Technōs Japan

From Sega Retro

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Technōs Japan
Founded: 1981
Defunct: 1996
T-series code: T-154
Tokyo, Japan

Technōs Japan Corporation (株式会社テクノスジャパン) was a Japanese video game developer founded by former Data East staff members in 1981. Their first big hit was the 1986 arcade game Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun (熱血硬派くにおくん), a side-scrolling beat-'em-up set in present day Japan involving high school delinquents and yakuza mobsters. Because Kunio-kun was considered "too Japanese" for the international market by distributor Taito, a graphically altered version titled Renegade was instead distributed overseas featuring a punk aesthetics inspired by the movie The Warriors. The success of Kunio-kun would lead Technōs to pursue game development on home consoles in addition to the arcades, leading to numerous Kunio spinoffs on Nintendo platforms, some of which also had graphically altered versions made for the overseas market (such as Super Dodge Ball, River City Ransom/Street Gangs, Nintendo World Cup, Double Dragon II and Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge). The company also scored an international hit with the 1987 arcade game Double Dragon, a spiritual successor to Renegade which went on to become their other successful franchise and further cemented their status as a beat-'em-up pioneer.

Technōs initially operated from an apartment office located at the Nishi-Shinjuku district of Shinjuku, Tokyo. They transferred over to Kabukichō in 1987, the same year they established their U.S. subsidiary American Technos Incorporated in Cupertino, California. The company eventually moved from Shinjuku to Nakano in 1992, having constructed their own headquarters building called the Technōs Nakano Building. Unfortunately, Technōs was unable to support the maintenance cost of their new headquarters due to diminishing profits, a result of their over-reliance on the Kunio series at the expense of other titles, their inability to smoothly transition to the newer generation of consoles after the Famicom was being put of pasture and the difficulty of localizing further Nekketsu games that led to the cancellation of planned Crash 'n the Boys sequels. Despite the worldwide popularity of Double Dragon, Technōs never saw much profits from overseas sales of that series either due to their licensing agreement with Tradewest, who were granted the publishing rights to the console versions of the Double Dragon games outside Japan in addition to merchandising rights. Technōs eventually declared bankruptcy in 1996, with its assets eventually being sold on to Million Co., Ltd in 2001 and later on to Arc System Works in 2015. The Technōs Nakano Building underwent various owners and tenants after the company's closure, eventually changing its name to the Ichigo Nakano North Building on October 1, 2013.

As a third-party, Technōs initially only published games on Nintendo consoles while authorizing licensed ports on competing platforms published by other companies such as PALSOFT on the Mega Drive, Naxat Soft on the PC Engine and Sega themselves on the Master System. Technōs eventually did obtain a third-party publishing license from Sega, but only developed two games for their platforms, both based on the Popeye the Sailor Man comic strip, and only one of them was released. Their last few games were released on the Neo-Geo arcade and home platform.


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