Hudson Soft was founded on May 18, 1973. Initially, it dealt with personal computer products, but later expanded to the development and publishing of video games, mobile content, video game peripherals and music recording. Primarily a video game publisher, it internally developed many of the video games it published, as well as a few published by other companies. It is known for series such as Bomberman, Adventure Island, Bloody Roar, Star Soldier and Bonk.
Hudson Soft made the TurboGrafx-16 in association with NEC, to compete against Nintendo, Sega, and SNK, while continuing making games on other platforms, as a second-party developer.
Hudson Soft ceased to exist as a company on March 1, 2012, and merged with Konami Digital Entertainment, which was the surviving entity. Products and services will continue to be provided under the Hudson brand through Konami.
Relations with KonamiEdit
The relation between Hudson Soft and Konami can be traced at least as early as 1985, when Hudson ported Konami's arcade game Pooyan to the MSX and Famicom. But the acquisition process of Hudson Soft by Konami would only begin in 2001.
Hudson Soft was severely hit by the collapse of its main bank Hokkaido Takushoku. Seeking new financing alternatives, Hudson Soft entered the stock market for the first time in December 2000, listing on the NASDAQ Japan Exchange. This led to Konami purchasing a stock allocation of 5.6 million shares in August 2001, becoming the company's largest shareholder. Within the terms of this purchase, Hudson acquired the Sapporo division of Konami Computer Entertainment Studio, renaming it Hudson Studio.
In April 2005, capital was increased via an allocation of 3 million shares from a third party. Konami Corporation, holding 53.99% of all Hudson stock, became Hudson's majority shareholder and parent company. Hudson Soft continued to be a video game publisher, but working closely with Konami who became Hudson's distributor in Japan.
In April 2011, Hudson Soft turned a wholly owned subsidiary of Konami. The subsidiary in California, Hudson Entertainment, was liquidated in the process.
On March 1, 2012, Hudson Soft officially ceased to exist as it merged with Konami Digital Entertainment, with its music business being absorbed into KME Corporation. The move was not a unilateral decision from Konami, but rather a voluntary merger agreed by the two companies during a board meeting held on January 12, 2012. The main reason for the dissolution of Hudson Soft was the consolidation of the operations of Hudson and Konami into a single company.
Despite the demise of Hudson Soft, Konami had intended for products and services to continue being developed and offered under the Hudson brand. The Hudson website was even initially retained and maintained by Konami. In practice, however, there was no significant action from Konami with the Hudson brand, save for some re-releases on the Virtual Console. By early 2014, Konami had retired the Hudson website. The pre-2005 headquarters of Hudson Soft in Sapporo continued to operate as a branch of Konami well after the absorption until it closed in October 2014. In 2015, Konami sold the Sapporo building that had long been the headquarters of Hudson Soft.
Video game releasesEdit
Hudson Soft is responsible for famous series such as Bomberman, Bonk, Star Soldier, Bloody Roar and Adventure Island.
Hudson also released long-running video game series in Japan. Far East of Eden was a classic RPG set in a fictional era with Japanese themes. The series was up to number 4 when Hudson was absorbed into Konami, and was considered a hit in Japan. The second version of the game was widely regarded as one of the best RPGs ever released, ranked 12th by Famitsu among all games released in Japan. Hudson Soft also created the long-running and critically acclaimed game Momotaro Dentetsu, a board game with locomotive themes. The comical game had 16 instalments released in Japan. Before its absorption, Hudson had re-released some of its first hit games for the GameCube in Japan, including Adventure Island, Star Soldier, and Lode Runner.