As the creator of Space Invaders (1978), Nishikado qualifies as a true legend of the golden age of video arcade games.
Space Invaders was so popular in Japan that it caused a national coin shortage. A year later, its phenomenal success in the US brought a whole new audience into the arcades and delivered video games into mainstream culture.
Nishikado designed all the elements of the game, including the idea that the approaching invaders should sound like a beating heart as they march relentlessly down the screen towards the player. A qualified engineer, Nishikado joined Taito in 1969, designing pachinko games and then video games – including one of Japan’s first, Elepong (1973). He also created Speed Race (1974), Interceptor (1974) and Western Gun (1975; released outside Japan as Gun Fight).
In 1996 Nishikado started his own company, Dreams, but also oversaw the development of Space Invaders Revolution (2005) for Taito.