From Sega Retro

COMPILE logo.png
Fast facts on Compile
Founded: 1983
Defunct: 2002
T-series code: T-66
Headquarters: Japan

Compile (コンパイル) was a Japanese video game company founded in 1983 by Masamitsu "Moo" Niitani. They were best known in the 1980s for their many shoot-'em-up games and in the 1990s for their flagship Puyo Puyo video game series.

Between its founding and the eventual domination of the IBM PC internationally, Compile was known as a major home computer developer, most prolifically on the MSX — introducing a majority of its portfolio on the platform: shoot-'em-up series Zanac and Aleste, RPG series Golvellius and Madou Monogatari (and the first game in its spun-off puzzle game series Puyo Puyo), and a variety of other games and compilations (the DiscStation series).

Compile was also well known for developing under license or contract for parts of their early history — most notably as the shadow-developers of Naxat Soft's Crush series of pinball games (including Devil Crash, which Tecnosoft ported to the Mega Drive) and of Hudson's Blazing Lazers/Gunhed — all for the TurboGrafx-16. Their relationship with Sega began this way — being asked to port N-Sub, Tranquilizer Gun (as Safari Hunting), and Borderline to the SG-1000 as three of their first projects, and later returning to do more ports and contracts. But the tables would turn: after Sega offered to make Puyo Puyo into an arcade game, Compile developed a sequel whose wildfire success defined the future of Compile as a console developer primarily focused on Puyo Puyo games.

Compile filed for bankruptcy and disbanded in 2002, though its spirit lives on in a handful of companies founded by ex-employees:

  • Compile Heart, founded by several ex-employees including Niitani, aims to keep the brand name alive
  • Milestone Inc., who makes arcade shoot-'em-ups
  • Eighting/Raizing, who also makes arcade shoot-'em-ups
  • Aiky, who is known for publishing games

The rights to Puyo Puyo were acquired by and remain the property of Sega. New games in the franchise are produced by Sega's subsidiary Sonic Team. The rights to all other Compile properties were acquired by online publisher D4 Entertainment, but were sold (back) to Compile Heart in late 2010.



Master System

Mega Drive


FM Towns

System C

Mega CD

Game Gear


Sega Titan Video




External Links

NEC Retro has more information related to Compile.