, but this coincided with a dramatic improvement in their quality. Sunsoft also became heavily interested in producing Licensed Games
and console ports of computer games.
The changing economics of video game development were not kind to Sunsoft. In 1995, the company escaped bankruptcy, selling off a few games to be released by Acclaim
. A more serious decline became evident around 2001, when its international distribution channels closed. What saved Sunsoft from extinction was the advent of online game services; as well as making many of their older games available on Nintendo's Virtual Console
, Sunsoft has released a small number of original downloadable games.
Games developed/published by Sunsoft include: