Hackberry Co., Ltd

HACKBERRY Logo © 2000 Hackberry

HACKBERRY Logo © 2000 Hackberry

Hackberry Co., Ltd are a defunct Japanese development and publishing studio. They were along with a company named Nikko Electric Co., Ltd were part of the Kyoraku Music Industry Holdings group of companies. Hackberry were established sometime in August ’82 and they were based in the Tenpaku-Ku district of Nagoya City, Japan. The company’s official biography lists their business interests as the ‘ planning and development of game software and the planning and development of software for pachinko LCD display device‘ © 2000 HACKBERRY.

Hackberry announced that on the 27th of October ’14 that the company had no plans to continue development of any software and had no more inventory left to sell while thanking customers for their patronage. You’ll find the archived announcement by Hackberry below. © Kyoraku Industrial Holdings Co., Ltd.

https://web.archive.org/web/20150509020949/http://hackberry.co.jp/index.html

Personally, I’m completely unfamiliar with Hackberry’s published output but researching the company they seem to have been involved in the exclusive development of Pachinko software for the consumer market generally licensed from actual Pachinko amusement machines. Hackberry’s Dreamcast title was a late release for the system coming out well after the announcement of the systems cancelation. CR Hissatsu  Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI’s official dricas site has been archived and is the best resource about the game and its presented below. © ハックベリー、松竹、ABC、KYORAKU 2001 © SEGA

https://web.archive.org/web/20010819184142/http://www.hackberry.co.jp:80/pachtyonsigoto/title.html

Hackberry had been previously announced as part of a coalition of Pachinko publishers who were developing & publishing titles under the @VPACHI banner. Hackberry released one title that supported the @VPACHI prize network. The @VPACHI branding meant that Pachinko & Pachislot titles that were part of the online enabled @VPACHI network were able to win the exact same prizes as those playing the physical machines in amusement centres.

The @VPACHI collaboration resulted in six titles from Daikoku Denki, two from Media Entertainment & one from Maxbet and finally one from Hackberry. An online Softbank report covered the announcement of the @VPACHI prize network concept and i’ve linked to it below as it gives quite important information about the formation of the service. © 2000 by Softbank Publishing Inc. All rights reserved.

http://www.itmedia.co.jp/games/gsnews/0008/01/news04.html

Below i’ve linked to each individual of the @VPACHI publishers articles and their titles that use the prize network.

Daikoku Denki

Media Entertainment

https://dreamcastcollector.com/2018/04/17/media-entertainment-inc-2/

Maxbet

https://dreamcastcollector.com/2018/04/17/maxbet-co-ltd-2/

CR必殺仕事人パチってちょんまげ@VPACHI Logo. © ハックベリー、松竹、ABC、KYORAKU 2001

CR必殺仕事人パチってちょんまげ@VPACHI Logo. © ハックベリー、松竹、ABC、KYORAKU 2001

According to their official website Hackberry originally planned to release their title CR必殺仕事人パチってちょんまげ@VPACHI or CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI on the 20th of December ’01. The game was actually released on the second of August ’01 and it retailed for ¥5,800. Below is an online article from dengeki online that details information about the game. © KADOKAWA CORPORATION 2018

http://dengekionline.com/soft/info/detail/12325/

CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI was an online enabled Pachinko simulator that was a digital replica of an actual Pachinko machine that was distributed in Japanese Pachinko parlours. The game had two major selling points over rival genre titles the first of which was the @VPACHI prize network which allowed users of the software to win the same real prizes that players of the physical Hissatsu Shigotonin machine could. The Dreamcast through the @VPACHI network was the first console to award real prizes the same as if you were actually in a Pachinko parlour. While the genre is almost exclusive to Japan it’s enjoyed multiple entries on many hardware platforms but with the chance to win real prizes from the comfort of your own home must’ve been an enticing prospect.

The @VPACHI networks prizes were refreshed weekly and according to CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI’s dricas site you were able to win such prizes as a theme park & travel voucher worth ¥100,000. An example of the type of goods you had a chance of winning are linked to below. © ハックベリー、松竹、ABC、KYORAKU 2001 © SEGA

https://web.archive.org/web/20020404060853/http://hackberry.co.jp:80/dricas/catalog.html

Sadly the games online functions such as the games ranking mode, official bbs board & access to the @VPACHI network was terminated on the 6th of August ’02. Obviously the game is still playable offline but i’d expect the main selling point of CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI was the online prizes which as they were no longer accessible online would’ve had a detrimental effect on possible sales of the game. The archived announcement about the games network termination is linked to below. ©ハックベリー、松竹、ABC、KYORAKU 2001 © SEGA

https://web.archive.org/web/20020810234725/http://hackberry.co.jp:80/dricas/catalog.html

The second key selling point would be the games branding which featued content from the popular Japanese Television show Hissatsu Shigotonin. Personally, I’ve never heard of the show but by researching CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI it led to discovering the Hissatsu Shigotonin series that the game used as its branding. It seems that the program was first broadcast in ’79-’80 while the modern incarnation of the show started in ’07 and the franchise has experienced something of a renaissance in recent years almost having a continuous run since it’s revival in ’07. It has a new series and is currently being broadcast on Japanese television by Asahi Broadcasting Corporation. Below i’ve linked to the current Asahi Broadcasting Corporation incarnation of the series if you’d like to get more general information on Hissatsu Shigotonin. © ABC・tv asahi・松竹 All Rights Reserved.

https://www.asahi.co.jp/hissatsu2018/

My opinion about CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI is honestly its just not the type of game that resonates with me. I’d not actually attempted to play the game due to it’s genre but i thought it fair that i should try CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI for myself. Obviously i’m no expert but the games production values seem high the actual ‘machine’ is intricately detailed although i found the mini display screen to be quite distracting. As someone with no previous experience of Pachinko  i found that it’s a very overwhelming experience.

I’m clearly not CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI’s target market demographic and truthfully i can’t see myself revisiting the game anytime soon. But if back when the game was released & i was a fan of the genre and wanted a new well made Pachinko simulation with high production values i’m sure you could do a lot worse. The real enticement for Pachinko players of the time to buy the game was the @VPACHI network allowing for the first time home Pachinko enthusiasts access to the same prizes as those in the amusement parlours. Which must’ve seemed like such a novel concept at the time which even later Pachinko simulations on more modern hardware platforms didn’t replicate.

I’ve personally found CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI to be a particularly challenging title to acquire sealed. In fact the game seems relatively scarce in any condition this i think could be attributed to the game only receiving one print run. You were able to purchase the game through Hackberry themselves as well as normal game stores. CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI was listed as out of stock on their Q & A user support page.

 

T-45801M CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI

 

Front

T-45801M CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI front

T-45801M CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI front

Back

T-45801M CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI back

T-45801M CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI back

 

SAMPLE covers

 

T-45801M SAMPLE CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI

 

Front

 

T-45801M CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI

T-45801M CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI

Back

T-45801M CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI back

T-45801M CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI back. Initially very similar looking to the released retail cover. Hackberry have changed the screen shots to slightly less bland on the retail cover. The only other anomaly is the same cover states 24 blocks to save while the retail list 16 blocks.

 

(NOT FOR SALE) 非売品 discs & other media

I’m not familiar with anything relating to CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI much less any trace of an individual 非売品 disc and i doubt that one exists for the game. As for any other media relating to the game i haven’t managed to find anything but if i do i’ll update this section.

Thanks for taking the time to read this entry on Hackberry and their title CR Hissatsu Shigotonin Pachitte Chonmage @VPACHI. If you have any information about either Hackberry or their Dreamcast title please get in touch. If your a Pachinko genre enthusiast who’s played the game i’d be interested in your opinion about it. You can contact me either through the site or on Twitter @dreamcastcollector

 

 

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2 responses to “Hackberry Co., Ltd

  1. Pingback: Media Entertainment, Inc | Japanese Dreamcast Collector·

  2. Pingback: MAXBET Co., Ltd | Japanese Dreamcast Collector·

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