Happy Birthday Taito - inventor of Space Invaders 57 today!
Today 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.