Koei Tecmo Holdings Co., Ltd.[a][2][3] is a Japanese video game, amusement and anime holding company created in 2009 by the merger of Koei and Tecmo. Koei Tecmo Holdings owns several companies, the biggest one of those being its flagship video game developer and publisher Koei Tecmo Games that was founded in 1978 as Koei.[4][5]

Koei Tecmo Holdings Co., Ltd.
Native name
Kabushikigaisha Kōē Tekumo Hōrudingusu
Company typePublic
TYO: 3635
IndustryVideo games, anime, amusement
Founded1 April 2009; 15 years ago (2009-04-01) (as Tecmo Koei Holdings)
HeadquartersMinatomirai, Yokohama, Japan
Area served
Key people
ProductsList of Koei Tecmo games
Number of employees
DivisionsKoei Tecmo Pictures
Kou Shibusawa [ja]
CWS Brains
Koei Tecmo Books
Omega Force
Ruby Party
Team Ninja
SubsidiariesKoei Tecmo Games [ja]
Koei Tecmo Wave [ja]
Koei Tecmo American Corporation
Koei Tecmo Europe
Koei Tecmo Taiwan
Koei Tecmo Singapore
Koei Tecmo Tianjin Software
Koei Tecmo Beijing Software
Koei Tecmo Software Vietnam
Koei Tecmo Shanghai Entertainment co.، ltd
Koei Tecmo Net
Koei Tecmo Quality Assurance
Koei Tecmo Liv
Koei Tecmo Music
Koei Tecmo Capital

The company is best known for their Nobunaga's Ambition, Dynasty Warriors, Atelier, Ninja Gaiden, Dead or Alive, Monster Rancher, Fatal Frame, and Nioh franchises. They are also known for their work on external video game franchises, namely on Square Enix's Final Fantasy and Nintendo's Fire Emblem.

Koei Europe was the first subsidiary to change its name to Tecmo Koei Europe, Ltd[6] and to release video games under the new moniker. In January 2010, Tecmo, Inc. and Koei Corporation followed suit by merging to form Tecmo Koei America Corporation. On April 1, 2010, Tecmo was declared disbanded in Japan.[7][8] Its sister company Koei survived but was renamed Tecmo Koei Games (today Koei Tecmo Games) and is the main video game subsidiary of the group.[5] The former development divisions of Tecmo and Koei were briefly spun-off as separate companies in March 2010, but folded into Tecmo Koei Games in April 2011.[5] In addition to its primary trademark, Koei Tecmo Games occasionally used the "Koei" and "Tecmo" brand names on new video games until 2016 for marketing purposes.

History edit

Independent era edit

Koei edit

Former Koei logo

Koei Co., Ltd. (株式会社コーエー Kabushiki gaisha Kōē, formerly 光栄 (Kōei)) was founded in July 1978 by husband-and-wife duo Yōichi [ja] and Keiko Erikawa [ja]. Yōichi 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 was (and, as Koei Tecmo, still is) located in the Hiyoshi area of Yokohama along with Yoichi's alma mater, and the company's name is simply a spoonerism of the school's.

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 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, and Gemfire . 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.[9]

Tecmo edit

Former Tecmo logo

Tecmo, Ltd.[b], formerly known as Tehkan Ltd.[c], was founded by Yoshihito Kakihara on July 31, 1967,[10] as a supplier of cleaning equipment.[11] Two years later, in 1969, it started to sell amusement equipment. Tecmo had its headquarters in Kudankita, Chiyoda, Tokyo.[12] Tecmo's United States offices were located in Torrance, California.[13]

In March 1981, a U.S. division was inaugurated as U.S. Tehkan, Inc.. A month later, in April 1981, Tehkan released in Japan its first arcade video game titled Pleiades (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.[14]

In January 2006, Tecmo president, Junji Nakamura, resigns from the company while Yoshimi Yasuda was named his successor.[15]

In 2006, Founder Yoshihito Kakihara died of interstitial pneumonia.[16]

On June 3, 2008, Team Ninja head Tomonobu Itagaki resigned from the company and filed a 145 million yen ($1.3 million) lawsuit against Yoshimi Yasuda for "unpaid completion bonuses" and "emotional distress".[17] This was followed by another lawsuit filed on 16 June by two plaintiffs on behalf of Tecmo's 300 employees for unpaid wages amounting to ¥8.3 million.[18]

Merger and reorganization edit

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. 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.[19][20] Upon hearing this news on August 31, Kenji Matsubara, President and COO of Koei, called a board meeting for the next day, September 1.[21] 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 Square Enix's proposal,[22] and later that same day announced plans to merge with Koei.[21][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, 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 billion yen, they anticipated that the merged company would net over 16 billion yen in the fiscal 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 a 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] Kenji Matsubara became CEO of the new company, and former Tecmo CEO Yasuharu Kakihara became board chairman.[34] 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.[35]

On June 23, 2009, Tecmo Koei announced a planned restructure of its international subsidiaries.[36][37] Koei Europe was renamed Tecmo Koei Europe in 2009 and became the first subsidiary to publish games under the new moniker, starting with Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2.[38] In August 2009 Tecmo Koei announced that it was setting up a subsidiary in Hanoi, Vietnam.[39] In January 2010, Tecmo's sole subsidiary, the American Tecmo Inc., and Koei's American branch, Koei Corporation, were moved under a newly formed Tecmo Koei America Corporation, itself a direct subsidiary to Tecmo Koei Holdings. Koei's Canadian, Korean, and Taiwanese subsidiaries were re-branded Tecmo Koei, and also moved to direct subsidiaries of the holding company. Later that month the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced that Tecmo Koei was now a member.[40]

On April 1, 2010, Koei absorbed Tecmo in Japan to become Tecmo Koei Games.[41] The development divisions of both companies were spun-out into separate subsidiaries of Tecmo Koei Games, created specifically for the planning and development of software.[42][5] Koei Singapore was also re-branded as Tecmo Koei.[43]

Post-merger edit

The continued operating loss prompted Kenji Matsubara, the former president and CEO of both Tecmo Koei Holdings and Tecmo Koei Games label, to render his resignation in November 2010. Yoichi Erikawa, co-founder of Koei, took over the four positions vacated by Matsubara.[44]

On February 8, 2011, Tecmo Koei Holdings announced that the new individual developers Tecmo and Koei that were formed in March 2010 would be merged into Tecmo Koei Games in April 2011, though the company would continue to create games in the future under the Tecmo and Koei brands.[42][5]

On July 1, 2014, the company and its related subsidiaries were renamed from Tecmo Koei to Koei Tecmo.[45][46]

On February 18, 2016, Koei Tecmo announced a second reorganization of the company, to support the expansion of the company. Brand names Team Tachyon, Koei and Tecmo, amongst others, were dropped.[47]

Current subsidiaries/divisions edit

Gust edit

Gust Co. Ltd. was founded in 1993 and is known for developing RPGs like its long-running Atelier series, and other series including Surge Concerto, Nights of Azure, and BLUE REFLECTION. Koei Tecmo bought Gust Co. Ltd. in 2011 and absorbed it in 2014.[48]

Kou Shibusawa edit

On February 18, 2016, as part of the companies reconstruction, Koei Tecmo announced the establishment of Kou Shibusawa [ja], named after the stage name of Koei's founder.[47] It has handled the historically-based titles such as Nobunaga's Ambition series, Romance of the Three Kingdoms series, Uncharted Waters series and Nioh series,[49][50] as well as horse racing simulation Winning Post series.[51] The division also worked as lead developer with Intelligent Systems on Fire Emblem: Three Houses.[52]

Midas edit

"midas" is a new division aiming to produce titles for smartphones and to create new IPs.

Omega Force edit

Omega Force (ω-Force) is a division of Koei known for developing hack and slash games, monster-hunting action games, among other genres. Omega Force are most well known for its Dynasty Warriors series, including spin-offs such as Samurai Warriors, Warriors Orochi, amongst others. As well as non-Warriors titles such as Dragon Quest Heroes, WinBack, Attack on Titan and Toukiden.

Ruby Party edit

Ruby Party specializes in games labeled as Neoromance: otome game visual novels and dating sims, usually with extra side-quests. Out of the three Neoromance series, the best known is Angelique series, which has been in production since 1994. The first game of Angelique series was the first otome game (visual novel and dating sims for women) in the world.[53]

Team Ninja edit

Team Ninja (stylised as Team NINJA) is a video game development studio of Tecmo founded in 1995 who develops masocore games, fast-paced action games, fighting games, among other genres. It was formerly led by Tomonobu Itagaki and is best known for the Dead or Alive, Ninja Gaiden, and Nioh series.

International offices edit

Koei Tecmo also operates various international branches and offices, such as Koei Tecmo Europe in Hertfordshire, England, Koei Tecmo America in Burlingame, California, Koei Tecmo Taiwan in Taipei, Koei Tecmo Vietnam in Hanoi, Koei Tecmo Singapore, as well was two offices in China, located in Tianjin and Beijing.

Former subsidiaries edit

Team Tachyon edit

Team Tachyon is a Japanese video game development department of Koei Tecmo 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 they chose the name, "Team Tachyon", because a tachyon is a particle that exceeds the speed of light.[54] Key members include Tecmo producers Keisuke Kikuchi (Rygar, Fatal Frame) and Kohei Shibata.[55]

So far, Team Tachyon has aided in the development of the 2008 Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse game for the Wii, 2008 Wii game Rygar: The Battle of Argus,[56] has released Undead Knights for the PlayStation Portable, and Quantum Theory for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, released in 2010.

As of February 18, 2016, Team Tachyon was absorbed into Team Ninja, with some staff now moved to Gust.[47]

Koei Tecmo Canada edit

Founded in 2001 as Koei Canada, Koei Tecmo Canada was the North American development arm of the company based in Toronto. It started out as a CG studio for Koei games but expanded into video game development in 2005, developing Fatal Inertia, Prey the Stars, and Warriors: Legends of Troy. The studio was closed at the end of March 2013.

Notable franchises edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Japanese: 株式会社コーエーテクモホールディングス, Hepburn: Kabushikigaisha Kōē Tekumo Hōrudingusu
  2. ^ テクモ, Tekumo
  3. ^ テーカン, Tēkan

References edit

  1. ^ "Company Outline | Company Information".
  2. ^ "3635:Tokyo Stock Quote - Tecmo Koei Holdings Co Ltd". Bloomberg. 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
  3. ^ "500 Internal Server Error" 東証 : -コーエーテクモホールディングス- (in Japanese). Tokyo Stock Exchange. Archived from the original on 2009-06-20. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  4. ^ "Group Companies - Company Information - KOEI TECMO HOLDINGS CO., LTD". koeitecmo.co.jp.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Official report of Tecmo Koei Holdings for the dissolution of Tecmo and Koei development studios" (PDF). Tecmo Koei Holdings. 2011-02-07. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-04-30. Retrieved 2015-02-08.
  6. ^ "Tecmo Koei Europe". Tecmo Koei Europe. 2009-04-01. Archived from the original on 2023-02-03. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
  7. ^ 吸収分割公告 [Declaration of Succession] (PDF) (in Japanese). Tecmo Koei. 2010-02-25. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  8. ^ 合併公告 [Official Notice of Merger] (PDF) (in Japanese). Tecmo. 2010-02-25. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-03-31. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  9. ^ "Advantage Lithuania '09" (PDF). Lithuanian Development Agency. p. 7. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  10. ^ "Company Information -History-". Tecmo. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  11. ^ "Ninja Beach Party". Official Xbox Magazine. No. 11. October 2002. p. 52.
  12. ^ "会社概要" [Company Information]. Tecmo. Archived from the original on 2002-08-08. Retrieved 2010-10-18. 本社 東京都千代田区九段北4丁目1番34号 03-3222-7645
  13. ^ "Contact". Tecmo. Archived from the original on 2011-07-05. Retrieved 2010-10-18. Tecmo, Inc. 21213-B Hawthorne Boulevard Torrance, CA 90503
  14. ^ "Briefs". Chicago Tribune. 1989-06-10. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  15. ^ "Tecmo: PS3 lineup coming "soon"". GameSpot. Retrieved April 12, 2023.
  16. ^ 代表取締役会長逝去のお知らせ [Notice of Passing of the Chairman] (PDF) (in Japanese). Tecmo. 2006-07-21. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  17. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (2008-06-02). "Itagaki Leaving Tecmo, Suing Tecmo". Kotaku. Retrieved 2008-06-17.
  18. ^ Boyes, Emma (2008-06-17). "Report: More staff sue Tecmo". Gamespot UK. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  19. ^ Ashcroft, Brian (2008-08-28). "Square Enix Plans To Take Over Tecmo [Updated]". Kotaku. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  20. ^ Thorsen, Tor (2008-08-29). "Report: Square Enix makes $200M Tecmo bid". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-08-29.
  21. ^ a b "Kenji Matsubara Interview". Edge. 2008-10-15. Archived from the original on 2011-02-11. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  22. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (2008-09-04). "Report: Tecmo Rejects Square Enix's Takeover Offer". Kotaku. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
  23. ^ Thorsen, Tor (2008-09-04). "Tecmo, Koei in merger talks". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-09-21.
  24. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (2008-09-04). "Report: Tecmo And Koei In Talks To Merge". Kotaku. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
  25. ^ Doree, Adam (2009-07-03). "Interview: Tecmo Koei CEO, Kenji Matsubara". Video Games Daily. Archived from the original on 2011-12-12. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  26. ^ Ellison, Blake (2008-11-18). "Tecmo and Koei to Merge in April 2009". Shacknews. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  27. ^ Takenaka, Kiyoshi (2008-11-18). "Japan's Koei to take over Tecmo in $207 mln deal". Reuters. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  28. ^ Berardini, Cesar (2008-12-29). "Major Tecmo Shareholder Opposes Koei Merger". TeamXbox. Archived from the original on 2012-03-20. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  29. ^ "テクモとコーエー、臨時株主総会で経営統合を正式承認 ビジネス-最新ニュース:IT-PLUS". 2009-01-26. Archived from the original on 2009-12-02. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  30. ^ Caoili, Eric (2008-12-26). "Major Tecmo Shareholder Opposes Koei Merger". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  31. ^ "Koei France SAS" (in French). Societe.com. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  32. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (2009-02-14). "Tecmo receives repurchase claim from opposing shareholder". Andriasang. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  33. ^ Ashcroft, Brian (2009-04-01). "Koei Tecmo Reveals Its New Company Logo (Looks Familiar)". Kotaku. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  34. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (2011-02-08). "Tecmo Koei Holdings opens shop". Andriasang. Archived from the original on 2017-02-21. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  35. ^ "Singapore Investment Fund Asks Tokyo Court To Price Tecmo Stake". infoTECH. 2009-05-26. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  36. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (2009-06-23). "Tecmo Koei Plans Overseas Restructure". Andriasang. Retrieved 2011-11-11.[permanent dead link]
  37. ^ "Company Info - Techmo Koei Canada". GameDynamo. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  38. ^ Ivan, Tom (2009-06-29). "Tecmo Koei Europe Formed". Edge. Archived from the original on 2009-11-18. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  39. ^ Ashcroft, Brian (2009-08-05). "Koei Makes Subsidiary In Vietnam". Kotaku. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  40. ^ "Crave Entertainment, Koei Corporation and Playlogic Entertainment Join the ESA". Webwire. 2009-04-28. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  41. ^ "Tecmo: Declaration of Disbandment" (PDF). tecmo.co.jp.
  42. ^ a b Gantayat, Anoop (2009-04-01). "Tecmo Koei Swallows Tecmo and Koei". Andriasang. Archived from the original on 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  43. ^ "Announcement of Company Name Change" (PDF). Tecmo Koei Singapore. 2009-04-01. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-09-04. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  44. ^ Thorsen, Tor (2010-11-08). "Tecmo Koei CEO quits as losses mount". Gamespot. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
  45. ^ "Koei Tecmo Europe". Koei Tecmo Europe. 2014-07-01. Archived from the original on 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2014-07-01.
  46. ^ "商号の変更及び定款の一部変更に関するお知らせ" (PDF) (in Japanese). Koei Tecmo. 2014-05-26. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-07-05.
  47. ^ a b c Nelva, Giuseppe (2016-02-18). "Koei Tecmo Reorganizes into Multiple Brands, Aims to Be Top Dog in Entertainment Worldwide". DualShockers. Archived from the original on 2016-02-21. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
  48. ^ "Koei Tecmo absorbing JRPG developer Gust". Destructoid. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  49. ^ "「シブサワ・コウ」40周年記念サイト".
  50. ^ "「シブサワ・コウ」40周年記念サイト".
  51. ^ "「シブサワ・コウ」40周年記念サイト".
  52. ^ リプ斉トン ライター. "『ファイアーエムブレム 風花雪月』開発陣インタビュー。最新作で描かれる壮大な大河ドラマ | ゲーム・エンタメ最新情報のファミ通.com". Famitsu.com. Retrieved 2022-09-03.
  53. ^ "17年ぶりに新作『アンジェリーク』制作決定。第三の宇宙を舞台に新たなイラストレーター・キャストで展開 | ゲーム・エンタメ最新情報のファミ通.com". Famitsu.com. 2019-09-14. Retrieved 2022-09-03.
  54. ^ Mielke, James (2007-05-11). "Live from Japan: Tecmo's Media Day". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2009-08-07.[permanent dead link]
  55. ^ Carless, Simon (2009-01-09). "That Tecmo Flavor: Kikuchi And Shibata On Surprising The Audience". Game Set Watch. Retrieved 2009-08-07.
  56. ^ Mielke, James (2007-11-05). "Live from Japan: Tecmo's Media Day". 1UP. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2023-03-25.

External links edit