Company information

KOEI Co., Ltd.

Name: KOEI Co., Ltd.
Established: 1978
Status: Active
Links: Official site
Submitter: Mats_J
Score: 10 points
Added: Mar 03 2006

Company description

Koei Co., Ltd. is a Japanese publisher and developer founded in 1978. The company is best known for its historically based games and female-oriented dating sims.

Koei was first established in July 1978 by Yoichi Erikawa and Keiko Erikawa. Mr. Erikawa 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 town of Hiyoshi, Yokohama along with Mr. Erikawa's alma mater, and the company's name is simply a spoonerism of the school's.

Kou 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 Mr. Erikawa.

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, including Romance of the Three Kingdoms, set during the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history, and Uncharted Waters, 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 (who later went on to design Diablo and Diablo II at Blizzard North) 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 and localization activities in 1995, focusing instead on sales and marketing.

In recent years the company has also found success in a series of loosely historically-based action games, the flagship titles of which are Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors. The Ruby Party division specializes in games labeled as Neoromance-which are 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. While there is currently only one game relating to Kiniro no Corda, it has helped win popularity for the manga series it was based on, which was recently licensed by Viz for English language publishing.

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. Koei also maintains subsidiaries in China, Korea, and Taiwan.

Koei has been made fun of on the video game show xplay for making so many sequels to Dynasty Warriors and Romance of the Three kingdomes.

Some games developed or published by this company

Name System Genre
Uncharted Waters 2: New Horizons SNES RPG
AeroBiz SNES Simulation

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