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This article is about the software company. For the Japanese era name, see Kōei (era).
Koei Co., Ltd.
Basic Information
Business Type
Subsidiary of Tecmo Koei
Ashikaga, Tochigi, Japan (July 25, 1978)
[[Yōichi Erikawa and Keiko Erikawa]]
Dynasty Warriors
Samurai Warriors
Nobunaga's Ambition series
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Crimson Sea
Video game industry

Koei Co., Ltd. (株式会社コーエー Kabushiki gaisha Kōē, formerly 光栄 (Kōei)) is a Japanese video game publisher, developer, and distributor founded in 1978. The company is best known for its historical simulation games based on the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, as well as simulation games based on historical events.

The company has also found mainstream success in a series of loosely historical action games, the flagship titles of which are Dynasty Warriors (真・三國無双 (Shin-Sangoku Musō)) and Samurai Warriors (戦国無双 (Sengoku Musō)), the Musō (無双) series. Koei also owns a division known as Ruby Party, which focuses in dating sim games.


Koei was established 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. Koei also maintains subsidiaries in mainland China, Korea, Taiwan and Lithuania. Recently, Koei created a Singapore branch for game development such as Sangokushi Online.

Koei's Ruby Party division specializes on 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 [1].

On September 4, 2008, Koei announced that it was in talks to purchase ailing competitor Tecmo.[2][3] They have agreed in November 2008 to merge on April 1, 2009 to form Tecmo Koei.[4] On January 26, 2009 the two companies approved the merger, the holding company formed on April 1, 2009 as planned.[5] Koei Europe has changed its name to Koei Tecmo Europe, Ltd.[citation needed] and will publish the upcoming Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2.

Games created by Koei

Koei has built a large base of franchises, and has developed on various consoles and computers. Below is a list of game series developed by Koei.

Action games

History Simulation

  • Genghis Khan series.[6][7]
  • Liberty or Death - Based on the American Revolutionary war.
  • Nobunaga's Ambition series - published on various platforms.
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms I to XI released on the MSX, MSX2, NES, SNES, Genesis, Amiga, PC-Engine CD-ROM, Sega Saturn, PS1, PS2 and PC - turn based strategy games
  • Rise of the Phoenix - Based on the wars of the early Han and Chu dynasties in China, released on the SNES.

Strategy games

  • Bandit Kings of Ancient China - Released on the Nintendo Entertainment System, MS-DOS, Amiga & Macintosh. [8]
  • Gemfire - Medieval fantasy simulator.
  • Celtic Tales: Balor of the Evil Eye - Medieval fantasy simulator.
  • L'Empereur - Turn-based strategy game released on the Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Teitoku no Ketsudan (PTO: Pacific Theater of Operations in North America) - Pacific War strategy games.
  • Naval Ops: Warship Gunner 2
  • Kessen, Kessen II and Kessen III - Real time strategy games for the PS2 set in Feudal Japan and China during the Three Kingdoms period.
  • Operation Europe: Path to Victory - A strategy game set in Europe during World War II

Executive Series

  • Aerobiz - Airline business simulator series.
  • Top Management - Business simulator series.
  • Winning Post - Thoroughbred horse racing management and horse breeding simulator series.
  • Pop Cutie! Street Fashion Simulation - fashion design and business management simulation
  • Leading Company - Video cassette recorder business simulator

Neo-romance games

  • Angelique (アンジェリーク)
  • Harukanaru Toki no Naka de (遙かなる時空の中で , translates to From a Faraway Time)
  • Kin'iro no Corda (金色のコルダ, translates to Golden Corda)
  • Neo Angelique ~Abyss~ (ネオアンジェリーク), a spin-off of the Angelique series with all new characters


Sports games

Music games

  • Gitaroo Man (As well as a PlayStation Portable version called Gitaroo Man Lives!)


Adventure games

  • Saihai no Yukue (采配のゆくえ)

Games published by Koei in Europe



  1. [1]
  2. Thorsen, Tor (2008-09-04). Tecmo, Koei in merger talks. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2008-09-21
  3. Ashcraft, Brian (2008-09-04). Report: Tecmo And Koei In Talks To Merge. Kotaku. Retrieved on 2008-09-21
  4. Tecmo and Koei to Merge in April 2009
  5. Koei Tecmo Reveals Its New Company Logo (Looks Familiar)
  6. Genghis Khan - MobyGames. Retrieved on 2009-02-01
  7. Genghis Khan II: Clan of the Grey Wolf - MobyGames. Retrieved on 2009-02-01
  8. Bandit Kings of Ancient China - MobyGames. Retrieved on 2009-02-01

External links

Template:Tecmo Koei

fr:Koei ko:코에이 id:KOEI hu:Koei ms:Koei no:Koei pt:Koei fi:Koei tr:Koei zh:光榮