Irem is a Japanese video game console developer and publisher, and formerly a developer and manufacturer of arcade games as well. The company has its headquarters in Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture.
The company is probably best known for Moon Patrol, the famous scrolling shooter R-Type and the earliest beat 'em up, Kung-Fu Master. They have been a popular developer in Japan with games like Photoboy for the PC Engine and In the Hunt for the arcades, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, and PC. Irem is also known for making their arcade games extremely difficult, and most of them feature a dip switch that allows you to play a "no death mode" as a result, in order to allow gamers to be able to complete their tough games.
As a result of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, Irem canceled the majority of its remaining video game projects, including Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 4: Summer Memories and Poncotsu Roman Daikatsugeki Bumpy Trot 2. Irem re-focused to become primarily a slot-machine and pachinko developer, the industry it was in before turning to video games. Its video game division was dissolved in April 2011 and many Irem designers, including producer Kazuma Kujo, gathered to form a new company called Granzella to continue creating games.