|Former type||Owned by Konami |
|Traded as||JASDAQ: 4822|
|Industry||Computer and video games|
|Fate||Bought out by Konami Digital Entertainment |
|Founded||May 18, 1973|
|Defunct||March 1, 2012|
|Headquarters||Midtown Tower, Tokyo Midtown
Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo
|Key people||Yuji and Hiroshi Kudo (Founders)
Shinichi Nakamoto (Bomberman series)
Kazuhiko Uehara (President 2011-2012)
Dungeon Explorer series
Far East of Eden
Mario Party series
Milon's Secret Castle
Metal Fight Beyblade
|Employees||420 (March 2011)|
|Parent||Konami Digital Entertainment|
Hudson Soft Co., Ltd, commonly known by its brand name Hudson, was a Japanese video game publisher. It was headquartered in the Midtown Tower in Tokyo Midtown, Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo, Japan, with an additional office in the Hudson Building in Sapporo.
Hudson Soft was founded on May 18, 1973. Initially, it dealt with personal computer products, but later expanded to the development and publishing of video games, mobile content, video game peripherals and music recording.
Hudson Soft ceased to exist as a company on March 1, 2012 and was merged with Konami Digital Entertainment. Products and services will continue to be provided under the Hudson brand through Konami.
Hudson Soft Ltd. was founded in Sapporo, Japan on May 18, 1973 by brothers Yuji and Hiroshi Kudo. The founders grew up admiring trains, and named the business after their favorite, the Hudson locomotives (called the "4-6-4", and (especially Japanese C62). Hudson began as a shop called CQ Hudson (CQハドソン), selling radio telecommunications devices and art photographs. In September 1975, Hudson Soft began selling personal computer-related products, and in March 1978 started developing and selling video game packages.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Hudson Soft favored a quantity over quality approach for the marketing of video games. At one point, the company released up to 30 different computer software per month; none of which were hugely successful. Things changed in late 1983, when Hudson started to prioritize quality over quantity. Hudson became Nintendo's first third-party software vendor for the Famicom and its title for this console, Lode Runner, sold 1.2 million units after its 1984 release.
The business continued developing video games on the Famicom and computer platforms (MSX, NEC PC-8801, ZX Spectrum, among others), and was reorganized as Hudson Soft Co., Ltd. in July 1985. A caravan was held at sixty venues throughout Japan, a first for the video game industry. Bomberman was released in December of this year on the Famicom and was considered a "big hit" by Hudson Soft.
In July 1987, Hudson developed the "C62 System" and collaborated with NEC to develop the PC Engine video game console. It achieved a second-best success to Famicom in Japan, but its release as the TurboGrafx-16 in North America had less market share than Nintendo's new Super Nintendo or Sega's new Mega Drive/Genesis. Throughout 1990, Hudson Soft developed and published video games for an array of systems. In 1994, the 32-bit semiconductor chip "HuC62" was independently developed by Hudson and used in NEC's PC-FX video game console.
Hudson Soft's head office was transferred to Tokyo in 2005. But the original Sapporo headquarters remained in operation as a secondary office.
Hudson Soft lost several key people starting in the mid-2000s. Co-founder Hiroshi Kudo left the company in November 2004 following financial losses. Shinichi Nakamoto, who was with the company since 1978 and creator of the Bomberman series, followed suit in 2006. Veteran Takahashi Meijin resigned in May 2011; he had joined Hudson Soft in 1982. Around 2010-2011, many employees migrated to Nintendo's restructured Nd Cube studio which is headed by Hidetoshi Endo, himself a former Hudson Soft President.
Relation with Konami
The relation between Hudson Soft and Konami can be traced back as early as 1985, when Hudson ported Konami's arcade game Pooyan to the Famicom. Moreover, Konami was a third party publisher for Hudson Soft's PC Engine in Japan. But the acquisition process of Hudson Soft by Konami would only begin in 2001.
Hudson Soft was severely hit by the collapse of its main bank Hokkaido Takushoku. Seeking new financing alternatives, Hudson Soft entered the stock market for the first time in December 2000, listing on the NASDAQ Japan Exchange. This led to Konami purchasing a stock allocation of 5.6 million shares in August 2001, becoming the company's largest shareholder. Within the terms of this purchase, Hudson acquired the Sapporo division of Konami Computer Entertainment Studio, renaming it Hudson Studio.
In April 2005, capital was increased via an allocation of 3 million shares from a third party. Konami Corporation, holding 53.99% of all Hudson stock, became Hudson's majority shareholder and parent company. Hudson continued to self-publish in Japan, but working closely with Konami.
On March 1, 2012, Hudson Soft officially ceased to exist as it merged with Konami Digital Entertainment, with its music business being absorbed into Konami Music Entertainment. The move had been approved by Hudson shareholders at a board meeting held in January 12, 2012. The main reason for the dissolution of Hudson Soft is the consolidation of the operations of Hudson and Konami into a single company. Products and services will continue to be developed and offered under the Hudson brand through Konami Digital Entertainment. Furthermore, Hudson still had its own website until it was absorbed into Konami in 2014.
It was a division made by acquiring Konami Computer Entertainment Studio's Sapporo division.
On 2001-07-26, Hudson Soft announced the acquisition of the Sapporo division of Konami Computer Entertainment Studio.
Hudson Soft USA
With headquarters in South San Francisco, Hudson Soft USA was Hudson Soft's previous North American publishing division operated from 1988 to 1995. It had published video games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy.
Hudson Soft USA subsequently closed down in 1995 before being replaced by Hudson Entertainment, Inc. in 2003.
Hudson Entertainment, Inc.
It was Hudson Soft's North American publishing division from 2003 to 2011. In November 2003, Hudson established Hudson Entertainment, Inc. as a wholly owned subsidiary in San Mateo, California. It entered as a video game publisher for mobile content, but expanded into console video games in 2007.
Hudson Entertainment ceased operations on March 31, 2011.
Hudson Music Entertainment
Hudson Soft's music recording label unit. Absorbed into Konami Music Entertainment on March 1, 2012.
Video game releases
Hudson also released long-running video game series in Japan. Far East of Eden was a classic RPG set in a fictional era with Japanese themes. The series was up to number 4 when Hudson was absorbed into Konami, and was considered a hit in Japan. The second version of the game was widely regarded as one of the best RPGs ever released, ranked 12th by Famitsu among all games released in Japan. Hudson Soft also created the long-running and critically acclaimed game Momotaro Dentetsu, a board game with locomotive themes. The comical game had 16 installments released in Japan. Before its absorption, Hudson had re-released some of its first hit games for the GameCube in Japan, including Adventure Island, Star Soldier, and Lode Runner.
Hudson had a long history of creating games for other publishers. The most notable of these were the Mario Party series, created for Nintendo. They developed the first eight console installments; however, Mario Party 9 was developed by Nintendo subsidiary Nd Cube, which consists of many former Hudson employees. Hudson also developed Fuzion Frenzy 2 for Microsoft, which was released for the Xbox 360 in January 2007.
An even more peculiar example of Hudson developing a game for another publisher is Bomberman 64: The Second Attack. Unlike the two previous game for the Nintendo 64, which were all published by Nintendo, this one was published by Vatical Entertainment.
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- 子会社の決算期変更に関するお知らせ PDF(9KB)
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- ハドソン、米国での携帯電話向けコンテンツ事業に参入 7月28日より、AT&T ワイヤレスにJavaゲーム5タイトル提供
- Official website (archives)
- Hudson Soft (archives)
- Hudson Entertainment (archives)
- Hudson Music Entertainment (archives)
- The History of Hudson Soft at Jap-Sai.com