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Space Invaders creator wanted to make it easier, regrets promotion

The creator of Space Invaders, Tomohiro Nishikado, would have liked the arcade shoot ‘em up to be an easier game, he told The New Yorker.

"I balanced the game's difficulty entirely by responding to feedback from the people working around me," Nishikado said. "Had it been left up to me, Space Invaders would have been a far easier game."

Nishikado went on to say that he is terrible at video games and struggles to make it past Space Invaders' first level.

The designer began working on Space Invaders in 1977, which saw a release across arcades in 1978 by the Taito Corporation. Nishikado also designed numerous other titles including sports games Soccer and Davis Cup (1973), scrolling racing video game Speed Race (1974), multi-directional shooter Gun Fight (1975) and first-person combat flight sim Interceptor (1975).

The designer explained to the publication that he was regrettably promoted to Section Chief at Taito after the success of Space Invaders. "After that point, I spent most of my time managing other employees," Nishikado said. "Unfortunately, that meant that I was no longer able to spend my time directly involved with game design. I regretted the promotion."