Aicom

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Aicom Corporation (株式会社エイコム) was a game developer and publisher headed by Akio Inoue (井上昭男), formerly of Leijac (Game Machine 1979/6/1, p. 11) and Tehkan (Game Machine 1985/1/15, p. 2). (The name is allegedly short for "Akio Inoue COMputer.")

According to their corporate history, Sammy established a subsidiary called Aicom Japan (日本エイコム株式会社) in 1990. [1] (We derived the name "Aicom Japan" from this Viewpoint sound test. [2]) We had assumed Sammy acquired Aicom outright; however, a Game Machine report on Aicom Japan's merger into Sammy in 1992 (1992/3/15, p. 3) mentions that Aicom Japan was acquired from Aicom. Other details are unclear in the English translation, but this implies that Aicom continued to exist separately from Aicom Japan.

Inoue also served as president of Aicom Japan. It and another subsidiary, Japan Soft Technology, developed arcade and home video game software under Sammy's amusement business division (headed by Minoru Suzuki). Both subsidiaries were absorbed by Sammy on February 3, 1992. With this merger, Inoue became an advisor to Sammy's amusement business division. (Game Machine 1992/3/15, p. 3)

The name Exa Planning is seen on several arcade games (see entry). This was a company also run by Inoue; evidence suggests that this was a separate company that existed alongside Aicom [3], but there is not much other information.

Cyclone System and CP.BRAiN were both started by former Aicom staff.

Research Methods: Actual mentions, code comparisons, interviews, online resources, shared staff

TODO: Separate Aicom Japan games from Aicom. On that note, sound designer Sizlla Okamura said Aicom Japan was still developing A.B. Cop and Fighting Masters, which they had been working on at the "old Aicom," when he joined in December 1990. [4]

Arcade

  • A.B. Cop (Sega)
  • Bombs Away (Jaleco)
  • Hachoo! (Jaleco)
  • Karon (?) (unreleased) [5]
Shooting game using a Sega cabinet. Development was stopped because the main programmer said there wasn't enough program memory.
  • The Lord of King / The Astyanax (Jaleco)
  • Racing Hero (Sega)

Famicom/NES

  • Bomber King / RoboWarrior (co-developer) (JP Publisher: Hudson; US/EU Publisher: Jaleco) [6]
  • Chuugoku Senseijutsu (JP Publisher: Jaleco)
  • Flying Hero (JP Publisher: Epic)
  • Golgo 13: Dai 2 Shou: Riddle of Icarus / Golgo 13: The Mafat Conspiracy (JP/US Publisher: Vic Tokai)
  • Gun-Dec / Vice: Project Doom (JP/US Publisher: Sammy)
  • The Lord of King / Astyanax (production? some sound?) (JP/US/EU Publisher: Jaleco)
Developer: C-lab.?
  • Magic John / Totally Rad (production? sound?) (JP/US Publisher: Jaleco)
Developer: C-lab.?
  • Magical Kids Doropie / The Krion Conquest (sound) (JP/US Publisher: Vic Tokai)
  • Moero!! Junior Basket: Two on Two / Hoops (JP/US Publisher: Jaleco)
  • Takeshi no Sengoku Fuuunko (sound?) (JP Publisher: Taito)
  • Totsuzen! Machoman / Amagon (JP Publisher: Vic Tokai; US Publisher: Sammy)
  • Ultimate Basketball / Taito Basketball (US Publisher: Sammy; JP Publisher: Taito)
  • Ultimate Soccer (unreleased) (game design) (Sammy)
Programming, Graphics, Sound: Beyond
  • Zenbei!! Pro Basket / All-Pro Basketball (JP/US Publisher: Vic Tokai)

Mark III/Master System

  • Basketball Nightmare (EU Publisher: Sega)
  • Great Basketball / Great Basket (JP/US/EU Publisher: Sega; BR Publisher: Tec Toy)
  • Psycho Fox / Sapo Xulé Vs Os Invasores do Brejo (sound) (US/EU Publisher: Sega; KR Publisher: Samsung; BR Publisher: Tec Toy)

Mega Drive/Genesis

  • Dando / Vasum (unreleased) (Treco) [7]
  • Fighting Masters (JP/US Publisher: Treco; KR Publisher: Samsung)
Some System Design, Programming: ALU
  • Magical Hat no Buttobi Turbo! Daibouken (sound?) (JP Publisher: Sega)
  • Super Real Basketball / Pat Riley Basketball (JP/US/EU Publisher: Sega)
  • Whip Rush: Wakusei Voltegas no Nazo / Whip Rush (sound?) (JP Publisher: Sega; US Publisher: Renovation)
  • Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair / Monster Lair / Monster Lair: Wonder Boy III (JP/EU Publisher: Sega; KR Publisher: Samsung) [8]

Neo Geo

  • Dunk Shoot / Dunk Star (unreleased; co-developed with C-lab.) (Sammy) [9]
  • Untitled action game (unreleased) [10]
  • Viewpoint (SNK)

Three additional games never went beyond the planning stage. [11] [12]

PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16

  • Makyou Densetsu / The Legendary Axe (JP Publisher: Victor; US Publisher: NEC)
Programming: Eleca?; Balance Adjustment, Debugging [13], Sound?: Hudson
  • USA Pro Basketball / Takin' It to the Hoop (JP Publisher: Aicom; US Publisher: NEC)
Some Programming: Eleca?

Super Famicom/Super NES

  • Battle Blaze (co-developed with Eleca) (JP/US Publisher: Sammy) [14]
Sound Driver: C-lab.

Aicom (1994~)

At some point after Aicom Japan's merger into Sammy, the Aicom name reappeared. Was this the same corporate entity as the "old Aicom?" Staff later joined Yumekobo.

Neo Geo

  • Pulstar (Aicom)
Sound Design?: First Circle

PlayStation

  • Dynamite King (unreleased) [15]
  • The King of Fighters '95 (JP Publisher: SNK; US Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment) [16]
Some Programming: Eleca, Santos; Sound: First Circle

AI Electronics

(株式会社AIエレクトロニクス) Little is known about this company, other than a couple of people claim to have worked there. It seems to have been particularly active prior to the formation of Yumekobo. The "AI" comes from Akio Inoue. One source says it was a subsidiary of Aicom that made games under the Aicom name and cooperated in the production of Aicom games. [17]

(Developer Dino, a group company of Marvelous started in 1998, included former staff from Yumekobo and Santos. Marvelous president Haruki Nakayama became director of a company called AI Electronics [株式会社エーアイエレクトロニクス] in 2000. [18] Was this the same company?)

Neo Geo

  • Karate Ninja Shou (unreleased)
One source claims to have worked on this game at AI Electronics. (With members of Santos? Not sure if that was in general or on this game in particular.)
Another person says they worked on it at Aicom. [19]

PlayStation

  • Fuuun Gokuu Ninden (JP Publisher: Aicom)
The staff looks like a mix of AI Electronics and Santos employees. This was originally supposed to be published by Santos as Super Ninja Goku. [20] Interestingly, some of the people who worked on this later worked on the PlayStation RPG The Legend of Dragoon.
Sound Effects: First Circle

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