Jaleco

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Jaleco
Corporation
ISIN141-0031
IndustryVideo game
FateDissolved
FoundedOctober 3, 1974 (Japan Leisure)
July 3, 2006 (Jaleco Holding)
DefunctMay 21, 2014
HeadquartersShinagawa-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Key people
Yoshiaki Kanazawa (founder)
ProductsVideo games
Arcade cabinets
Aquarium equipment
OwnerPCCW
(2000 - 2005)

Game Yarou
(2009 - 2014)
DivisionsJaleco USA
JAQNO
Websitehttp://www.jalecogames.co.jp/

Jaleco Ltd. (株式会社ジャレコ, Kabushiki Kaisha Jareko) was a corporate brand name that was used by two previously connected video game developers and publishers, based out of Japan. The original Jaleco company was founded in 1974 as Japan Leisure Company, founded by Yoshiaki Kanazawa, before being renamed to simply Jaleco in the early 1980's. This company was soon acquired in 2000 by PCCW, who rebranded it as their Japanese game division, PCCW Japan, before being reverted to Jaleco in 2002. In 2006, Jaleco would become independent from PCCW and renamed to Jaleco Holding, having their video game operations spun-off into a new company also called Jaleco. This new spin-off company was sold to mobile developer Game Yarou in 2009, with Jaleco Holding renaming itself to Encom Holdings shortly after.

Jaleco is best known for their arcade and home console video games produced throughout the 1980's and early 1990's, including City Connection, Bases Loaded, Ninja JaJaMaru-kun, Exerion, Idol Janshi Suchie-Pai and Rushing Beat. Jaleco would also produce arcade cabinets for other game developers, alongside redemption arcade games and UFO catcher claw machines. In the past, the company produced amusement park equipment and aquarium parts, under their JAQNO brand name. Their North American division, Jaleco USA, would publish a number of titles for the NES and SNES, including Maniac Mansion, Pinball Quest and R-Type III.

In 2014, Jaleco's parent company Game Yarou would file for bankruptcy, causing Jaleco to vanish from the video game industry. The company's video game assets would be purchased by City Connection, an indie Japanese studio that continues to use their games for other side projects and licencing deals (the company itself being named after one of Jaleco's games). The original Jaleco company, Encom Holdings, would quit the video game business in 2009, citing stiff competition in the industry, instead dealing in real estate. Encom would soon dissolve in 2013, being delisted from the JASDAQ that same year.

History[edit]

Jaleco was founded by Japanese businessman Yoshiaki Kanazawa on October 3, 1974. They were originally known as the Japan Leisure Co., Ltd. (株式会社ジャパンレジャー, Kabushiki-gaisha Japan Rejā), producing equipment for both amusement parks and arcade centers across Japan. The company was originally based out of Setagaya-ku, Tokyo.

Japan Leisure would begin production of arcade video games by 1982, and would change their corporate name to Jaleco in March of 1983, an anagram of their older name. Jaleco would soon begin production of home console video games for the Nintendo Entertainment System in Japan - alongside Hudson, Namco, Taito, Capcom and Konami, they were one of the first third-party developers for the system, and were given special provisions, such as the ability to manufacture their own game cartridges. Towards the mid 1980's, Jaleco would begin production of equipment for aquarium tanks, which were released under their JAQNO brand name. A North American office, Jaleco USA, opened in Wheeling, Illinois - this division commonly published other third-party video games for both the NES and SNES consoles, notably Maniac Mansion and R-Type III, alongside distribution of Jaleco video games in the United States.

In late 1993, Jaleco's North American division would depart from the arcade game scene, becoming solely a producer of games for home platforms. By 2000, Jaleco was struggling financially, being unable to produce a hit video game in several years. To keep the company afloat, Jaleco was acquired by Hong Kong-based company PCCW on November 1, 2000, where they would become the Japanese division of the company, renamed to PCCW Japan. Heavy company restructure was done, with Jaleco's arcade division and other non-profitable areas of the company shuttering, whilst retaining their home console video game division. In April 2001, PCCW Japan purchased the VR-1 Group, the holder of North American MMO developer VR-1 Entertainment, in order to have their operations expand globally. In October 2002, PCCW Japan merged Jaleco USA and VR-1 Entertainment into a new company, Jaleco Entertainment, relocating to Buffalo, New York. PCCW Japan would soon be renamed back to Jaleco in 2004. They would continue to operate for several years as a subsidiary of PCCW, producing video games for home consoles and Japanese mobile phones, alongside soundtrack albums and applications for web browsers.

In August 2005, PCCW sold off Jaleco to Sandringham Fund SPC, alongside the subsidiary company Hyperlink Investments Group. On May 31, 2006, Jaleco's board of directors (JASDAQ7954) would rename the company to Jaleco Holding, having their video game operations spun-off into a new company also known as Jaleco, which would become a subsidiary of Jaleco Holding. The corporate restructure was done in order to establish the company's non-video game products. In October 2007, Hyperlink Investments Group would sell its stock in Jaleco Holding to Game Yarou, a Japanese mobile phone developer, and two South Korean corporations, STIC Pioneer Fund and A2i. Jaleco Holdings dissolved two subsidiary companies, FFBC Investment and J Consulting, in early 2008. Jaleco's North American division, Jaleco Entertainment, would close their doors later that year.

On January 15, 2009, Jaleco Holding would sell off Jaleco to Game Yarou for a total of ¥1 (US$0.01), however Game Yarou would soon assume ¥700,000,000 ($7.736 million) of Jaleco Holding's ¥16,000,000,000 ($17.68 million) loan - A spokesperson for Jaleco Holding cited "increasing competition in recent years in the video game market" as the reason for the company's retirement in the industry, which was proving to be difficult for the company to stay afloat.[1] Under ownership from Game Yarou, Jaleco would produce vidoeo games for Japanese mobile phones and web browsers, alongside licensing many of their older video games to third-party developers for use in other projects. On March 2, Jaleco announced that it would release a video game for the Wii, Ougon no Kizuna, on May 29 of that year.

By 2012, Game Yarou was in a financial crisis due to high debt and poor sales of their mobile titles - they were officially declared bankrupt by the Tokyo District Court on May 21, 2014. Jaleco would soon vanish from the video game industry, with their video games being acquired later that year by Japanese company City Connection, formerly known as Clarice Disk. The company continues to use Jaleco video games for a number of projects, alongside licensing them out to other developers for use in other products. Jaleco Holding would rename itself to Encom Holdings in April 2009, focusing on real estate and finance business in Japan and no longer being involved with video games. Encom Holdings would dissolved on May 13, 2013, and be delisted from the JASDAQ that same day, due to poor reputation and loss of income.

Video games[edit]

Jaleco has produced several video games for both arcades, home consoles and mobile phones. They first began releasing video games for arcade systems in the early 1980's, including Exerion, Formation Z, City Connection, Argus and Rod Land, before moving onto home platforms, releasing such titles as Bases Loaded, Ninja JaJaMaru-kun, Bio Senshi Dan: Increaser to no Tatakai and Idol Janshi Suchie-Pai. Bases Loaded stands as their best-selling title, with 1,580,000 copies sold.[2] Jaleco's North American subsidiary would publish a number of third-party video games for both the NES and SNES platforms - these include LucasArt's Maniac Mansion, Irem's R-Type III, Natsume's Tetris Plus and Arc System Works' Pizza Pop!. Following the bankruptcy of Jaleco's parent company in 2014, all of the company's video games are now owned by City Connection.

Developed[edit]

Published only[edit]

Distributed only[edit]

Emcom Holdings subsidiaries[edit]

  • EMCOM Co., Ltd.
  • EMCOM FINANCIAL Co.,Ltd
  • EMCOM CONSULTING Co., Ltd.
  • EMCOM ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY Co., Ltd.
  • EMCOM FIRST CLASS SERVICES Co.,Ltd
  • EMCOM REALTY
  • EMCOM HEALTHCARE Co., Ltd.
  • EMCOM CAPITAL
  • EMAT Information Technology
  • Universal Forex
  • Edgesoft
  • Edge Communication service
  • Edgedu Edgesoft

References[edit]

  1. ^ David Jenkins. "Jaleco Leaves Games Biz Due To 'Increasing Competition'". Gamasutra.
  2. ^ "Japan Platinum Game Chart". The Magic Box. Retrieved April 22, 2017.

External links[edit]