OverviewAlpha Denshi (アルファ電子) was an electronics and software engineering company established in July 1980 in Saitama, Japan, headed by Kazuo Arai. The company originally dealt in communications equipment, but released its first arcade game in May 1981: Janputer, arguably the world's first true mahjong video game. The company developed a number of titles for Sega in the early '80s, but would soon become a strong ally of SNK.
SNK's Neo Geo hardware, designed by Alpha Denshi's Eiji Fukatsu, was released to both arcades and homes around the world in 1990, and Alpha Denshi would be the platform's most prominent developer apart from SNK itself, releasing more than a dozen titles between 1990 and 1996, including fan-favorites such as World Heroes and Twinkle Star Sprites.
The company shortened its name to ADK (エーディーケイ) at the start of 1993. Due to contractual limitations with SNK, the company launched Miraisoft (未来ソフト) in 1997 to publish titles for other platforms. However, the company was plagued by the same post-bubble financial troubles as SNK, and by the time of SNK's bankruptcy in 2001 was operating with only a skeleton staff.
In its twilight years, ADK shifted its business toward mobile content and LCD games, but was ultimately forced to close sometime in 2003. The rights to most of the company's catalog are now owned by SNK Playmore.
Also Known As
- Alpha Denshi Co., Ltd. (from Jul, 1980 to 1984)
- Alpha Denshi Kōgyō Co., Ltd. (from 1984 to Dec 31, 1992)
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