Taito Corporation

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The Taito Corporation (株式会社タイトー kabushikigaisha taitō?) is a Japanese developer of video game software and arcade hardware wholly owned by publisher Square Enix.

Taito Trading Company was established by a Russian Jewish businessman named Michael Kogan. Taito also imports and distributes American coin-op video games in Japan, as well as their own games all around the world. Taito Corporation was acquired by Square Enix in 2005.

Taito Corporation currently has divisions in Seoul, South Korea and Milan, Italy, and a subsidiary in Beijing, China. In the past, the company had operated divisions in North America and Brazil.

Contents

History

The company was founded in 1953 by a Russian businessman named Michael Kogan as Taito Trading Company (株式会社太東貿易 kabushikigaisha taitō bōeki?). Taito started out importing and distributing vending machines. Later, they began leasing jukeboxes and they eventually started to manufacture their own.

Although Taito was already making coin-op mechanical and pinball games during the 1960s, it wasn't until 1973 that Taito introduced their first video arcade game. It was also in 1973 that they changed their name from Taito Trading Company to Taito Corporation. In 1978 Toshihiro Nishikado, a designer at Taito, created Space Invaders which became the company's most popular title ever and one of the most memorable games in arcade history. This game was published in the US by Midway. Space Invaders was inspired by an earlier 1972 electro-mechanical game by Taito called Space Monsters.

Due to the huge success of Space Invaders, Taito opened in 1979 an American division called Taito America Corporation in order to release games in North America. Taito America was based in Wheeling, Illinois and was handling the arcade sector of the company in North America. While the majority of the games Taito America published were games developed by its Japanese parent company, they did also publish games that they licensed from third-party companies, as well as games that were developed in the U.S. for Taito.

Besides Taito America, Taito had another division in North America called Taito Software Inc that was in charge of the non-arcade sector of the company. Based in North Vancouver, British Columbia and established in 1988, Taito Software released Taito games exclusively for home computers and consoles. Prior to Taito Software, the consumer side was also handled by Taito America. Like Taito America, Taito Software's catalog was mainly games developed by the Japanese parent company and occasionally games licensed from other companies.

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