The Japanese corporate logo of Technosoft.
|Industry||Video games industry|
|Fate||Assets incorporated into Twenty-one Company, Intellectual Properties acquired by Sega.|
|Successor||Twenty-One Technosoft div.|
|Headquarters||Sasebo, Nagasaki, Japan|
|Products||Thunder Force series
Technosoft (also known as Tecno Soft and Techno Soft) was a Japanese video game developer that was active from 1980 to 2001. Technosoft as a corporation ceases to exist as its current incarnation is the internal research and development division of Twenty-One Company, the parent company that acquired Technosoft in 2001. Technosoft is currently referred to as Twenty-One Technosoft division.
Some staff members left Technosoft to start the game development companies Arsys Software in 1985 (founded by Kotori Yoshimura, creator of Thunder Force and Plazma Line), CAProduction in 1993, and Ganbarion in 1999.
In 2006, the URL for Technosoft was registered and updated. However, no updates other than "We will restart soon! Please wait for a while." and "THUNDERFORCE is a registered trademark." have been added to the website. In 2008, The Technosoft brand was revived by Twenty-One company. Technosoft licensed merchandising and music of the brand’s past titles. The copyright for Technosoft’s intellectual properties were not registered under Technosoft nor Twenty-One Company, but to Kazue Matsuoka.
Sega revealed that Thunder Force III will be part of Sega 3D Classics Collection, and on September 17, 2016 at the Tokyo Game Show, Sega announced that they acquired the intellectual property and development rights to all the games developed and published by Technosoft. When questioned about future Technosoft releases, Sega would look into re-releasing Thunder Force IV, Thunder Force V and Herzog Zwei.
On September 2016, there was a total of 21 registrations made by Sega Holdings. These registrations revised the copyright of Technosoft intellectual properties from Kazue Matsuoka to Sega Games Co, Ltd thus completing the acquisition. As of 2016, the digital soundtrack rights for the Thunder Force series will still be handled by Twenty-One Company through the Twenty-One Technosoft division.
Factors that influenced the acquisition included the former Technosoft president stating that they did not want the Technosoft brand to desist, and so handing over the intellectual properties to Sega was the only other option. Sega and Technosoft also had an established collaboration during the Genesis/Mega Drive era and so this pre-established relationship was also a factor when acquiring the brand rights to Technosoft titles.
The company's most commercially successful franchise was the Thunder Force series. It was a series of scrolling shooter video games. The series began with the original Thunder Force in 1983. The games are known by fans of the genre for their hardcore appeal, pleasing graphics, and generally well composed synthesizer-based chiptune music soundtracks.
The series' first game, Thunder Force, appeared in 1983 on a variety of Japanese computers, such as the Sharp X1, NEC PC-8801 mkII, and FM-7. Technosoft also released a level editor, or game creation system, entitled Thunder Force Construction, for the original game on the FM-7 computer in 1984. Since Thunder Force II, the majority of installments in the series appeared on the Mega Drive console, where the series gained much of its popularity. The most recent entry was released on PlayStation 2.
|Designer(s)||Kotori Yoshimura |
|Platform(s)||NEC PC-8801, NEC PC-6001, FM-7, Sharp X1|
|Release||PC-8801 / PC-6001 / X1
|Genre(s)||First -person racing game
Space flight simulator
Plazma Line (プラズマライン) is a first-person space racing game released by Technosoft for the NEC PC-8801 and FM-7 computers in 1984. The objective of the game is to race through outer space in a first-person view while avoiding obstacles (rendered in 3D polygons) along the way. Plazma Line is notable for being the first computer game, and home video game in general, with 3D polygon graphics. It also featured an automap radar to keep track of the player's position.
The game was created by Kotori Yoshimura, who also created the original Thunder Force. Yoshimura later left the company in 1985 to start the development studio Arsys Software along with fellow Technosoft member Osamu Nagano.
Herzog (German: "Duke") is a strategy video game released by Technosoft in Japan for the MSX and NEC PC-88 computers in 1988. It was a real-time tactics and tactical shooter game with real-time strategy elements.
The series' best known entry is the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) title Herzog Zwei (1989), which is regarded as the world's first real time strategy game. It was the first game with a feature set that falls under the contemporary definition of the real-time strategy genre, predating the genre-popularizing Dune II. The producers of Dune II acknowledged Herzog Zwei (meaning "Duke 2" in German) as an influence on the game.
Other notable titles
|1982||Snake and Snake||Sharp MX|
|1983||Thunder Force||Sharp MZ, NEC PC-6001, FM-7, NEC PC-8801, Sharp X1|
|1984||Plazma Line||Sharp X1, FM-7, NEC PC-8801, NEC PC-6001, Sharp MZ|
|1988||Herzog||NEC PC-8801, MSX, NEC PC-9801, Sharp X1|
|1988||Thunder Force II||Sharp X68000, Sega Genesis|
|1989||Herzog Zwei||Sega Genesis|
|1990||Thunder Force III||Sega Genesis, Arcade|
|1991||Thunder Spirits||Super Nintendo Entertainment System|
|1992||Thunder Force IV||Sega Genesis|
|1993||Elemental Master||Sega Genesis|
|1993||Hyper Duel||Arcade, Sega Saturn|
|1994||Nekketsu Okayo||PlayStation, Sega Saturn|
|1995||Kyuutenkai: Fantastic Pinball||PlayStation, Saturn, PlayStation Network|
|1996||Thunder Force Gold Pack 1||Sega Saturn|
|1996||Thunder Force Gold Pack 2||Sega Saturn|
|1997||Blast Wind||Sega Saturn|
|1997||Neorude||PlayStation, PlayStation Network|
|1998||Kaze no Oka Kouen Nite||PlayStation|
|1998||Kumitate Battle: Kuttu Ketto||PlayStation, Sega Saturn|
|1998||Thunder Force V||Sega Saturn, PlayStation|
|1999||Getter Robo Daikessen||PlayStation|
- "Corporate Profile". Technosoft. Archived from the original on June 25, 1998. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Sega announces acquisitions of Technosoft IP's". September 2016.
- "Thunder Force Construction". Oh!FM. Archived from the original on 1 September 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Plazma Line". Oh!FM. Archived from the original on 1 September 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Wibarm". Oh!FM. Archived from the original on 1 September 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Corporate profile". Cyberhead. Archived from the original on October 24, 2001. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Are Real Time Strategy Games At Their Peak?". www.strategyplanet.com. 2001-05-09. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
- Sharkey, Scott. "Essential Top 50: Herzog Zwei". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2007-09-27.
- Geryk, Bruce. "A History of Real-Time Strategy Games: Part I: 1989-1998". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
- Clarke-Willson, Stephen (August 18, 1998). "The Origin of Realtime Strategy Games on the PC". The Rise and Fall of Virgin Interactive. Above the Garage Productions. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
- "The Making of... Dune II". Edge. Next-Gen.biz. December 9, 2008. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
Herzog Zwei was a lot of fun, but I have to say the other inspiration for Dune II was the Mac software interface. The whole design/interface dynamics of mouse clicking and selecting desktop items got me thinking, ‘Why not allow the same inside the game environment? Why not a context-sensitive playfield? To hell with all these hot keys, to hell with keyboard as the primary means of manipulating the game!