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Irem Software Engineering Inc.
Irem Software Engineering Inc.'s company logo.
Founded April, 1997
Located Fukudome, Hakusan, Ishikawa, Japan
Website http://www.irem.co.jp/
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Irem (アイレム?) is a Japanese video game console developer and publisher, and formerly a developer and manufacturer of arcade games as well. They are probably best known for the famous scrolling shooter R-Type. They have been a popular developer in Japan with games like Photoboy for the PC Engine and In the Hunt for the Sega Saturn.

Irem was founded in 1974 under the name IPM. Its purpose was to manufacture, sell, and rent arcade hardware cabinets. IPM released its first video arcade games in 1978. In 1979, IPM changed its name to Irem Corporation. Originally an abbreviation for "International Rental Electronics Machines", the meaning of Irem's acronym was changed to "Innovations in Recreational Electronic Media" in the first half of the 1980s.

As Irem entered the 1990s, the corporation began to decline. Sales were so poor that in 1994, Irem completely ceased development of video games. The company's original wholesale division, which was in charge of manufacturing and renting/selling arcade cabinets, spun off from Irem to form its own company called Apies (アピエス); leaving Irem with only the video game division. Then a group of employees, tired of the company's inactivity, left Irem to form their own company under the name Nazca Corporation.

On April 15, 1997, Nanao (now Eizo Nanao) founded Irem Software Engineering Inc. Shortly after in July 1997, Irem Software Engineering took over the development department of Irem Corporation and absorbed it. The publishing department of Irem Corporation, on the other hand, became under the direct control of Nanao who then sold it to none other than Apies in 1998.

Irem now develops and publishes games in Japan exclusively for the PlayStation 2, the PlayStation 3 and the PSP. Overall, the video game development department is the only remnant of the former Irem Corporation which is still associated with the brand. Irem is currently working on Bumpy Trot 2, a sequel to the first Bumpy Trot (or as it's known in the west; Steambot Chronicles).

Irem Software Engineering is headquartered in Hakusan. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Eizo Nanao Corporation.