Koei opens Singapore studio

Sangokushi Online will be the first title from Koei Entertainment Singapore; launch in Asia expected in 2007.

TOKYO--Japanese publisher Koei has opened a new game development studio in Singapore, creatively named Koei Entertainment Singapore. Its debut game will be the first online title in the long-standing Sangokushi series (known in America as Romance of the Three Kingdoms). Sangokushi Online is slated to launch in 2007 in Singapore, China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. America, Europe, and other parts of Asia will follow. The publisher said it hopes to net 500,000 subscribers during the game's first year.

In a statement, Koei officials said they see Singapore as a promising location for a studio, owing to the region's blend of Asian and European languages and cultures. The Yokohama-based publisher established roots in Singapore in 2002 when it launched a development training course in collaboration with the Singaporean government. The new studio venture will recruit 100 new employees, many of which will be culled from the training course.

Koei Entertainment Singapore will be the company's largest game studio outside Japan, and is supported by an initial investment of S$3 million ($1.8 million). In addition to the Singapore location, Koei France was recently established to expand local sales of Koei games, which include Nobunaga's Ambition and Dynasty Warriors, into that region. For more on Koei's latest ventures, see CNETAsia's report.

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