Happy Birthday Taito - inventor of Space Invaders 57 today!

24 August 2010

Bitterwallet - Space InvadersToday is the 57th birthday of The Taito Corporation, developers of Space Invaders, Arkanoid and plenty of other arcade games.

That seems like a staggering age for a software company, but of course that's not where they started. Taito began by importing and exporting vending machines, then building pinballs machines throughout the 1960s.

In 1972 Taito created an arcade game called Space Monsters, which went on to provide the inspiration for Space Invaders, released in 1978.

It's difficult to appreciate the difference that single title made to not only modern gaming but technology in general. Space Invaders single-handedly transformed the Atari 2600 (with its classy wood panelling effect) into the world's first successful home gaming system, and popularised the concept of plugging in newly released games into existing hardware, rather than building them into the product. Taito went on to enjoy incredible success in US arcade history as a result of this one title.

So take today as an opportunity to reminisce about an agile company that set the trends and profited by them, and a game we adored throughout our childhoods - a more innocent time when parents encouraged children to indulge in their violent tendencies and all was considered perfectly normal.

No doubt we'll be firing up the Atari this morning, although we'll probably be playing Asteroids to be honest with you. Happy birthday, Taito.

8 comments

  • Jonny S.
    So where are they as a company now?
  • Stewie G.
    57? Wow. Do you be celebrate their birthday every year then?... The big five eight next year!..
  • The B.
    I look back at the time I spent on my 2600 and wonder how the hell I got any enjoyment out of games like Adventure, I still envy my mates Intellivision, flash git, he had the voice synth as well, B17 Bomber was the best thing on the market (and Sea Battle).
  • IfYouCopyMyNameYouAreGayIsGay
    @Jonny Still making great, playable arcade titles. http://uk.games.ign.com/objects/025/025068.html
  • Nobby
    We had intellivision. Sea Battle was an excellent game, the bowling was pretty good too. Frog bog (jumping frogs eatnig flies) was a good concept. But nothing on it was better than astrosmash. Me and my brother managed to play it for about three days continuously once, one playing one sleeping. Only had to turn it off because of school. I used to love the space invaders tables. Sit down and play a game, with room for burger, chips and a coke on the playing surface. Fantastic.
  • The B.
    Nobby, you're distinctly posher than me, I seem to remember the Intellivision was about £200 at the time. How about Tron -Deadly Disks, or Tron - Solar Sailor, both bloody awful.
  • Nobby
    My dad bought it in the States, and I assume it was considerably cheaper there. And we got it before it came out in the UK. We had maze-a-tron, which was ok. I remember playing Deadly Discs, but not wanting to buy it. Film-related tie-in games, they will never take off.
  • tim
    i hate you and i think you all need to die :)

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