Tecmo Koei

Tecmo Koei
Tecmo Koei
Type Kabushiki gaisha (public)
Traded as TYO: 3635
Industry Video game industry
Founded 01967-07-31 July 31, 1967 (as Tecmo)
01978-07-25 July 25, 1978 (as Koei)
02009-04-01 April 1, 2009 (as Tecmo Koei)
Founder(s) Yasuharu Kakihara
Area served World wide
Key people Yasuharu Kakihara, Chairman
Yoichi Erikawa, President and CEO
Products Dead or Alive
Ninja Gaiden
Fatal Frame
Dynasty Warriors
Samurai Warriors
(complete list of games)
Subsidiaries Omega Force, Team Ninja, Team Tachyon, Ruby Party
Website www.koeitecmo.co.jp/

Tecmo Koei Holdings Co., Ltd. (Japaneseコーエーテクモホールディングス株式会社, Kōē Tekumo Hōrudingusu Kabushiki-gaisha),[1][2] is a holding company created in 2009 by the merger of Japanese video game developers and publishers Koei and Tecmo.

Koei Europe changed its name to Tecmo Koei Europe, Ltd [3] and now releases video games under the new moniker. In January 2010, Tecmo, Inc. and Koei Corporation merged into Tecmo Koei America Corporation. Tecmo has been declared disbanded in Japan, effective as of April 1, 2010.[4][5] Koei Canada, Inc. has since changed its name to Tecmo Koei Canada, Inc.

The continued operating loss prompted Kenji Matsubara, the former president and CEO of both Tecmo Koei Holdings and Tecmo Koei Games label to tendered his resignation in November 2010. Yoichi Erikawa - Co-founder of Koei - will take over the four positions vacated by Kenji Matsubara.[6]




Tecmo logo.svg

Tecmo, Inc. (テクモ Tekumo?), formerly known as Tehkan Ltd. (テーカン Tēkan?), was founded by Yoshihito Kakihara on July 31, 1967,[7] as a supplier of cleaning equipment.[8] Two years later, in 1969, it started to sell amusement equipment. Tecmo had its headquarters in Kudankita, Chiyoda, Tokyo.[9] Tecmo's United States offices are in Torrance, California.[10]

In March 1981, a U.S. division was inaugurated as U.S. Tehkan, Inc.. A month later, on April 1981, Tehkan released in Japan its first arcade video game titled Pleiads (which was distributed in America by Centuri). When it was still called Tehkan, the company also released such classic games as Bomb Jack and Tehkan World Cup. On January 8, 1986, Tehkan officially changed its name to Tecmo. In 1989 Tecmo was named as co-defendant in a lawsuit, when Indianapolis Colts running back Eric Dickerson sued the NFLPA over use of his likeness in the game Tecmo Bowl.[11]

In 2006, Founder, President and Chairman Yoshihito Kakihara died of interstitial pneumonia.[12]

On the 3rd June, 2008 Team Ninja head Tomonobu Itagaki resigned from the company and filed a 145 million yen ($1.3 million) lawsuit for "unpaid completion bonuses" and "emotional distress".[13] This was followed by another lawsuit filed on the 16th of June by two plaintiffs on behalf of Tecmo's 300 employees for unpaid wages amounting to ¥8.3 million.[14]



Koei Co., Ltd. (株式会社コーエー Kabushiki gaisha Kōē, formerly 光栄 (Kōei)) was founded in July 1978 by Yoichi Erikawa and Keiko Erikawa. Yoichi was a student at Keio University, and when his family's rural dyestuffs business failed he decided to pursue his interest in programming. The company to this day is located in the Hiyoshi area of Yokohama along with Erikawa's alma mater, and the company's name is simply a spoonerism of the school's.

Shibusawa and Eiji Fukuzawa, whose names are supposed to have made up the name of the company, do not really exist and are names used by the company to avoid giving credit to individual contributors, effectively acting as alter-egos for Erikawa.[citation needed]

The company initially focused on personal computer sales and made-to-order business software. In 1983 it released Nobunaga's Ambition (信長の野望 Nobunaga no Yabō), a historical strategy game set during the Sengoku period of Japanese history. The game went on to receive numerous awards, and Koei produced several more such games set against the backdrop of world history, including Romance of the Three Kingdoms, set during the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history, and Uncharted Waters (大航海時代 Dai Kōkai Jidai; lit. Great Navigation Era), set in Portugal during the Age of Exploration.

In 1988, Koei established a North American subsidiary, Koei Corporation, in California. This subsidiary localized Koei games for export to all territories outside of Japan, as well as producing original games and concepts with the leadership of designer Stieg Hedlund, like Liberty or Death, Celtic Tales: Balor of the Evil Eye, Gemfire and Saiyuki: Journey West. After Hedlund's departure, this subsidiary ceased game development in 1995, focusing instead on localization, sales and marketing.

A Canadian subsidiary, Koei Canada, Inc. was established in early 2001, and a European subsidiary, Koei Limited was established in early 2003 in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. In 2004, a Lithuanian subsidiary was formed.[15]

Merger and reorganization

On August 20, 2008, Tecmo announced the resignation of president Yoshimi Yasuda, to be replaced by current Chairman of the Board Yasuharu Kakihara as of September 1.[16] On August 28 Square Enix announced plans for a friendly takeover of Tecmo by purchasing shares at a 30 percent premium with a total bid of ¥22.3 billion. They gave Tecmo until September 4 to either accept or reject the proposal.[17][18] Upon hearing this news on August 31, Kenji Matsubara, President and COO of Koei, called a board meeting for the next day, September 1.[19] The board discussed the possibility of a merger with Tecmo, and began discussions with Tecmo that same day. On September 4, 2008 Tecmo officially declined the Square Enix's proposal,[20] and later that same day announced plans to merge with Koei.[21][22][23][24]

To survive and compete in this market, we need to have some sort of scale - it's critical. And that's the trigger of this consolidation. Square Enix had made an offer, and we had started a discussion with Tecmo as well. But Tecmo's founding family and Koei's founders' family have actually had a good relationship for many years, which is why we were able to make a deal in such a short time! We started the discussion on September 1st, and it was agreed two days after! Tecmo's founders and management team understands that while it is nice to stand alone, it is risky, and scale is critical.
—Kenji Matsubara[25]

In November 2008 the companies announced their specific plan of action, to complete the merger on April 1, 2009, forming Tecmo Koei Holdings.[26] Koei stock was to be exchanged for Tecmo Koei stock at a rate of 1:1, and Tecmo stock exchanged at .9:1, giving Koei shareholders, in total, a three-quarter stake in the new company. Though the combined profits in 2007 were 8.5 million yen, they anticipated that the merged company would net over 16 million yen in the fiscal year ending year ending March 2012.[27] Effissimo Capital Management Pte, Tecmo's second-largest shareholder at 17.6%, openly opposed the merger.[28] On January 26, 2009, the shareholders for both Koei and Tecmo reached separate agreements in favor of the merger. Effissimo raised some dissent during the meeting, and implied they may seek to sell their shares. [29] Effissimo's director Takashi Kosaka stated “We have not had sufficient information from the company to make a judgment on the merger, such as the feasibility of their plan to raise shareholder value.”[30] On February 12 Kenji Matsubara liquidated KOEI France SAS.[31] On February 13, Tecmo announced it had received repurchase claim (a request for the company to buy stock back) from a major shareholder, 15.64% of the stock (3,890,700 shares) from a shareholder that stood in opposition to the firm's upcoming merger with Koei. While the requesting shareholder was not mentioned, Reuters stated that it was likely Effissimo.[32]

Despite these misgivings, the holding company formed on April 1, 2009 as planned.[33] The development divisions of both companies were spun-out into separate subsidiaries, created specifically for the planning and development of software, operating directly under the holding company.[34] Kenji Matsubara became CEO of the new company, and former Tecmo CEO Yasuharu Kakihara became board chairman.[35] As of May 26, Tecmo Koei had still not reached an agreement with Effissimo, prompting the investment fund to seek mediation with the Tokyo District Court. While Tecmo Koei favored a stock value in the mid-600 yen range, Effissimo was expected to ask for at least 900, in part due to the rejected Square Enix offer of 920 per share.[36]

On June 23, 2009, Tecmo Koei announced a planned restructure of its international subsidiaries. Tecmo's sole subsidiary, the American Tecmo Inc., and Koei's American Koei Corporation were moved under a newly-formed Tecmo Koei America Corporation, itself a direct subsidiary to Tecmo Koei Holdings. Koei's Canadian, European, Korean, and Taiwanese subsidiaries were re-branded Tecmo Koei, and also moved to direct subsidiaries of the holding company, on par with the original Japanese Tecmo and Koei development teams.[37][38] The first game published by the new Tecmo Koei Europe was Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2.[39] In August 2009 Tecmo Koei announced that it was setting up a subsidiary in Hanoi, Vietnam.[40] Later that month the ESA announced that Tecmo Koei was now a member.[41] On April 1 2010, Koei Singapore was also re-branded as Tecmo Koei.[42]

On February 8 2011, Koei Tecmo announced that the individual developers Tecmo and Koei would be merged into Tecmo Koei Games, though the company will continue to develop under the Tecmo and Koei brands.[43]


Team Ninja

Team Ninja is a Japanese video game development department of Tecmo Koei formerly led by Tomonobu Itagaki which was founded in 1995. It is best known for the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden series.

Team Ninja's Ninja Gaiden II for the Xbox 360 was published by Microsoft Game Studios, making it the first game created by Team Ninja not published by Tecmo. Tecmo later released an enhanced version of Ninja Gaiden II on the PlayStation 3 as Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2.

On June 3, 2008, Dead or Alive creator Tomonobu Itagaki announced that he was leaving Tecmo and Team Ninja, citing difficulties with Tecmo. In the same statement announcing his resignation, Itagaki also announced that he was filing a lawsuit against his former employer over unpaid bonuses for his work on Dead or Alive 4 for the Xbox 360. It was later reported on websites claiming that Itagaki was fired from Tecmo on June 18, 2008.[44]

On June 2, 2009, Nintendo representatives announced at its Electronic Entertainment Expo press conference that they were collaborating with Team Ninja on a new Metroid game for Nintendo's Wii console, entitled Metroid: Other M, lead by Metroid's co-creator Yoshio Sakamoto. It has been revealed that Team Ninja is working on a PS3 and Xbox 360 game, which is the first time in 10 years that they have made a multiplatform game.[45]

Team Ninja has shown heavy emphasis on breast physics in game design, garnering them a reputation as "noted digital perverts".[46] Team Ninja's Yosuke Hayashi stated in an interview that his development team's core design philosophy is "Every man loves tits",[47] and The Escapist stated "Tomonobu Itagaki really likes boobs, and the games created by his Team Ninja reflect that."[48]

Breast physics

Their first release, Dead or Alive, was comparable to other fighting games released at the time, though one of the things that made it stand out were the "outrageous physics" used for female fighters in the game, causing breasts to bounce even for simple actions such as walking.[49] Home console versions allowed players to toggle bouncing on or off.[50]

When porting Ninja Gaiden 2 to the PS3, violence and gore were reduced, and three female playable characters were added.[51] The game also made use of the PS3's unique SIXAXIS controller, by allowing players to individually control the bounce of these female characters' breasts. A Tecmo Koei representative summed up the feature to The Escapist, saying "You waggle the pad, the girl's tits bounce".[52]

Omega Force

Omega Force (ω-Force) is a video game developer working for Tecmo Koei that is most well known for its Dynasty Warriors series for the PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and Wii.

Team Tachyon

Team Tachyon is a Japanese video game development department of Tecmo Koei founded in 2007. Similar to Team Ninja, the group was formed to develop high-profile games, some of which relate to Tecmo Koei's classic franchises. The company says that the they chose the name, "Team Tachyon", because a tachyon is a particle that exceeds the speed of light.[53] Key members include Tecmo producers Keisuke Kikuchi (Rygar, Fatal Frame) and Kohei Shibata.[54]

So far, Team Tachyon has aided in the development of the 2008 Wii game Rygar: The Battle of Argus,[53] has released Undead Knights for the PlayStation Portable, and Quantum Theory for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, released in 2010.

Ruby Party

Ruby Party specializes in games labeled as Neoromance: GxB dating sims, usually with extra side-quests. Out of the three Neoromance series, the best known is Angelique, which has been in production since 1994. Harukanaru Toki no Naka de is a newer Neoromance hit, with many sequels and an anime TV series based on it. The newest game in the series, Kin'iro no Corda, is gaining popularity partially because the manga series it was based on, has been recently licensed by Viz for English language publishing. It gaining more popularity though, and an anime TV series based on it began airing in October 2006. A sequel was also released on the PlayStation 2 in March 2007.[55]

International offices

  • Tecmo Koei Holdings, Inc.
    • Koei Tecmo Europe, Ltd.
    • Koei Tecmo Vietnam
    • Tecmo Koei America Corporation
    • Tecmo Koei Canada, Inc.
    • Tecmo Koei Singapore Pte, Ltd.
    • Tecmo Koei Taiwan Co., Ltd
    • Koei Tecmo Net, Inc.
    • Koei Tecmo Games, Inc.
    • Koei Tecmo Wave Co., Ltd.



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External links

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