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|Industry||Video game industry|
|Founded||June 19, 1992|
|Masato Maegawa (president)|
Number of employees
Treasure Co., Ltd.[a] is a Japanese video game developer based in Tokyo, founded by Masato Maegawa on June 19, 1992, initially composed of former Konami employees. Treasure is best known for classic-style action games that employ innovative gameplay systems. Their greatest commercial successes have been games like Wario World and Mischief Makers, but they are better known for their critical successes, such as Sin and Punishment, Gunstar Heroes, Dynamite Headdy, Alien Soldier, Guardian Heroes, Bangai-O, and Ikaruga.
Treasure is a small, privately held company, though they also employ independent contractors to assist development and sometimes partner with other companies. They have worked on many titles based on licenses, including Astro Boy, McDonald's, Bleach and Tiny Toon Adventures, as well as partnering with companies like Sega, Enix and Nintendo to produce original properties. They have produced a handful of games independently, most notably their arcade shooters, Ikaruga and Radiant Silvergun.
Konami programmer Masato Maegawa and several other Konami employees began planning Gunstar Heroes in 1991. Their game concept was rejected by Konami. Maegawa and his team were growing frustrated with the Konami's growing reliance on sequels to established franchises such as their Castlevania and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. The team felt consumers wanted original games, and so they left Konami in 1992 to establish Treasure and continue development on Gunstar Heroes.
For the first five years of Treasure, the company produced games exclusively for Sega consoles. According to a Treasure representative, Gunstar Heroes was developed on the Sega Genesis for hardware performance reasons, and after that they continued developing for Sega consoles since their fan base consisted of owners of those consoles.
Treasure does not have a rigid hierarchy. There are not designated "directors" from project to project; all directors also work as programmers, artists, or composers, and may work on other projects that they are not directing. There are, however, a handful of individuals who have frequently taken a greater leadership role with various teams more often than others. All of the individuals listed below were also founding members of the company.
- Masato Maegawa is the company's president, founder, and acts as executive producer for all games. Early on, he also directed games and worked as a programmer. The last game for which he performed a role other than executive producer was Mischief Makers. Before founding Treasure he was a programmer at Konami. He also directed Bucky O'Hare for Nintendo Entertainment System.
- Hideyuki Suganami, usually credited as NAMI, led the development of several Treasure games, including Mischief Makers and Alien Soldier, and Sin and Punishment: Hoshi no Keishōsha. He left the company sometime after Sin and Punishment, but remains on good terms with the company, heading development of Gunstar Super Heroes on a contractual basis.
- Hiroshi Iuchi is a graphic designer specializing in background art. He left the company in the mid-'90s, but returned when he was offered the opportunity to assume a greater leadership role, specifically the chance to direct a shoot 'em up of his own design, Radiant Silvergun. He was the primary creative force behind the company's three genre shooters, Radiant Silvergun, Ikaruga, and Gradius V. He also composes music, which he did for Ikaruga. Following the cancellation of his fourth shooter, an unnamed Xbox 360 game, he left the company again to pursue self-employment, most recently collaborating with G.rev on shooter Strania and directing their handheld tank shooter Kokuga.
- Mitsuru Yaida or Yaiman is a programmer and key creative force behind many Treasure games, and has a particular interest in scrolling action games. He was the primary creative force behind Bangai-O and its sequels, and is frequently credited as Assistant Director on most games he works on because of his strong creative role. For much of the 2000s, he was a constant member of the company's handheld teams, creating games for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS.
- Tetsuhiko Kikuchi (credited as HAN in design roles) is an artist and character designer who had directed several Treasure games, including writing, directing, and creating much of the art for Guardian Heroes and its sequel. He also directed Yū Yū Hakusho Makyō Tōitsusen, Rakugaki Showtime, and the cancelled Tiny Toon Adventures: Defenders of the Universe. He left the company sometime in 2007 to pursue work as an independent contractor, but returned sometime around 2010-2011 for the XBLA release of Guardian Heroes. He worked on the title Code of Princess, which borrows heavily from Guardian Heroes.
- Norio Hanzawa (often credited as "NON") is the company's primary music composer. Although he used to share music duties with Katsuhiko Suzuki, who was credited as "Nazo²", he remains Treasure's only full-time composer, contributing music to more than 20 of Treasure's games.
- Gun Beat (Arcade, cancelled 2000)
- Tiny Toon Adventures: Defenders of the Universe (GameCube & PlayStation 2, cancelled 2002)
- Kabushiki-gaisha Torejā (Japanese: 株式会社トレジャー)
- "Treasure Trove". Retro Gamer. No. 8. Imagine Publishing. pp. 43–46.
- "Games The Way They Want: Catching Up With Treasure". Gamasutra.
- "Treasure Home Page - 会社概要" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2007-12-06.
- Davies, Jonti (April 2008). "The Making Of: Gunstar Heroes". Retro Gamer. No. 50. pp. 56–61.
- "前川正人「ガンスターヒーローズ」スーパーバイザー". Sega (in Japanese). Archived from the original on January 22, 2017. Retrieved December 22, 2018. (Abridged translation Archived December 1, 2018, at the Wayback Machine)
- "An Interview With: Treasure". GameFan. Vol. 1 no. 11. October 1993. p. 60.
- Stuart, Keith. Sega Mega Drive/Collected Works. p. 291. ISBN 9780957576810.
- "The Treasure Interview". Maximum: The Video Game Magazine. No. 7. Emap International Limited. June 1996. pp. 108–9.
- "Bucky O'Hare (1992) NES credits". MobyGames. Blue Flame Labs. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
- "Treasure Home Page - 製品情報" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2007-12-06.
- Treasure HomePage (in Japanese)