Koei is a Japanese video game developer and publisher best known for their historical games.
Koei was founded in 1978 by Yōichi Erikawa and Keiko Erikawa. The company ini focused on selling personal compute and specialized software. In March 1983 though, the company released Nobunaga's Ambition, a historic turn-based strategy title based in Feudal Japan. This became the first of several hit game series from Koei, and has since had regular entries on a variety of platforms.
In 1997, Koei's most popular franchise, the Dynasty Warriors series, had its first entry on the Sega Saturn. Essentially a fighting game, the series did not become very popular until the second entry, released in 2000. This established the series formula of having control of a character on a large battlefield in a number o settings based on the Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history. Many latter Koei games, both individual titles and entire series such as 2004's Samurai Warriors and the licensed Gundam Warriors and One Piece Warriors, borrowed from this formula. Warriors Orochi is notable for being a series of crossover games between Dynasty and Samurai series.
In late 2008, there were talks of Koei acquiring Tecmo. However, Tecmo declined the proposition. This, however, did not mark the end of the relationship between the two companies. In 2014, Tecmo and Koei announced a crossover game named Ninja Warriors, which would be a Warriors game starring characters from Ninja Gaiden.
Historically, Koei has been fairly neutral in the console wars between Sega and Nintendo. Although some games were initially released on Sega systems rather than Nintendo ones, this was mostly due to technical reasons or the cost of cartridges during the fifth generation. Koei has also released multiple Game Boy titles.