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Koei Tecmo Holdings Co., Ltd. (コーエーテクモホールディングス Kōē Tekumo Horudingusu) is a Japanese holding company formed in 2009 when Koei Co., Ltd. merged with Tecmo, Inc., formerly known as Tehkan Ltd., due to the latter company’s financial trouble. Originally known as Tecmo Koei in the west, the company was internationally renamed as Koei Tecmo on July 1st, 2014.

When Tecmo and Koei merged in April 1th, 2009, they retained all of the projects, subsidiaries and media affiliations of both companies. As a result, the copyrights of certain well known videogame franchises (including Dead or Alive) now fall under Tecmo Koei’s possession.


Independent era[]



Tecmo Inc. was founded by Yoshihito Kakihara on July 31, 1967, as a supplier of cleaning equipment. Two years later, in 1969, it started to sell amusement equipment. Tecmo had its headquarters in Kudankita, Chiyoda, Tokyo. Tecmo's United States offices are in Torrance, California.

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.

On October 1, 2001, Tecmo founder, Yoshihito Kakihara, steps down as president and representative director due to health issues. Kakihara becomes chairman and representative director while vice president, Junji Nakamura, becomes president and representative director.

On January 1, 2006, Tecmo president, Junji Nakamura, steps down while Yoshimi Yasuda was named his successor. Nakamura becomes chairman of Tecmo until his resignation from the company on February 1, 2006.

On July 18, 2006, Tecmo's founder Yoshihito Kakihara died of interstitial pneumonia.

On February 14, 2007, former president, Junji Nakamura, filed a lawsuit against Tecmo demanding payment of 16,990 yen in executive retirement benefits. A settlement in the matter was reached on March 28.

On the 3rd June, 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". 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.



Koei Co., Ltd. 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.

The company initially focused on personal computer sales and made-to-order business software. In 1983 it released Nobunaga's Ambition, 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.

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. 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.

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. 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. Upon hearing this news on August 31, Kenji Matsubara, President and COO of Koei, called a board meeting for the next day, September 1. 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, and later that same day announced plans to merge with Koei.

In November 2008 the companies announced their specific plan of action, to complete the merger on April 1, 2009, forming Tecmo Koei Holdings. 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.

Effissimo Capital Management Pte, Tecmo's second-largest shareholder at 17.6%, openly opposed the merger. 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. 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.” On February 12 Kenji Matsubara liquidated KOEI France SAS. 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.

Despite these misgivings, the holding company formed on April 1, 2009 as planned. 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. Kenji Matsubara became CEO of the new company, and former Tecmo CEO Yasuharu Kakihara became board chairman. 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.

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. The first game published by the new Tecmo Koei Europe was Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2. In August 2009 Tecmo Koei announced that it was setting up a subsidiary in Hanoi, Vietnam. Later that month the ESA announced that Tecmo Koei was now a member. On April 1 2010, Koei Singapore was also re-branded as Tecmo Koei.

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.

Koei Tecmo over the years have worked multiple times with other Japanese companies, mostly to produce games developed by their internal studios like Team Ninja or Omega Force. They have collaborated with Square Enix (Dragon Quest Heroes, Dissidia Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy Origin), Bandai Namco (Gundam Reborn, One Piece Pirate Warriors) and especially Nintendo (Metroid Other M, Fire Emblem Three Houses, Pokémon Conquest, Hyrule Warriors and some entries in the Fatal Frame series, among others).


  • Team Ninja: A video game development department started in 1995 under Tecmo.
  • Team Tachyon: A video game development department founded in 2007 under Tecmo.
  • Omega Force: A video game developer working for Koei.
  • Gust Co. Ltd: A video game developer founded in 1993 before merging with Tecmo Koei on 2014

Games Series[]

Series Under Tecmo Label[]

Series Under Koei Label[]

  • Crimson Seas
  • Warriors/Musou
    • Dynasty Warriors
    • Samurai Warriors
    • Warriors Orochi
    • Bladestorm
    • Warriors Legend of Troy
  • Zill O'll
  • Kessen
  • Nobunaga's Ambition
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Series Under Gust Label[]

  • Atelier
  • Ar tonelico

External links[]

v · e · d
Studios and Publishers
Koei TecmoTeam NinjaTecmo
Directors and Producers
Current Yosuke HayashiYohei Shimbori
Former Tomonobu Itagaki
Sound and Music
Current Makoto Hosoi
Former Kazuhiko InabaTakafumi InamoriRyo KoikeShigekiyo OkudaHideyuki Suzuki