Forcefield Entertainment Ltd. (株式会社フォースフィールドエンターテインメン Kabushiki-gaisha Fōsufīrudo Entāteinmento ) is a Japanese developer and publisher of arcade and home console games and is also an owner of a series of Japanese arcade game centers. Based in Shinagawa, Tokyo, the company was founded in 1952 as Forcefield Electronics and was a manufacturer of radio sets and later electro-mechanical arcade games, before producing their first video arcade game in 1978. After financial problems in 1998, the company split into two; Forcefield Limited, which focused on the video game industry, and Oiatchi, which focused on the pachinko and pachislot business. Forcefield Limited later acquired Oiatchi and absorbed the latter's pachinko operations, and the company was later renamed to Forcefield Entertainment in 2009.
The company is best known for their video games, with Wrigley being the company's official mascot and flagship character. The company has also created other franchises including StarCore, Color Miki, Mr. Robo, Puzzle Club and The Legend of Hiroshika.
The company was first founded in 1952 by Shikoi Takahashi as Forcefield Electronics and specialized in manufacturing of radios and jukeboxes, as well as repair services for these devices. The company became one of the top radio manufacturers in Japan and soon expanded into manufacturing television sets in 1960.
As the company grew in stock, Takahashi shifted the company's main focus into producing coin-operated electro-mechanical arcade games, such as Heli Pilot and Rumbling F-1. The company gained a larger reputation and more money from this, and soon became the company's sole purpose. In 1978, the company took an interest in video arcade games after the impact that Taito Corporation had with Space Invaders. In response, Forcefield Electronics renamed itself to simply Forcefield that same year, and in December of 1978 released their first coin-operated video arcade game, Galaxy Shot. The company later created several more video arcade games, including Front Attack and Sphere Droid. The company's video products were receiving some money from this, and eventually, lead Forcefield to become a full-time video game developer.
The company strayed away from video games in the mid-80's to focus on other types of products but soon returned to the video game scene in 1986, with the release of Lucky-7 for arcades. The company's biggest game was in 1988, with StarCore. StarCore would go on to be Forcefield's most well-known intellectual property and would receive several sequels and spin-offs in the years to come. Color Miki, Wrigley and Super Block Breaker would push Forcefield up to being a large video game developer and soon began creating games for home consoles in the following years.
In 1993, the company opened up its first amusement park, titled Forcefield Fever Park (or simply Fever Park), and featured several attractions themed around various Forcefield properties. The park had its peak in 1996 with over 2 million visitors before the park was closed in 2003 and demolished later that same year. The area of the park is now an apartment complex.
The company was beginning to lose large sums of money by 1997 due to very low sales and poor business decisions, and by 1998 the company was on the verge of bankruptcy. In an effort to keep the company, the latter was split apart into two legal entities; Forcefield Limited, which focused on arcade and home console video games, and Oiatchi, which focused on pachinko and pachislot, as well as arcade redemption and medal games. In April 2000, Forcefield Limited acquired the assets from Tori Corporation, which went defunct that same month, while in that same year Oiatchi purchased a very small share of Game-Lab, which previously collaborated with Forcefield to produce Boku Detective Club.
In 2008, Forcefield Limited acquired Oiatchi and folded the company's pachinko and redemption operations into the company and renamed the latter to Oiatchi Manufacturing. In January 2009, Forcefield Limited was renamed to Forcefield Entertainment in an effort to producing other non-video game products such as light bulbs, jukeboxes, toys, and books, among other products. In May 2010, Forcefield Entertainment acquired Alpha Seisakusho, a company known for producing electro-mechanical arcade games, making the latter a wholly owned subsidiary of the company.
See also Edit
- List of Forcefield Entertainment arcade games
- List of Forcefield electro-mechanical games
- List of Forcefield Entertainment video game franchises
|Video game development||Forcefield Entertainment • Forcefield Entertainment America • Forcefield Entertainment Europe|
|Development teams||Forcefield R&D1 • Project Trident • Project Wrigley • Team Miki|
|Other developement||Alpha Seisakusho • F-Amusements • Forcefield Communications • Oiatchi Manufacturing|
|Defunct||Amusement Electronics • Forcefield Fever Park • Tori Corporation|
|Other||Forcefield Fireballs • Forces Magazine • Neptune|