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Hudson Soft (Ohga Shrugs)

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Hudson Soft
Founded 1973
Headquarters Sapporo, Japan
Industry Developer
Employment 300


Hudson Soft is a Japanese video game developer. It is a subsidiary of Nintendo.

History

Founded on May 18, 1973 as a dealer in personal computer products, the Hudson Soft began making games in March 1978. For the first five or so years of game development, the company developed dozens of titles, none of which were particularly successful. However, starting with 1983's Bomberman, which became a key franchise for the company, Hudson Soft began to establish a strong reputation. Hudson Soft's relationship with Nintendo began shortly afterwards, as they became one of the earliest third party developers for the Famicom. Notable games for the system included Lode Runner, Bomberman, and Adventure Island.

In 1987, Hudson Soft collaborated with NEC to create the "PC Engine" console, known as the "TurboGrafx-16" in the West. Although the system actually did fairly well in Japan, coming second only to the Famicom, it had troubles competing with the SNES and Genesis in the West, due to a combination of poor third party support and technical limitations compared to other 4th generation systems. Still, Hudson Soft created games for the system through 1993, in addition to games for competing platforms.

Throughout the fifth console generation, Hudson Soft suffered, as the costs of development went up and interest in their various franchises went down. Along the way, they began making the Mario Party series for Nintendo. In December 2000, Hudson Soft entered the stock market, where many of its shares were eventually purchased by Nintendo.

As the sixth generation went on, Hudson Soft continued to decline. Finally, in 2005, the company made a deal with Nintendo, in which Nintendo would fund Hudson Soft in exchange for exclusivity. Most future Hudson Soft games would be published by Nintendo.

Mario Party 3D

A recent Mario Party game.

Nintendo's de facto acquisition of Hudson Soft ended up being a turning point in the company's fortunes. Their party games for the Revolution sold fairly well, helped by Nintendo's massive advertising and brand power. Many smaller games were also made for the Nitro and eShop. However, the total number of games developed at a time was reduced, in order to maintain high quality.

Structure

Although Hudson Soft has not publicly discussed the company's internal structure since their 2005 agreement with Nintendo, some information is known. Hudson Soft is divided into several teams, each with a director, which tend to focus on specific series, genres, or platforms. Whether these teams have formal names is unknown.

Shuichiro Nishiya leads the "Party" team, which has worked on Mario Party 7, 8, 9, and Revolution Party. They are believed to be currently working on a game for the Stream, possibly Mario Party 10.

Osamu Tsuchihashi led the team that created Lost in Shadow, a 2010 platformer for the Revolution. Their current status is unknown.

Other teams include or have included one devoted to Bomberman games, which developed games for both the Nitro in 2006 and the Revolution eShop in 2007; a Tetris team, which has made several downloadable titles; a team that makes 2D platformers, including Adventure Island and Bonk sequels; and a team devoted to porting retro games to the eShop's Virtual Console.

List of Recent Games

The following games have been released by Hudson Soft since their 2005 deal with Nintendo.

GameCube

  • Mario Party 7 (2005)

Nitro

  • Bomberman (2006)
  • Mario Party Nitro (2007)
  • Pilotwings Island (2007)
  • Ice Climber: Ascent (2010)

Revolution

  • Mario Party 8 (2007)
  • Mario Hoops (2009)
  • Revolution Party (2010)
  • Lost in Shadow (2010)
  • Mario Party 9 (2012)

Revolution eShop

  • Bomberman Blast (2007)
  • Tetris Party (2008)
  • My Aquarium (2008)
  • Adventure Island: The Beginning (2009)
  • Bonk: Brink of Extinction (2011)

Game Boy 3DS

  • Mario Party 3D (2013)
  • Ice Climbers Ascent 2 (2013)

3DS eShop

  • Tetris Axis (2012)
  • Bomberman Dimensions (2012)
  • Adventure Island: Reborn (2013)

Stream

  • Pokemon Snap 2 (2012)

Stream eShop

  • Bomberman World (2012)

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