|Kabushiki gaisha Tōapuran|
|Headquarters||Shimizu, Suginami, Tokyo|
Toaplan Co., Ltd.[a] was a Japanese video game developer based in Tokyo responsible for the creation of a wide array of scrolling shooters and other arcade games. The company was founded in 1979 but its gaming division was established in 1984 by former Orca and Crux employees, who wanted to make games, after both companies declared bankruptcy. Their first shoot 'em up game, Tiger-Heli (1985) on arcades, was a success and helped establish Toaplan as a leading producer of shooting games throughout the 1980s and 1990s that would continue to characterize their output.
Though initially exclusive to arcades, they expanded with the Sega Genesis in 1990. The company ceased development of shoot 'em up projects before declaring bankruptcy in 1994. Several offshoot developers such as Tamsoft, Eighting, CAVE, Gazelle, and Takumi Corporation were formed prior to and after the closure, while former members later joined to other studios like Square Enix and Taito. Toaplan has since earned recognition from critics, being called one of the greatest and most influential Japanese shoot 'em up developers and "master" of the scrolling shooter genre.
Toaplan was established in April 1979 but its gaming division was established by former Orca and Crux members. Performan was created by most of the same team that previously worked on several projects at Orca and Crux before both companies declared bankruptcy, after which a group of employees from the two gaming divisions would go on to form Toaplan and among them were composers Masahiro Yuge and Tatsuya Uemura.
In 1992, Yoshiyuki Kiyomoto stepped down from his position as CEO at Toaplan, with Taizo Hayashi now serving as the company's president. Toaplan provided consultance and advising to Raizing (now Eighting) during the development of Sorcer Striker, as well as licensing their arcade board to the company, since the president of the latter company previously served as an employee of the former. Snow Bros. 2: With New Elves served as one of the final projects to be developed by Toaplan, as the company ceased development of shoot 'em up games before their closure.
The rights to nearly every Toaplan IP are currently owned by Tatsujin, a Japanese company formed by Yuge and now-affiliate of Japanese arcade manufacturer exA-Arcadia. In 2019, Japanese company M2 announced that in 2020 they will release every game by Toaplan (excluding Mahjong Sisters and Enma Daiō) for consoles in Japan.
Various individuals have been important figures in the history of Toaplan:
The company declared bankruptcy on March 31, 1994. Its closure led to the formation of several offshoot companies. Prior to Toaplan's closure in 1994, several former employees formed or were involved with multiple companies, many of which were dedicated to arcade shooters: Tamsoft, Raizing, CAVE, Gazelle, and Takumi (who continued development of Twin Cobra II after Toaplan's closure).
|Tiger-Heli||Arcade, Nintendo Entertainment System, PlayStation||Taito, Romstar||Micronics (NES), Gazelle (PS1)|
|Slap Fight||Arcade, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Thomson MO5, Thomson TO8, ZX Spectrum, Atari ST, Sega Mega Drive||Taito||Probe Software (CPC/ZXS), Imagine Software (C64), France Image Logiciel (MO5/TO8), Abersoft Limited (ST), M.N.M Software (SMD)|
|1987||Flying Shark||Arcade, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Nintendo Entertainment System, MS-DOS, X68000, FM Towns||Taito, Romstar, Electrocoin||Catalyst Coders (C64), Graftgold (ZXS/CPC), Images Software (AGA/ST), Software Creations (C64/NES), Banana Development Corporation (DOS), Kaneko (X68K), Ving (FMT)|
|Wardner||Arcade, Famicom Disk System, Sega Genesis||Taito||Daiei Seisakusho (FDS), Dragnet (SG)|
|Twin Cobra||Arcade, PC Engine, NES, Sega Genesis, X68000, FM Towns, PlayStation||Taito, Romstar||A.I Company (PCE), Micronics (NES), Graphic Research (SG), Inter State (X68K), Ving (FMT), Gazelle (PS1)|
|1988||Rally Bike||Arcade, Nintendo Entertainment System, X68000||Taito||Visco Corporation (NES), SPS (X68K)|
|Truxton||Arcade, Sega Genesis, PC Engine||Taito, Midway||Sting Entertainment (PCE)|
|1989||Hellfire||Arcade, Sega Genesis, PC Engine Super CD-ROM²||Taito, U.S.A. Games||NCS Corporation (SG), NEC Avenue (PCE SCD-ROM²)|
|Twin Hawk||Arcade, Sega Mega Drive, PC Engine, PC Engine CD-ROM²||Taito||Center Tech (PCE), NEC Avenue (PCE CD-ROM²)|
|Demon's World||Arcade, PC Engine Super CD-ROM²||Taito, Catalina Games||NEC Avenue (PCE SCD-ROM²)|
|Zero Wing||Arcade, Sega Mega Drive, PC Engine CD-ROM²||Namco, Williams Electronics||N/A|
|Fire Shark||Arcade, Sega Genesis||Toaplan, Romstar, Dooyong||N/A|
|1990||Snow Bros.||Arcade, Game Boy, Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Mega Drive||Toaplan, Romstar||Dual (GB), Soft House (NES)|
|Out Zone||Arcade||Tecmo, Romstar, Toaplan||N/A|
|1991||Teki Paki||Arcade||Tecmo, Honest Trading, Spacy||N/A|
|1992||Pipi & Bibi's||Arcade||Toaplan, Nova Apparate||N/A|
|Truxton II||Arcade, FM Towns||Toaplan||Ving (FMT)|
|1993||Grind Stormer||Arcade, Sega Genesis||Toaplan||Tengen (SG)|
|Knuckle Bash||Arcade||Toaplan, Atari Games||N/A|
|Batsugun||Arcade, Sega Saturn||Toaplan, Taito, Unite Trading||Gazelle (SS)|
|1994||Snow Bros. 2: With New Elves||Arcade||Hanafram||N/A|
|1991||Snow Bros.||Nintendo Entertainment System||Soft House||Capcom|||
|Title||Genre||Publisher(s)||Planned Release Date/Last Year Developed or Mentioned||Notes/Reasons|
|Batsugun sequel||Shoot 'em up||Toaplan||1 May 2001|||
|Untitled Sega System 1 game||Action||Sega||1 June 2009|||
|Dynamic Trial 7||Racing, Vehicular combat||Toaplan||1 June 2009|||
|Teki Paki 2||Puzzle||N/A||1 June 2009|||
|Genkai Chōsen Distopia||Action, Hack and slash, Platform||N/A||1 June 2009|||
|Tank da Don!!||Platform, Run and gun||N/A||27 October 2011|||