1998 (year)

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This page refers to the year 1998 in BEMANI history. For the DanceDanceRevolution EXTREME song of the same name, please see 1998.

BEMANI Timeline
1997 - 1998 - 1999
2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009
2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016 - 2017 - 2018 - 2019
2020 - 2021 - 2022 - 2023 - 2024


1998 saw the beginning of KONAMI expanding its music line. Two new game series went into location tests, and were later released that same year: DanceDanceRevolution and pop'n music.

DanceDanceRevolution originally focused on dance music from TOSHIBA-EMI's line of Dancemania albums, as KONAMI signed a deal with them advertise their albums in DanceDanceRevolution in exchange for access to their ever-increasing library of music. The few new original songs it had were made by a young Naoki Maeda, a recent composer for KONAMI who would later become the series' sound producer. TOSHIBA-EMI would continue to release BEMANI soundtracks and albums with KONAMI until 2006.

pop'n music, meanwhile, consisted of original songs much like beatmania, but expanded upon the 5-key layout with nine different, color-coded buttons, as well as a more colorful interface. It also had a character select screen to choose your desired character for play, which was still a new thing in music games at the time.

In addition to two new music game series, KONAMI continued to produce new games for the beatmania series. beatmania 2ndMIX and 3rdMIX both came out, the former introducing Hiroshi Watanabe, the first ever commission artist in BEMANI. His style of music, which varied from techno to house, made him popular within the beatmania community, even long after he stopped contributing.

By the end of the year two of the most notable character designers in BEMANI also made their debut. The first, Gyo Eguchi (commonly known as VJ GYO), got his start in beatmania 3rdMIX, later becoming the head graphic artist of beatmania's spinoff series beatmania IIDX the following year, which he still works on to this day. The other is Tomoko Shiono, better known as shio, who got her start doing sketches of the original pop'n music game cast. She would leave a very pretty big impression just two years later on the pop'n music franchise which she joined the staff full-time, as the overall designs of the characters went from the rough, slightly crude style of the first games to the far more animated and appealing style the series is known for today.

In addition, 1998 also saw the debut of the very first home music BEMANI game; beatmania CS, which came with a bonus disc called beatmania APPEND YebisuMIX, which contained a completely brand-new set of songs. This was the first music game worked on by Hiroyuki Togo, a KONAMI composer whose style of music - which dabbled in house, R&B, and hints of jazz - helped expand the music variety of beatmania. Togo would continue to work on most of the PlayStation beatmania games, even becoming the producer of several of the later games. beatmania CS ended up selling hundreds of thousands of copies, paving the way for CS releases of near every other BEMANI game for the next decade. A home version of beatmania 3rdMIX wasn't too far behind, coming out by the end of the year.

Lastly, 1998 also introduced two singers who would become big over the years. First was Kiyotaka Sugimoto, a friend of Reo Nagumo's who would compose music himself just a year later, becoming a core beatmania and pop'n music staff member. Second was Sanae Shintani, KONAMI's first break-out vocalist. Originally a receptionist, Sanae would over the years become one of the most popular vocalists across beatmania and pop'n music, going on to having six albums, three compilation albums, two EPs, three singles, as well as in-numerous concerts she participated in. She would continue to work at KONAMI for roughly the next 13 years.

As big as 1998 was, though, 1999 would eclipse it quite a bit.


  • January 19th: hiphopmania, the North American version of beatmania, is released to North American arcades, marking the debut of the BEMANI series outside Japan.


  • February 21st: BEAT MANIA -REMIXES-: KONAMI GAME MUSIC REMIX SERIES Vol.4 WITH beatmania ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK, the first BEMANI game soundtrack, is released. It contains all the new songs from beatmania, including BGM, as well as exclusive DJ mixes of the songs by various artists.



  • Development on beatmania IIDX, beatmania 3rdMIX, and pop'n music begin at the same time. [1]
  • Konami Computer Entertainment School, or KCE, opens in Tokyo in April 1998. It is the second school to open up, after Kobe, which opened the prior year. [2]


  • May 29th: beatmania remix, a limited edition vinyl, is released. It contains new remixes of songs from the original beatmania, and is notable as the only BEMANI game soundtrack on vinyl.


  • June 26th: beatmania 2ndMIX complete is released. It contains all the songs from beatmania and beatmania 2ndMIX, instrumental versions of some of the vocal songs, and a long version of Deep Clear Eyes.


  • July 31st: After undergoing several months of examination, patent no. 2922509 was successfully approved by Japanese patent law. This mainly covers elements of the cabinet design, hardware, software, and gameplay mechanics utilized in the original beatmania series, including keysounded notes and vertical note lanes. While its main association is with beatmania, many fans have come to nickname it the "BEMANI patent" due to other BEMANI titles released at the time often sharing these gameplay elements. This patent would remain in effect until July 31st, 2018.


  • September 26th: DanceDanceRevolution is released to arcades, the first game in the DanceDanceRevolution series.
    • Series legend Naoki Maeda makes his debut, and would continue to contribute to DDR and other BEMANI games for the next 15 years.
  • September 28th: beatmania 3rdMIX is released to Japanese arcades.
    • Graphic artist Gyo Eguchi makes his BEMANI debut in this game.
  • September 28th: pop'n music is released, the first game in the pop'n music series. It ran on BEMANI DJ-MAIN HARDWARE, the same hardware as beatmania.


  • October 1st: beatmania CS is released in Japan for the Sony PlayStation. It also includes a bonus disc called YebisuMIX, which contains nine brand-new songs.
  • October 10th: beatmania Original CD is released, containing all the new songs from YebisuMIX. It was included with beatmania Consumer Guide book.
  • October 23rd: beatmania TOMOKI HIRATA, the first KONAMI-published album that includes BEMANI songs that isn't a soundtrack/remix album, is released. As the name applies, it contains songs composed by Tomoki Hirata.




  • DanceDanceRevolution X Dancemania album is released as a promotional CD. It contains all the songs from the original version of DanceDanceRevolution. It is no longer for sale.
  • A 38 minute promotional VHS tape on beatmania, titled beatmania kouryaku point, is released, teaching players how to play beatmania. The grand majority of the video features a then top beatmania player showing off various tips to help players. The game played is beatmania 3rdMIX.