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Tecmo Co., Ltd.
Industry Video games
Fate Disbanded by Temco Koei Holdings. Brand name still in use.
Successor Koei Tecmo Games (Koei )
Founded July 31, 1967
Defunct April 1, 2010
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan
Key people

Kakihara Akirahito (founder)

Tomonobu Itagaki (former employee)
Products Bomb Jack
Captain Tsubasa
Ninja Gaiden
Dead or Alive
Fatal Frame
Tecmo Bowl
Monster Rancher
Gallop Racer
Solomon's Key
Parent Koei Tecmo
Website www.tecmo.co.jp

Tecmo Co., Ltd. (テクモ株式会社 Tekumo kabushikigaisha?), was a Japanese video game corporation founded in 1967. It had its headquarters in Kudankita, Chiyoda, Tokyo.[1] and its subsidiary, Tecmo Inc, was located in Torrance, California.[2]

Tecmo is known for the Star Force, Dead or Alive, Ninja Gaiden, Deception, Monster Rancher, Rygar, Tecmo Bowl, Fatal Frame, Tōkidenshō Angel Eyes and Gallop Racer video game series. When it was still called Tehkan, the company released arcade games such as Bomb Jack and Tehkan World Cup.[3] The company was founded on July 31, 1967 as a real estate company of yachts but with roots dating three years earlier as a supplier of cleaning equipment.[3][4] In 1969, it started to sell amusement equipment.[3]

In 2009, Tecmo merged with Koei to form the holding company Tecmo Koei Holdings and was operated as a subsidiary until its disbandment in early 2010. In April 2010, Tecmo was dissolved and its video game franchises are now published by Koei Tecmo Games.[3][5][6] Tecmo is also the name of a distinct video game development company that was established in March 2010, but later folded into Tecmo Koei Games in April 2011.[7][8]

As of 2014, the Tecmo brand continues to be used on Koei Tecmo Games' video games.


Early history[edit]

The origins of Tecmo dates to September 1964 as The Empire Trustee Corporation, a company specialized in the management of building maintenance including the supplying of cleaning equipment. Later, the business would evolve in the amusement industry such as the operations of game center stores, and eventually into the creation of arcade and home video games that would change the orientation of the company.

In July 31, 1967, a sister company, the Nippon Yacht Corporation was established to handle the real estate of ships.

In July 1969, the company started to sell entertainment amusement equipment and opened its first self-managed amusement facility in March 1970 in Chiba Prefecture.

In October 1977, the Empire Trustee Corporation was renamed Tekhan Ltd, with the trade name changed as well to Tekhan.

In March 1981, a U.S. division was inaugurated in Los Angeles as U.S. Tehkan, Inc..[3] A month later, on April 1981, Tehkan released in Japan its first internally developed arcade video game titled Pleiads (which was distributed in America by Centuri).[3]

In December 6, 1982, Nippon Yacht Co, Ltd was renamed Tekhan Electronics Corporation.

On January 8, 1986, Tehkan Ltd (formerly Empire Trustee Corporation) officially changed its name to Tecmo Co, Ltd.[3]

Tecmo's first internally developed home video game Mighty Bomb Jack was released for the Family Computer in April 1986.

On April 1, 1987, Tekhan Electronics Corporation merged with sister company Tecmo. Although Tekhan Electronics Corporation was the surviving company, it was the "Tecmo" name that was retained. The company exited the real estate of buildings and ships.

By the turn of the decade, Tecmo was firmly in the camp of video game consoles. Though still involved in the arcade industry, much of the success was achieved on the Nintendo Entertainment System with titles such as Ninja Gaiden, Tecmo Bowl and the Japan-only Tsuppari Ōzumō. When Sony released its PlayStation in the 1990s, Tecmo joined the endeavor which set the tone for series such as Dead of Alive, Monster Rancher, Deception and Gallop Racer.

Tecmo entered the second section of Tokyo Stock Exchange in March 2000 and transitioned to the first section in March 2001. It delisted on March 26, 2009 right before the merger with Koei took effect.


On the 3 June 2008 Team Ninja head Tomonobu Itagaki resigned from the company and filed a 145 million yen ($1.3 million) lawsuit for "unpaid completion bonuses" and "emotional distress".[9] This was followed by another lawsuit filed on the 16th of June by two plaintiffs on behalf of Tecmo's 300 employees for unpaid wages amounting to ¥8.3 million.[10]

Merger with Koei[edit]

On August 29, 2008 Square Enix made plans for a friendly takeover of Tecmo by purchasing shares at a 30 percent premium with a total bid of ¥22.3 billion.[11] On September 4, 2008 Tecmo officially declined the takeover proposal.[12] Tecmo subsequently engaged in talks with Koei about a possible merger between the two companies,[13] and agreed in November 2008 to merge on April 1, 2009 to form Tecmo Koei Holdings.[14]

On January 26, 2009 the two companies officially announced the merger, and the holding company formed on April 1, 2009 as planned.[15] Tecmo initially continued to be operated as a subsidiary and brandname of Tecmo Koei Holdings. In January 2010, the United States subsidiaries of Tecmo Inc. and Koei America merged to create Tecmo Koei America Corporation.[16]

The subsidiary Tecmo and associated development teams were effectively declared disbanded in Japan on April 1, 2010, as part of a major international reorganization within Tecmo Koei Holdings.[5][17] Relevant intellectual properties were slated to be further managed by Tecmo Koei Games.[5][16]

On March 15, 2010, and roughly two weeks before Tecmo was dissolved, its internal development studio was spun off as a separate company under the name of Tecmo Co, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Tecmo Koei Games.[7] This new company was initially called Tehkan to avoid confusion with the other company that was still operating for another two weeks. When Tecmo disbanded on April 1, 2010, Tekhan was renamed Tecmo. This was short-lived as the new Tecmo along with the new Koei video game developers were both dissolved and merged into Tecmo Koei Games a year later, in April 1, 2011.[7][8]

Despite having been dissolved twice as a legal entity, Tecmo continues to appear as a label on video games by Tecmo Koei Games that make use of properties originally created by Tecmo, the latest being Dead or Alive 5 and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge.



Main article: List of Tecmo games


  1. ^ "主要営業所." Tecmo. February 20, 2002. Retrieved on October 18, 2010. "本社 東京都千代田区九段北4丁目1番34号 03-3222-7645."
  2. ^ "Contact." Tecmo. Retrieved on October 18, 2010. "Tecmo, Inc. 21213-B Hawthorne Boulevard Torrance, CA 90503."
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Tecmo Company History". Tecmo. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  4. ^ (October 2002). "Ninja Beach Party". Official Xbox Magazine (11): 52.
  5. ^ a b c Tecmo: Declaration of Disbandment
  6. ^ https://www.koeitecmo.co.jp/php/pdf/news_20140526_01.pdf
  7. ^ a b c "Official report of Tecmo Koei Holdings for the dissolution of Tecmo and Koei development studios" (PDF). Tecmo Koei Holdings. 2011-02-07. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  8. ^ a b "TECMO KOEI HOLDINGS CO.,LTD. Announces Merger between Subsidiary and Sub-subsidiaries; Announces Business Transition between Subsidiaries". Reuters. 2011-02-07. Retrieved 2012-12-05. [dead link]
  9. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (2008-06-02). "Itagaki Leaving Tecmo, Suing Tecmo". Kotaku. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  10. ^ Boyes, Emma (2008-06-17). "Report: More staff sue Tecmo". Gamespot UK. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  11. ^ Thorsen, Tor (2008-08-29). "Report: Square Enix makes $200M Tecmo bid". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 
  12. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (2008-09-04). "Report: Tecmo Rejects Square Enix's Takeover Offer". Kotaku. Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  13. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (2008-09-04). "Report: Tecmo And Koei In Talks To Merge". Kotaku. Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  14. ^ Tecmo and Koei to Merge in April 2009
  15. ^ Koei Tecmo Reveals Its New Company Logo (Looks Familiar)
  16. ^ a b "Tecmo Koei Company History". Tecmo Koei Holdings. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  17. ^ Tecmo Koei: Declaration of Succession

External links[edit]