Taito Corporation is a Japanese video game company. It was founded in 1953 to import entertainment appliances like vending machines and jukeboxes. They began making their own arcade video games in 1973 and were bought by Square Enix in 2005, they now exist as a subsidiary. Taito has developed or published over 500 games, some of the more popular titles include Arkanoid, Bubble Bobble, Bust-A-Move, Darius, Ninja Jajamaru-kun, and Space Invaders.
Although I've never been a huge fan of any specific Taito game, I've known about the company since my childhood because of their logo and the general oddness to their games.
The Taito Trading Company was founded in 1953 by a Ukrainian Jew named Michael Kogan. The company would import vodka, vending machines and jukeboxes into Japan. After learning about the devices they imported, they began to make their own including electro-mechanical games in the 1960s. As electronic technology improved, Taito began developing arcade video games and changed their name to Taito Corporation. An American publishing company called Taito America was created in 1973 to handle their US business, but most of their arcade games would be distributed through Midway and later Romstar. A major hit came in 1978 with Space Invaders.
Michael Kogan died in 1984, and his son took over the business, but, in 1986, Taito was bought by Kyocera who then merged Taito with Pacific Industrial and the Japan Vending Machine, retaining only Taito's name. In 1988, Taito created Taito Software in Canada and Taito Europe in Europe as distributors. In the late 1990s, with arcades dying off around the world, Taito began closing their overseas distributors. Taito Software was closed in 1995, Taito America was closed in 1996 and Acclaim Entertainment purchased exclusive US publishing rights for Taito's future games, and Taito Europe was closed in 1998.
In 2005, the company was bought by Square Enix, in the hope they could use Taito's arcade presence to enter the arcade market. Although the Taito brand still exists and Taito remains a wholly owned subsidiary, the company has seen a lot of restructuring ever since being bought by Square Enix, and it isn't really the same as it was prior to the sale.
The following are Taito games that are important to me:
- mobygames.com/company/taito-america-corporation - MobyGames - Taito America.
- mobygames.com/company/taito-software-inc - MobyGames - Taito Software.
- mobygames.com/company/taito-europe-corporation-limited - MobyGames - Taito Europe.