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ASCII Corporation


ASCII Corporation, Inc. was a Japanese company founded by Kazuhiko Nishi on 24th May 1977. It was founded in cooperation with NEC in order to create the MSX home computer system, the first home computer for the Japanese market. It later became a subsidiary of the Kadokawa Corporation and focused on the publication of print magazines dealing with computers and hardware.

In its early years ASCII focused on the development of said hardware and software for it but later, when the video game market got rough in the mid-eighties, the company started to develop and publish software for popular gaming consoles of that time, namely the Nintendo Entertainment System and the SEGA Genesis.

Due to their success in the market, ASCII decided to establish an U.S. subsidiary in 1991 which became known as ASCII Entertainment.

In the following years the Japanese market of ASCII declined slowly while the US market became profitable and so another subsidiary was founded in 1998. It became known as 'Ascii Game Entertainment TEChnology', Agetec for short. Agetec's primary field of business was the publication of video games. In 1999 Agetec was spun off and became a fully independent publisher of games though business relationships remained.

In March 2002, ASCII Corporation finally ceased to distribute and publish video games on the Japanese market and started to center its attention around its early core competencies, IT- and computer-magazines like the prestigious ASCII-magazine. The software development branch was subsequently spun off as Media Leaves Inc.

After two more years, in January 2004, ASCII, as well as its spin offs, Media Leaves Inc. and Enterbrain Inc, were bought by the Kadokawa Holdings which established itself as the prime distributor of game-media-coverage in Japan by doing so.

On 1st April 2008 ASCII Corporation and MediaWorks, Inc. merged to form the company ASCII Media Works, Inc. and MediaWorks was legally absorbed by ASCII. On 1st October 2013 Kadokawa Corporation turned the company into an internal division.

Contributed by koffiepad (10510) on Nov 26, 2005. [revised by : Игги Друге (46324), jwiechers (65) and Sciere (741241)].