|Headquarters||Mukoujima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo, Japan|
Westone Bit Entertainment (株式会社ウエストンビットエンタテインメント) was a Japanese game developer founded by Ryuichi Nishizawa and Michishito Ishizuka. The company name is a portmanteau the first kanji characters of the founders surnames translated to English; 西 (Nishi = West), 石 (Ishi = Stone). The company originally started in 1986 as Escape, but the developers didn't think that was a good name for their company, so they changed to Westone later. In April 2000, the company's name expanded to "Westone Bit Entertainment".
The company specialized in developing games for Sega consoles, but also attempted a couple Nintendo consoles, and later moved on to the PlayStation, Windows, some other various consoles and computers, and even designed some toys. They also developed Panic Bomber, one of the few Virtual Boy games. The company is mostly known for its Wonder Boy series on the Sega consoles, and the infamous "Jaws" on the NES.
Westone only developed two games, each with their own unique sound driver; Jaws, and the Japan-exclusive Mashin Eiyuuden Wataru Gaiden. Both games were composed by Shinichi Sakamoto. For both games, he had to write the music in 6502 assembly macros using hexadecimal numbers as notation. For Jaws, he used a sound driver by the game's programmer, Michishito Ishizuka, and for Mashin Eiyuuden Wataru Gaiden, he programmed his own sound driver. Sakamoto's driver was later used in the Famicom game Nakayoshi to Issho, though he was not involved with the game himself.
- Jin Watanabe - Composer.
- Michishito Ishizuka - Sound driver programmer for Jaws (NES).
- Ryuichi Nishizawa - Composer.
- Shinichi Sakamoto - Lead composer.
- westone.co.jp - Official.