Tecmo Koei CEO quits as losses mount

Following 27.5% drop in sales, Kenji Matsubara announces plans to step down for personal reasons; Koei cofounder Yoichi Erikawa taking over.


Today Tecmo Koei reports its earnings for the six months ending September 30, 2010. According to a translation by Japanese gaming blog Andria Sang, the period saw sales fall 27.5% to ¥11.1 billion ($136.3 million). The company's operating loss more than tripled, going from ¥349 million ($4.3 million) to ¥1.1 billion ($13.6 million).

 Trinity: Souls of Zill O'll's delay was one reason behind Tecmo Koei's increased losses.
Trinity: Souls of Zill O'll's delay was one reason behind Tecmo Koei's increased losses.

The company's game division was the biggest money loser, reporting a loss of ¥1.6 billion ($19.7 million). That loss took away profits made by the company's other sectors, including amusement facilities and merchandising. Company officials reportedly blamed the shortfall on development costs for future titles and a delay of the action role-playing game Trinity: Souls of Zill O'll.

Tecmo Koei's sharp losses were almost overshadowed by some boardroom drama. Kenji Matsubara, the president and CEO of Tecmo Koei Holdings, announced at a board meeting that he is resigning for personal reasons. Matsubara is also stepping down as president and CEO of the Tecmo Koei Games label. He will reportedly be replaced in all four positions by Yoichi Erikawa, cofounder of Koei.

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Avatar image for abdou


Avatar image for digi-demon

Where is DOA5 already?....everyone knows that 'Team Ninja' are/were the only real performers/talent behind this company...Ninja Gaiden Xbox 1 FTW!

Avatar image for nurnberg

I heard they are taking the right steps to correct the situation. They decided to make Ninja Gaiden 3 into a Dynasty Warrior engine. LOL!

Avatar image for Rizion89

Some ideas that may save Tecmo-Koei: 1. a new Dead or Alive. Not a paradise game, but a straight up Dead or Alive. 2. Take Ninja Gaiden back to its roots. Bring back the gore and hardcore gameplay. 3. Really put the polish on Ni-Oh. The Kou Shibusawa story telling is great, but allow the Ninja Gaiden team some access to the actual gameplay. This game should be just as theatrical as it is fun. 4. More DS titles are nice. DS games are cheaper to make, and should it be pretty decent, it could sell very well. 5. Rehash the entire DW franchise. DW6 did not count as a reboot. They should build it from the ground up. Instead of the 3 Kingdoms period, switch it to something like the foundation of the Han or perhaps the expansion of the Ming Empire or even Qin Shi Huang's reign. New characters, new story, new combat system and level progression. They could even fictionalize any era into something more Final Fantasy esque if they wanted to.

Avatar image for Threesixtyci

That's what they get for not bringing over Fatal Frame 4 to the states and handing the FaFr series to Nintendo....

Avatar image for Mr_BillGates

Well first, they need redo DW entirely and release it to their hungry fans.

Avatar image for Heartagram_03

Maybe another Dynasty Warriors game will save them. :P

Avatar image for hannify

Probably doesn't help when CEO's get ridiculous pay. Just see Nintendo as the example - they know to save the pennies.

Avatar image for gbyd

On one hand i'm sad because I love their archaic formula for games like Dynasty Warriors, Dynasty Warriors Gundam, Samurai Warriors, Fist of the North Star, Warriors of Troy. That being said, most of these games, and especially all the newer games, are complete jokes. So it truly was a long time coming, let's hope they pull through it though.

Avatar image for Khalathwyr

Would be nice if Koei would make an effort to sell its strategy series of games in the west. All we get are fighting type games. Lines like Nobunaga's Ambition, Bandit Kings of Ancient China and Ghengis Khan need to be updated and pushed west.

Avatar image for Megavideogamer

Temco Koei They are a long standing game developer. Hopefully they will be able to turn this around. Not just die in bankruptcy. Itagaki will rebound to greener pastuers.

Avatar image for megakick

stop making dynasty warriors clones and bad games. make another DEAD OR ALIVE already

Avatar image for majere613

So, Tecmo part company with their most famous designer (Itagaki), fail to do anything with one of their longest-running and most popular franchises (DOA) and then hook up with a company famous primarily for making the same game over and over again, and sales suffer. Who'd have thought?

Avatar image for DanBal76

The awful Gears of War clone called Quantum Theory didn't help either. I miss the good old Tecmo of Ninja Gaiden, Fatal Frame, Dead or Alive, etc.

Avatar image for XxFulgrimxX

F' that, Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage (aka Hokuto Musou) is an amazing game.

Avatar image for wolfyrabbit

I can just imagine the smile on the creator of DOA's face

Avatar image for shabulia

Well, I guess Koei should have gone with SquareEnix whenthey wanted to buy them out. Seems to me that always making Dynasty Warriors games has drawbacks.

Avatar image for mcsaten6669

to add insult, the tab to the right says Blizzard reported $745 million. i guess people like world of warcraft over dynasty warriors lol

Avatar image for Black_Adder_

Kessen - liked that one.

Avatar image for FinalDuo1886

I hate too be that "jerk", but this was a long time coming.

Avatar image for Hanzoadam

Make some more DOA or Dynasty warriors that isn't strikeforce then, Then I'll start giving you money again, actually make a new samurai warriors for PS3 and DOA 5

Avatar image for Kratos_OMEGA

Stop making **** games like Quantum Theory then.

Avatar image for drangel_jam

Well, as we see, in the end it's all about the games. Hopefully the next Ninja Gaiden and DoA games will be groundbreaking, because if they use the same old engines, they will feel like cash-ins, and people won't buy them, which will be final blow for Team Ninja.

Avatar image for syam32245340

too bad...

Avatar image for thisranks

This is a shame. I'd personally love to see a new Deception, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and Nobunaga's Ambition for my PS3.

Avatar image for Phil-teh-Pirate

I'd hate to see Koei go before they release a truely awesome Dynasty Warriors game, I still jump back to Dynasty Warriors 4 + Xtreme Legends and Empires for a good time. And Kessen! Where is the new Kessen game? 2 and 3 were truely awe inspiring, and even more than that...wheres a new Samurai Warriors on a next gen console (i.e PS3, 360). AND WHAT ABOUT GITAROO MAN! MY GOD!

Avatar image for deactivated-57fce817a4cf5

If you look at their catalogue of games you can see how their designers have stalled. Gameplay which belongs on the PS2, lack of innovation, even character design is still the same, as well as all their games. It is time for the company to wake up, expand their horizons a little and reignite that creative spark, because if they carry on down this road, they are sunk.

Avatar image for KnightsBlazing

@Ranma_X_basic Fist of the North Star: Kens Rage is amazing game dont trust reveiws Iv put 60 hours already in still havnt gotten tired of it They Dynasty Warriors games also arnt enterly the same becides diffrent chars tho I perfer Empires and Samurai Warriors more

Avatar image for MJ12-Conspiracy

Dynasty Warriors was fun up to DW5, DW6 was horrible, I liked Samurai Warriors 2 on PS2 but never really wanted to go back to it now that I have the 360. The DW Gundam games are laughable. I was a big NES Ninja Gaiden player back in the day, defeated Bloody Malth once, Played through most of Ninja Gaiden II, I love those games but the new ones I don't. They are a kind of difficult I can't do. I'm playing Demon's Souls at the moment so I do play difficult games on occasion but to me ninja Gaiden get's it's attention because it looks pretty.

Avatar image for Ranma_X_basic

people still buy or rent Koei games? personally i've never played a single Dynasty warriors game or the countless spinoffs cause each game is identical to the last. just they put new playable characters in each game. And i've seen the reviews of fist of the north star and they're not positive reviews either.

Avatar image for DevilD2005

I think the problem is they are focused on too many spin off games. I buy them, I wont lie. I love them, but they need a new flaship series. Gundam Musou will find its fans, but I think rather than shelling out other titles like Fist of the North Star, I think they need to focus on something orignal and would apeal to a broad audiace.

Avatar image for KamuiFei

I used to like Dynasty Warriors, but they stopped being good after 4. Then the spin-offs started and...yea... this news isn't too surprising. Ninja Gaiden 3 is probably the only thing that can save them at this point.

Avatar image for angelbless

Another HUGE mistake : Not bringing Fatal Frame IV to America and Europe

Avatar image for OmegaGear

Well, when your whole gameplan is more and more Dynasty Warrior games and themed spin offs, what did you expect? That game was never a winning formula. I hope this trend the company is in doesn't make them pressure the NG3 development. Although, maybe now they'll look into more DoA games, because its been years since they've seriously dipped into that franchise. No, I don't count that beach volleyball/paradise BS.

Avatar image for SDBusDriver1979

Regret not letting Square buy you out yet Tecmo? Regret losing the only person who gave your company an identity? I hope you die Koei for that abominable Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2.

Avatar image for OJ_the_LION

I can't really think of anything really big they've released since the merger. I used to be a big Dynasty/Samurai Warriors fan. However, since DW6 was a disappointment and they apparently refuse to actually develop more games on the consoles people have (like a good new Ninja Gaiden, DoA or DW game on PS3 and 360) of course they're in bad shape. I think Tecmo Koei is a good example of what happens to Japanese companies that refuse to evolve with the times and develop more quality original IPs for the two major consoles as opposed to endless spinoffs/remakes on portables and Wii. Capcom has seemingly learned the lesson with a hiccup in Loss Planet 2, but Square Enix needs to shape up or they will quickly end up in the same boat.

Avatar image for clqtte

New Romance Of The Three Kingdoms,please.......

Avatar image for clqtte

Trinity: Souls of Zill O'll's delay was one reason behind Tecmo Koei's increased losses.Delay is meant money lost,seriously...

Avatar image for godzillavskong

@Hillsv, I agree. They really haven't released anything solid in a while. Plain and simple. Another Dead or Alive could help them out, or maybe a true next gen Tecmo Bowl!

Avatar image for Hillsy_

Might help if they brought out a decent game, one that is actually worth buying.. Oh well..expect another Ninja Gaiden or Dead or Alive then soon.

Avatar image for godzillavskong

@vixingtpot, What? Microsoft bribing the Japanese devs to make easy PC game engines? Are you serious? You sound crazy! Microsoft being in the console market only intensifies the competition.So you must think that Sony bribed those same devs to make easy PS3 game engines, and ignore the Dreamcast? Silly.......

Avatar image for yixingtpot

Microsoft has ruined console gaming as it once was, about consoles... not PC gaming/Microsoft. Now it's all bribed to support XBROKE dvd level over even PC which M$ controls via Windows. The Japanese in turn have either been bribed to make easy PC game engine games or just give up since they don't have the courage to make full on Blu-ray level game engines. M$ gives them money up front to NOT MAKE Blu-ray games but poop them out at DVD level using PC game engines... the easy way out.

Avatar image for Rudorlf

Not surprising on their losses, as Tecmo's co-partner Koei keep making all those darn rehash Dynasty Warrior games with little improvements (Which surprisingly universally acclaimed and worshipped by fanboys. Sigh.), and the why-does-it-look-so-similar-to-Gears-of-War Quantum Theory. Koei just shouldn't keep doing all these crap for the rest of their lives. Like Platinum Games, try something new.

Avatar image for Sorkvir

umm ok

Avatar image for dw9872

Dynasty Warriors is the Nickelback of video games. It's the same crap over and over again.

Avatar image for IdolConverge

That'll show them not to make games like Quantom Theory *shudders* It seems like Japanese developers are leaving left and right, first Kenji Inafune, now this. Quite the sad year for Japanese developers :(

Avatar image for advocacy

All they need to do is release another Dynasty Warriors game and the entire Japanese nation will buy.

Avatar image for HelIWithoutSin

Koei should make another Aerobiz.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

I am actually elated by this news, I have to admit. For years, Tecmo Koei had been cranking out games whose major selling point is being terrifically outlandish and full of over-the-top flair, but are really terrible at having everything else that makes them competent games. For Tecmo Koei's own good, it needs this slap in the face to realize that customers are not so easy to be swooned by aesthetic boom-pow-pow anymore. That said, that blaming of "shortfall on development costs for future titles" could be just window-dressing, but if true, heck, I can make a joke here that making games that actually look like they function such as the upcoming Trinity and << LINK REMOVED >> actually kicked up their development costs, i.e. their past games may have been budget-titles.

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