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Creator / Taito

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"Kyacchi za haato!note TAITO!"

One of the most famous names in Arcade Games, Taito (タイトー) was arguably the first Japanese company to create arcade games. Taito Corporation was founded in Japan in 1953 as "Taito Trading Company". One of the first products Taito sold was distilled vodka (the first company to produce vodka domestically in Japan), perhaps not surprising since founder, Michael Kogan, was a Russian Jew. Taito branched into all sorts of businesses, including amusement equipment, early and primitive video arcades. In 1973, they founded Taito of Brazil to market pinball tables in Brazil. In 1973, Taito became one of the first Japanese companies to enter the video game industry.

After developing several primordial arcade games and electromechanical redemption games, Space Invaders was released in 1978 and became an international phenomenon, leading to the establishment of the subsidiary Taito America in 1979. Taito's leading position in the video game industry enabled it to produce and distribute many games created by smaller developers such as Allumer, Hot-B, Kaneko, Natsume, Technos Japan and Toaplan.

In spite of their breakthrough success, the 1990s were not kind to Taito. Several games from the late 1980s and early 1990s underperformed. Their Taito F3 System/Taito Cybercore system (a multi-game arcade unit which attempted to compete with SNK's Neo Geo MVS) failed to attract operators. Following a general decline in the American arcades, Taito closed its North American subsidiaries in 1995. Afterwards, Taito would have to rely on other publishers (Such as SNK, Acclaim, Altron, Natsume and others) to get their games into the arcades and on store shelves. Development lessened and several of their employees left. Key developers of their Psychic Force and RAY Series games would go on to form CyberConnect2, while others retired from the industry all together.

Taito's in-house band, Zuntata, has composed distinctive soundtracks for many of their games, particularly * The Ninja Warriors, Darius series and the RAY Series.

After a relatively quiet period, Taito Corporation was acquired and relaunched by Square Enix in 2005 effectively killing the old game development company as it was for good. Since then, some of their games have been distributed under the label "Taito - A Square Enix Company", are published under the Square-Enix name or are sold off to other publishers, though as of the release of Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours they managed to retain a degree of independence as their games are published by another publisher label. Some members of Taito's arcade division later branched off from the company and started their own with G.rev Ltd., producing shoot 'em up titles such as Border Down, Senko no Ronde, Strania -The Stella Machina-, and Mamorukun Curse.

Under Square-Enix, Taito continues to develop new versions of their Taito Type X arcade board, an extremely flexible, PC-based, modular arcade board that can run many types of games and also maintains a series of arcades in Japan called "Taito Stations".

Games and series developed and/or published by Taito:

Licenced Games