Hacker International was a Japanese video game company that developed and published games from 1990 to 2001 for the Nintendo Famicom (including Famicom Disk System), NEC PC Engine (including PC Engine CD), Sony PlayStation (as Map Japan) consoles, and Microsoft Windows PCs. The company was known for its play-for-porn approach to gaming, with such games as AV Pachi-Slot (Hot Slots) and Soap Panic (Bubble Bath Babes) featuring female nudity as a reward for skilful playing. These games were usually distributed through mail order and sold approximately 30,000 to 50,000 copies each. Many of their games were developed by Taiwanese companies and were released in non-pornographic form elsewhere in the world; however three were released in the United States for the Nintendo Entertainment System with pornography intact (albeit sometimes modified to "Westernise" the girls' features) by another Taiwanese company, Panesian.
The Hacker name was first used by Satoru Hagiwara, an entrepreneur and former music producer, for a monthly PC magazine. Hacker International was founded by Hagiwara as an outlet for its writers' ideas; its first product was the Hacker Junior, an upgrade for Famicom systems that provided composite video output and turbo controllers, for which they were sued by Nintendo and eventually settled out of court. The company was also known for the Disk Hacker software which allowed users to copy Famicom Disk System disks using only an ordinary Disk System (as opposed to the official method of using Nintendo's authorised Disk Writer units, which were placed only in game stores and charged 500 yen to copy a selected game to a customer's disk). Several versions were released to combat successive anti-piracy measures introduced by Nintendo.
None of Hacker's games, with the exception of their 15 PlayStation titles, were licensed by the respective console manufacturers; Hiroshi Yamauchi personally opposed pornographic content in Famicom games, believing they would tarnish Nintendo's reputation. When Tokuma Shoten's Family Computer magazine published advertisements for Hacker's games, it felt its relationship with Nintendo—which it relied on for preview materials—was so threatened that five of Tokuma's top executives travelled to Nintendo to apologise to Yamauchi in person. However, NEC was more tolerant of Hacker's PC Engine releases (under the Games Express brand) and actually thanked Hacker for helping console sales. Hacker became a licensee for the PlayStation under the name Map Japan, releasing 15 games, but eventually closed in 2001 due to competition from other publishers and Hagiwara's own loss of interest in gaming.
Hacker's relationship to other Japanese adult console game producers of the era, such as Super Pig and MIMI Pro, is debated. For example, in the case of Super Pig, some claim this is merely a pseudonym under which Hacker published Disk System games while others maintain it is an entirely separate company that only occasionally worked with Hacker.
Famicom ROM cartridge
|Date||Title||Alternate versions (pornographic)||Alternate versions (non-pornographic)||Developer|
|1990||Idol Shisen Mahjong||Tiles of Fate (American Video Entertainment, USA); Zhan Guo Si Chuan Sheng (C&E, Taiwan)||C&E|
|1990||AV Poker (On-screen title Poker)||Peek-A-Boo Poker (Panesian, USA); Pu Ke Jing Ling (Idea-Tek, Taiwan)||Idea-Tek|
|1990||Pyramid||Pyramid (Sachen, Taiwan/American Video Entertainment, USA)||Sachen|
|1991||AV Dragon Mahjang||Mahjong Block (Idea-Tek/TXC, Taiwan) (On-screen title Majohn Block); Poke Block (Idea-Tek/TXC, Taiwan); Stakk'M (American Video Entertainment, USA)||Idea-Tek|
|1991||Miss Peach World (On-screen title Miss Peach World I: Super LA Cop)||Mr. Assy (unreleased prototype)||Menace Beach (Color Dreams, USA); Sunday Funday (Wisdom Tree, USA) ||Color Dreams|
|1991||AV Pachislot: Big Chance||Hot Slots (Panesian, USA) (On-screen title Hot Slot: Big Chance)|
|1991||Soap Panic||Bubble Bath Babes (Panesian, USA); Magic Bubble (C&E, Taiwan) ||Mermaids of Atlantis (American Video Entertainment, USA)||C&E|
|1991||AV Mahjong Club||AV Mahjong Club (C&E, Taiwan)||C&E|
|1991||AV World Soccer (On-screen title AV Soccer)||Ultimate League Soccer (American Video Entertainment, USA); Soccer (Magexa, Europe); Futebol (Milmar, Brazil)||C&E|
Famicom Disk System
- Bodyconquest I (Credited on-screen to Indies Soft)
- Bishoujo SF Alien Battle
Super Pig games
- Sexy Invaders
- Bishoujo Sexy Derby
- Bishoujo Sexy Slot
- Moero Yakyuuken
- Gal's Dungeon: Yakyuuken Part II
All games branded Games Express.
- 1992 - Lady Sword
- 1993 - Strip Fighter II
- 1993 - Bodyconquest II
All games branded Games Express, require Games Express System Card.
- 1994 - Hi-Leg Fantasy
- Sheff, David (1993). Game Over: How Nintendo Zapped an American Industry, Captured Your Dollars, and Enslaved Your Children.
- Gifford, Kevin (29 June 2010). "Hacker International's head speaks". Magweasel. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
- Nielsen, Martin. "Disk Drive Add-On For The Famicom". NES World. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- Shoveen, Nick (2007). How To Be A Porno Producer.
- "Super Pig's Computer Magic". Famicom World. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- jbholio. "Unlicensed NES Games Guide". Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- Smith, Jason. "A Color Dreams Dedication". NES Warp Zone. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- Cah4e3. "FAMI Dumping Project". Cah4e3's Stuff. Retrieved 1 April 2010.