Sunday, January 23, 2011
Konami to Take Over Hudson
Konami has made it official that it will be taking over Hudson Soft via stock swap this upcoming fiscal year, turning the Bomberman developer into a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company.
A Nikkei report stated that Konami had finished its preparations for a complete takeover of Hudson, which would switch over power as of the end of March. CEO Michihiro Ishizuka is expected to resign on March 31st, and the next day, Konami Digital Entertainment's Kazuhiko Uehara will replace him to control Hudson's activities.
Shifting resources, Konami states that the company will be absorbing the developer's knowledge on game distribution on mobile platforms, and it hopes it can bring Hudson's focus toward social gaming experiences. The company is still considering a complete brand change in Hudson to fit into its new direction.
Hudson Soft, formed in 1973, specialized in PC software as early as 1975. Nintendo's first third-party company, Hudson developed Bomberman and Lode Runner as its first major-selling IPs. In 1987, the developer helped create what is known in America as the TurboGrafx-16, a system known for its rare and unique games outside of the SNES and Genesis era. In the late 1990s, Hudson was best known for developing the Mario Party series in a development team set up with Nintendo (whose leads now work within Nintendo). In 2000, the company became publicly-traded, and Konami became the highest stockholder. By 2005, Konami owned 54% of the stock, thereby making Hudson a partial subsidiary. This purchase makes the company wholly-owned and completely controlled by Konami in the future.
Hudson is currently putting a large amount of support onto the Nintendo 3DS, with titles such as Bomberman, Deca Sports, and Nikoli’s Pencil Puzzle expected within the year. It recently released Lost in Shadow for the Wii this past month, and it is still developing a new Bonk title for all downloadable distribution systems on the three current consoles. Whether these projects will change as a result of the purchase has yet to be discussed.