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Hudson Soft Company, Ltd.

Overview

Hudson Soft Company was a Japanese game developer and publisher. They also developed video game peripherals and mobile content, and recorded music.

Hudson was founded on May 18th, 1973, by the brothers Yūji and Hiroshi Kudō. The company was named after Hudson locomotives due to its founders' love of trains. It was initially a shop called CQ Hudson, which sold radio telecommunications devices and art photographs. In September 1975 Hudson began focusing on computer-related products, and in March 1978 they started developing computer games. Most of their early titles had little success, but things changed with the release of Bomberman (1983), which eventually became one of their flagship series. Among their other popular franchises are Adventure Island, Bonk's Adventure, and Tengai Makyō series (developed in cooperation with RED Company).

Hudson was well-known for its shoot 'em ups, for which it arranged tournaments called "carnivals" each year. Albeit a strong supporter of Nintendo's Famicom, Hudson went on to develop the PC Engine together with NEC. In later years, the company has once more had strong bonds to Nintendo, developing a long series of titles in the Mario franchise.

By 2005 54 percent of the company was owned by the Japanese games company Konami. In January 2011 Konami took a 100 percent stake and it closed the US publishing division Hudson Entertainment in February 2011.

On March 1, 2012, Hudson was officially merged with Konami Digital Entertainment and ceased to exist as a separate entity, only retaining its brand name.

Trivia

Hudson Soft was the very first third-party developer and publisher for the Nintendo Famicom (NES). They produced the game programming system Family Basic, which was published by Nintendo in June 1984, and soon after published the first Famicom games not produced by Nintendo, Nuts & Milk and Lode Runner, in July 1984.

Interestingly, Hudson also produced the very last licensed release for the Famicom as well, Takahashi Meijin no Bōkenjima IV.

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