On March 21, 1969, Kagemasa Kozuki (current chairman of the board and CEO) founded a jukebox rental/repair business in Osaka.
On March 19, 1973, Kozuki transformed the business into Konami Industry Co., Ltd. and began work on manufacturing "amusement machines" for arcades. Their first actual game machine was not created until 1978, and they began exporting products to the United States the following year. They began to achieve success with hit arcade games such as 1981's Frogger, Scramble, and Super Cobra, many of which were licensed to other companies for stateside release, including Stern Electronics and Gremlin Industries.
In May 1980, the headquarters was moved to Toyonaka, Osaka.
In March 1981, the Konami logo was established. A new logo with the name in italics was released in 1986 and was altered in 1998 from italics to Roman text. In 2003, Konami introduced a new logo on the company's 30th anniversary since its establishment. The company also introduced the new tagline "びっくり:Bikkuri", which means "Be Creative".
In October 1982, Konami began manufacturing and selling PC games. In November 1982, Konami of America, Inc. (currently Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.) was established in Torrance, California. It relocated to Wood Dale, Illinois in 1984 and in 1999 it relocated again to Redwood City, California, leaving a location in Illinois open strictly for the manufacturing of Konami's arcade video games. In 2003, Konami of America closed down their arcade division due to heavy losses; the entire Buffalo Grove, Illinois location was shut down along with it. All machine inquiries and new machines would thereafter be handled by Betson Enterprises. As of 2007, Konami Corporation of America has moved its U.S head office once again from Redwood City to Konami Digital Entertainment's office in El Segundo, California.
In November 1983, Konami began manufacturing and selling MSX games.
In May 1984, Konami Ltd. (currently Konami Digital Entertainment B.V.) was established in the United Kingdom. In October 1984, Konami was listed on the Second Section of the Osaka Securities Exchange (specially designated stocks in the second section). Subsequent stock listings include Second Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (2/1988), London Stock Exchange (9/1999), New York Stock Exchange (9/2002), and the Nikkei Stock Average (Nikkei 225)(10/2003). In December 1984, Konami GmbH (currently Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH) was established in Germany.
In April 1985, Konami began manufacturing and selling Family Computer ("Famicom") video games. This new business was, in addition to their arcade market, from which many games were later ported. Konami began to achieve great success when the Famicom took off, being released in the United States as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Many of the NES/Famicom's bestselling titles were produced by Konami, including Gradius, the Castlevania series, the Contra series, and Metal Gear. Konami was one of the most active and prolific third party development studios for the NES, which led to conflict with Nintendo of America's licensing restrictions. During the heyday of the NES, Nintendo of America controlled the production of all licensed NES software titles, and limited third party developers to a maximum of five titles per year. Several companies found a way around this restriction by founding quasi-independent subsidiary corporations, effectively doubling the number of games that they could release during the year. In the case of Konami, this subsidiary was known as Ultra Games, and many of Konami titles were published in North America under their banner, including Metal Gear, Gyruss, Skate or Die!, the first two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games and Snake's Revenge (a sequel to the original Metal Gear made specifically for the western market). In Europe, faced with a similar restriction placed by Nintendo's European branch, Konami established Palcom Software Ltd. to the same end. By the early 1990s, Nintendo of America had relaxed many of its licensing restrictions, and, no longer needed, Ultra was reabsorbed into Konami's official American branch in 1992.
In December 1987, Konami Kosan Co., Ltd. (currently Konami Real Estate, Inc.) was established.
In May 1991, Konami Technology Development Center (currently Amusement Content Business's Kobe Office) opened in Kobe. In June 1991, Konami Industries Co., Ltd., was renamed to Konami Co., Ltd. In November 1991, Konami entered the PC Engine game business. In June 1992, Konami set up Tokyo headquarters.
In December 1992, Konami entered the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis game business. In 1992, members of Konami left to form Treasure Co. Ltd, which, like Konami, is well known in the video gaming community for creating high caliber shooters and action games.
In 1993, Konami headquarters moved from Kobe to Tokyo.
In September 1994, Konami (Hong Kong) Limited (currently Konami Digital Entertainment Limited) was established in Hong Kong. In December 1994, Konami entered the PlayStation video game business.
In April 1995, Konami Computer Entertainment Osaka Co., Ltd. (currently Konami Computer Entertainment Osaka, Inc.) and Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo Co., Ltd. (currently Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo, Inc.) were established. In May 1995, Konami entered the Sega Saturn game business. In December 1995, Konami Music Entertainment Co., Ltd. (current Konami Music Entertainment, Inc.) was established.
In April 1996, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan Co., Ltd. (current Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, Inc.) and Konami Service Co., Ltd. (current Konami Service, Inc.) were established. In May 1996, Konami shifted to a business divisional organization. In October 1996, Konami Finance Co., Ltd. (current Konami Capital, Inc.) was established. In November 1996, holding company Konami Corporation of America was established in the U.S. and Konami Australia Pty Ltd. was established in Australia.
In January 1997, Konami Gaming, Inc. was established in the United States. In March 1997, Amusement Content Business plant was constructed in Kobe. Konami Computer Entertainment School Co., Ltd. (currently Konami School, Inc.) was established. In October 1997, Konami entered the gaming machine market in Australia. In November 1997, Konami was listed on the Singapore Exchange. A European company, Konami Europe B.V. (currently Konami Digital Entertainment B.V.), was established in the Netherlands.
In 1998, Konami released Dance Dance Revolution, a dance simulation game that revolutionized the music game industry. In December 1999, the official registered address of Konami's headquarters was changed from Kobe to Tokyo. In January 2000, Konami received a licence of manufacturing and sales of gaming machines from the U.S. state of Nevada. In June 2000, Konami Software Shanghai, Inc. was established. In July 2000, Konami Co., Ltd. was renamed to Konami Corporation.
In August 2000, Konami Computer Entertainment Sapporo, Inc. merged with Konami Computer Entertainment Yokohama, Inc., and the new company was named Konami Computer Entertainment Studios, Inc. On September 21, 2000, Konami and Universal Studios announced that they had entered an agreement that would enable Konami to publish a Crash Bandicoot game for next-generation game systems, with Universal Interactive (Vivendi Games) handling the production of the games. In October 2000, Konami Marketing, Inc., was established and began operations.
In February 2001, People Co., Ltd. (later renamed Konami Sports & Life Co., Ltd.) became Konami's subsidiary through a friendly TOB takeover bid and Konami entered the health & fitness business. On May 14, 2001, Konami made a deal with Universal Interactive to team up by producing and distributing some more titles, rather than just the Crash Bandicoot titles. In August 2001, Konami invested in Hudson Soft Co., Ltd. and made it an affiliated company. In October 2001, Konami entered the toy candy business.
In February 2002, Konami entered the Xbox game business. Konami Sports Corporation acquired the shares of Daiei Olympic Sports Club, Inc. (currently Konami Olympic Sports Club Corporation, which would be merged by Konami Sports Corporation in October 2002) and became Konami's subsidiary. In August 2002, Konami's headquarters was moved from Minato, Tokyo to Chiyoda, Tokyo.
In 2003, Konami teamed up with the Japanese film production company Toho Company, Ltd. in creating their own genre of tokusatsu TV series, known as the Chouseishin Series, in attempt to emulate and rival the success of Toei's Super Sentai genre.
In 2005, Konami accepted new third-party shares issued by Hudson Soft Co., Ltd. and made it a consolidated subsidiary. Konami opened an office and gaming production facility in Paradise, Nevada for its casino gaming equipment subsidiary, Konami Gaming. In October 2005, Konami Logistics and Service, Inc. (currently Konami Manufacturing and Service, Inc.) was established. In 2005, Konami was the sixth largest game developer in Japan after Nintendo, Square Enix, Capcom, Sega Sammy, and Namco Bandai.
In February 2006, Internet Revolution, Inc. was established as a joint venture company with Internet Initiative Japan Inc. In March 2006, Konami acquired capital in Resort Solution Co., Ltd. (equity method affiliate) and business alliance. Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. was newly established to take over Konami’s digital entertainment business and Konami became a pure holding company. In May 2006, Konami acquired entire stake in Combi Wellness Corporation and made it a subsidiary. In August 2006, Konami entered the pachinko slot machine market.
In April 2007, Konami's headquarters was moved to Minato, Tokyo. The offices of Konami group in Tokyo were moved to Tokyo Midtown.
In March 2008, Konami transformed Sportsplex Japan Co., Ltd. into a consolidated subsidiary through a share purchase.
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