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Leijac (レジャック) was an early games publisher from 1975 to 1981.
It was incorporated in Ôsaka with a joint investment from two companies :
- Marusan Shôkai (マル三商会), created in 1965 : chairman Mitsu Kawai (河合三), president Hisao Kawai (河合久雄), senior vice-president (常務) Akio Inoue (井上昭男)
- Katô (カトウ), president Haruo Katô (加藤春夫)
Both companies were operators of game corners in shopping areas.
At its creation, on December 22nd 1975 ( page 1), Leijac had two presidents at the same time : Akio Inoue and Haruo Katô. Among the directors of the board were also Hisao Kawai (senior vice-president) and Mitsu Kawai (statutory auditor). It appears they all had a representative role. The one in charge of daily operations seems to have been K. Hosoi (細井久平), not a director. ( page 16)( page 3) Leijac started with selling kiddies rides and medal games. Arcade video games were existing in 1975 but it was not a thing yet.
In December 1977, Haruo Katô resigned from his position as president of Leijac and supposedly transfered his shares of the company. He had created another company selling kiddies rides in the meantime : Nihon Yûen (日本游園). As a consequence, Akio Inoue became the only president in charge and Leijac became a subsidiary company of Marusan Shôkai ( page 24). On December 26th 1978, Akio Inoue got promoted senior executive vice-president (副社長) of Marusan Shôkai. Also, Akio Inoue might be related to an obscure company called Aicom Electronics (エイコム電子機器) whose sole activity was in July 1979 and it was to sell Astro Combat, an Invader game ( page 9).
On August 20th 1979, Marusan Shôkai transfered its shares of Leijac to Konami Industries (コナミ工業). That same day, K. Hosoi (細井久平) became the new president of the board of directors of Leijac instead of Akio Inoue. According to Hisao Kawai, Leijac was run by "a third party" recently ( page 5). It was not fully secret but not public either : kiddies rides, medal games and arcade video games (except some licenced games) published by Leijac were developed and manufactured behind the scene by Konami Industries (コナミ工業). In an advertisement of Leijac, Hiro Matsuda (松田拡) and Shôkichi Ishihara (石原祥吉) are presented as people in charge of the production, but they are the "M" and the "I" of "KONAMI" ( page 16).
The ghost developer took control of the publisher and would slowly discard it.
On February 4th 1980, president K. Hosoi was demoted to senior vice-president in charge of sales. Tomozô Shibata (柴田登茂三) became the new president of Leijac. It is not clear if he was from Leijac or Konami Industries before ( page 4). The End (November 1980) is the first game with "Konami" displayed in the title screen instead of "Leijac". In February 1981, Konami Industries stated officially in Game Machine magazine that they were in charge of every stages of developement and manufacturing of their games. Leijac was presented as the exclusive selling company for the Japanese market ( page 6). In July 1981, Konami announced that Leijac was not the exclusive seller of the Konami Industries products anymore. Video Hustler got distributed by Leijac, Sega Enterprises and Nichibutsu (). Leijac disapeared definitly on September 1st 1981, as for the first time the company was not advertised in Game Machine. On September 15 1981, Konami announced that they would take over the missions of Leijac. No public announcement was ever made on what happened to the company ( page 7).
On September 17st 1979, Akio Inoue and Hisao Kawai were demoted and excluded from the board of directors of Marusan Shôkai. The chairman and former president Mitsu Kawai sat back in the seat of president. ( page 3) Soon after, Akio Inoue left Marusan Shôkai ( page 4). Marusan Shôkai was going through an important economic crisis related to the rise and fall of the "invader boom". On August 29th 1980, Marusan Shôkai went bankrupt with 4 billions yen of due debt ( page 4). The Tôkyô branch separated under the name Tôkyô Marusan (東京マルサン) and survived (president : Takeshi Tadokoro). Hisao Kawai and Akio Inoue were respectively deputy director (副理事) of the Japanese Operators Union (日本娯楽機械オペレーター協同組合)(JOU) and director of the Japan Amusement Association (JAA)(全日本游園協会). They were both important personalities in the arcade industry. However, when the bankruptcy of Marusan Shôkai occured, they totally disapeared from public activities for years.
In December 1980, Hisao Kawai started Daiô Shinkô (大王振興)(later Egg Box), a game centers operator which bankrupted in 2019 ()().
In September 1981, K. Hosoi started Pasadena International (パサデナインターナショナル)(later PIC), a game machines distributor which bankrupted in 2009 ().
In 1982, Mitsu Kawai, aged 80, tried to restart Marusan Shôkai under the name Tac (タック). He passed away in 1991 ().
Akio Inoue was later a staff of Tehkan and later again founded Aicom ().
Tomozô Shibata made a career at Konami.
Leijac published medal games during all its lifetime. It was quite popular (particulary the Piccadilly serie). It also began publishing arcade video games in 1978. Like most of the other companies of the time, they started with publishing games "inspired" by Breakout (1976) of Atari. When the "invaders boom" occured with Space Invaders of Taito (1978), they focused mostly on invader games. Frogger was supposed to be published by Leijac and Sega but Leijac disapeared before release. Every games below were developed by Konami Industries.
- Block Yard (ブロックヤード) (1977)
- Destroyer (デストロイヤー) (1978)
- Super Destroyer (スーパーデストロイヤー) (1978)
- Breaker (ブレーカー) (1978)
- Space King (スペースキング) (1979)
- Car Chase (カーチェイス) (1979)
- Head-On type game under licence from Sega
- Rich Man (リッチマン) (1979)
- Space Invaders Part II (インベーダーパートII) (1979)
- Under licence from Taito
- Space Ship (スペースシップ)(1979)
- Developer: Technical Magic / Original Name: Star Fire
- Space King: Part II (スペースキングパートII) (1979)
- Maze (メイズ) (1979)
- Alien (エイリアン) (1979)
- Space War (スペースウォー) (1980)
- Licence granted to Taito (Space Laser) and Sega (not used?)
- Galaxian (ギャラクシアン) (1980)
- Under licence from Namco
- Kamikaze (カミカゼ) (1980)
- Sidewinder (サイドワインダー) (1980)
- The End (ジ・エンド) (1980)
- Scramble (スクランブル) (1981)
- Video Hustler (ビデオハスラー) (1981)
- Frogger (フロッガー) (1981)
- Ultra Dome (ウルトラドーム) (1981 unreleased?)