Press Release

Bitwave Games Joins Embracer Group’s New Operative Group: Freemode

Bitwave announces partnership with Tatsujin to publish select titles from Japanese developer Toaplan’s classic arcade library on PC for the first time
[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Game Developer and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource Games Press]

Bitwave will digitally publish City Connection’s special edition of Sunsoft’s original platformer Gimmick! later this year on modern consoles and PC, playable August 24-26 at gamescom

GOTHENBURG, SwedenAug. 18, 2022 – Video game publisher and developer Bitwave Games announced it has been acquired by Embracer Group. The studio will continue to work autonomously as part of Embracer Freemode, Embracer’s newly formed operating group, allowing for greater opportunities to collaborate with the many exceptional companies and IP within Embracer, as well as the gaming industry as a whole.

“We are thrilled to become part of the Embracer family with all the possibilities it offers, including the opportunity to expand our development and work with legendary retro IPs. Our fantastic team hopes to create new titles and bring back classic games with the same level of passion that inspired us in our childhood. Bitwave Games and Freemode are a match made in heaven, and I can't wait to announce even more!” said Bitwave Games CEO and founder Niklas Istenes.

To help mark the occasion, Bitwave has revealed a new partnership with fellow Embracer Freemode company Tatsujin to publish a number of classic titles from the archives of legendary Japanese game developer Toaplan. Officially coming to PC for the very first time after more than 25 years, Toaplan’s prolific library of games in the ‘80s and ‘90s was pivotal in the evolution of the “shoot ‘em up” and “bullet  hell” genres on arcade systems and home consoles. Tatsujin is Embracer Group’s first studio in Japan and includes a number of original Toaplan developers on its team.

Tatsujin/Toaplan Announcement Video ft. Senior Game Developer Carl-Henrik Skårstedt:

Bitwave’s new PC releases of Toaplan originals will feature a variety of quality-of-life and accessibility enhancements, such as achievements, online leaderboards, pixel perfect graphics, auto checkpoints, an optional Very Easy mode, sidebar indicators, and full input configuration. The first batch of games, expected to launch later this year, will include Truxton, Twin Cobra, Out Zone, and Zero Wing, originator of the infamous “All your base are belong to us” meme. Out Zone and Zero Wing are available to wishlist now on Steam.

Finally, Bitwave announced it has secured the rights to publish City Connection’s new special edition of the classic 1992 original Sunsoft platformer Gimmick! in the West on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation®4, Xbox One and PC digitally later this year. Gimmick! Special Edition will include bonus features like achievements, time attack mode, save, load and rewind functions, a gallery mode and more. City Connection is both developing and publishing it digitally in Japan. A physical edition of Gimmick! Special Edition will also be published in the West by Clear River Games, part of Embracer Freemode.

Gimmick! Special Edition Teaser Trailer:
A playable demo of Gimmick! Special Edition will be on the show floor at gamescom later this month, from August 24-26, in Retro Gaming area F068 at the Dragon Box booth. It will also be playable at the Tokyo Game Show in September. For more on Gimmick! Special Edition, tune into the virtual showcase that will go live on Sunsoft’s YouTube channel at 1:00 PM PDT / 9 PM BST today.

Press Kits:

About Bitwave Games
Founded originally as Retroid Interactive in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2013, Bitwave Games is a developer and publisher of polished, high-quality, accessible and fun video games mixing the best of the past, present and future anyone can enjoy. Bitwave joined Embracer Group’s Freemode operating group in August 2022.

About Tatsujin
Tatsujin is a Japanese studio led by veteran Masahiro Yuge, one of the original founders of the iconic arcade games studio Toaplan, known for their shoot ‘em up games. Tatsujin continues the heritage and manages the Toaplan catalogue of classic games such as Truxton, Snow Bros, Flying Shark and Zero Wing, known for the line “All your base are belong to us.”

About City Connection
City Connection Co., Ltd. is a developer and publisher located in Tokyo, Japan. City Connection also owns the rights to over 300 Jaleco IPs. City Connection specializes in developing games and creating soundtracks for both Jaleco and other classic games. Please visit for more information.

About Clear River Games
Founded in 2019, Clear River Games is a Swedish publisher in Karlstad next to Klarälven – i.e. “Clear River." Clear River Games' primary focus is publishing high-quality classic game franchises, modern retro and pixel art games, and indie games that inspire gamers and bring back great memories of the past, as well as discovering new great games. CRG's vision is to bring the joy of experiencing vintage retro games and revived classic game franchises to players worldwide. Clear River Games is part of the Embracer Group. For more information, please visit

Media Contact
Rob Fleischer
Sandbox Strategies for Bitwave Games
[email protected]

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