It's all go for Koei's UK arm, which has announced UK launch dates for PC versions of both Samurai Warriors 2, in shops on June 27, and Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI, due July 25--four days ahead of its US release. There is currently no planned US release for the PC version of Samurai Warriors 2.
It wasn't always this way. Previous iterations of Romance of the Three Kingdoms--one of the longest-running historical simulations, dating back to the late 1980s--had been released on the PC only in Japan and the US.
"We're constantly striving to bring our games to as wide an audience as possible, and our move into the PC arena is a very important step for Koei in Europe," said sales manager Will Curley.
This move follows the appointment of Naoki Katashima to executive vice president of Koei UK, Koei France, and Koei North America in February of this year. This created a direct link to Koei's Japanese headquarters, where a division was set up to focus specifically on Western markets.
A PC version of Warriors Orochi was released to UK gamers last month, and now that trend is set to continue with Samurai Warriors 2 and Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI.
Originally launched on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360, Samurai Warriors 2 received two expansion packs in the form of Empires and Xtreme Legends. However, Koei UK's PR and marketing manager, Mikey Foley, confirmed to GameSpot that the expansion packs wouldn't be a part of the initial PC offering, saying it might complicate things for gamers new to the franchise. Whether that means expansions will follow in due course has yet to be established, with Mikey saying Koei would "see how it goes."
Koei says that Samurai Warriors 2 introduces to the series the ability to charge three consecutive Musou gauges for more powerful attacks, more variety to the appearance, animation, and attacks of the hordes of enemies, and the ability to level up during play.
Meanwhile, Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI is being produced by Kou Shibusawa, an alias for Koei's cofounder Yoichi Erikawa, and is part of a historical simulation series that dates back to the late '80s, having in the past graced formats as diverse as the Amiga and MSX.