Welcome to Konamitober!
Konami- a prolific game company that has made games and other amusements for over 50 years. They have created titles and franchises that we thoroughly enjoy to this day. Contra, Castlevania, Silent Hill, TMNT, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Metal Gear, and so many more for every home system and arcade machine, Konami has dominated the industry unlike most- But… where do we start?
I figured the best place to start- is the beginning.
The company was founded on 21 March 1969 and was officially incorporated under the name Konami Industry Co., Ltd. on 19 March 1973. The company’s founder and chairman, Kagemasa Kōzuki (also known as Kaz Kozuki), ran a jukebox rental and repair business in Toyonaka, Osaka before transforming the business into a manufacturer of amusement machines for video arcades. Their first coin-operated video game was released in 1978, and they began exporting products to the United States the following year.
The first few games were mostly Pong, Breakout, Head On, and Space Invaders clones, it was Astro Invader in 1979 that was their first true original arcade game hit.
And it was a even harder take on the Space Invaders- The mothership flies out dropping the Invaders out into holding bins- shoot them with your blaster before they start to drop. If they do hit the floor… they explode! It’s a tough as nails shooter that’s for sure! Like most companies in Japan during this time, their games were outsourced for distribution- their first few titles were released by Stern in the U.S. . Check it out!
Not a bad start for Konami- But the best was yet to come!
What did you think of Astro Invader? Let Me know in the comments!
Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!
So that’s how it started… 😀
I remember seeing the title on one of the compilation cabinets back during the Disney Quest days and I thought it was Space Invaders on steroids. While I didn’t get a chance to play it I’m glad it still lived up to being a more difficult version of the arcade classic, especially after seeing the video up top.
Great intro Ray! 👍