From Koei Tecmo Wiki
Tecmo's current logo.
Tecmo's current logo.

Tecmo Co., Ltd. (テクモ株式会社, Tekumo Kabushiki-gaisha) was a Japanese video game company founded in July 31, 1967 after two other groups merged together. It gained popularity for its Monster Rancher and Dead or Alive games, though some fans remember it more for its numerous arcades.


The company began life as Teikoku Kanzai, a business involved in building management and maintenance. With Yoshihito Kakihara at the helm, its priorities shifted from managing stores to providing custodian supplies. After merging with Nippon Yacht, Teikoku Kanzai began selling amusement equipment like arcades and later changed its name to Tehkan on October 1977.

It founded its North American branch called US Tehkan in Torrance, California on March 1981. One month afterwards, they released their first arcade game known as Pleiades which found success after being distributed throughout the United States by Centuri. The following years saw Nippon Yacht being turned into an electronics subsidiary for the company and the main office moved to another location. More classic arcade titles soon followed and eventually Tehkan renamed itself as Tecmo on January 8, 1986.

In January 1993, Tecmo decided to establish a subsidiary with a capital worth ¥10 million for the sole purpose of manufacturing and selling game equipment. Around the same year, the company had opened a research and development center in Hamamatsu. It also entered the console gaming industry and produced well-known titles that would put its face in the world of video games.

However, things would not go so well for Tecmo as it found itself the target of numerous litigations. It once faced a lawsuit by football player Eric Dickerson who sued both the company and the NFLPA over the game Tecmo Bowl for using his likeness without consent. This resulted in Albert Bentley being used as a replacement instead. In the late 2000s, Kakihara succumbed to interstitial pneumonia in 2006. June 3, 2008 saw Tomonobu Itagaki resign from the company and file a ¥145 million lawsuit for unpaid bonuses and emotional distress he had allegedly experienced. More lawsuits came about on June 16 when two plaintiffs representing Tecmo's 300 employees demanded compensation for unpaid wages worth ¥8.3 million in front of the courts.

When Yasuharu Kakihara, the founder's second son, took over the role of president on August 20, 2008 after Yoshimi Yasuda's resignation, he was later given an ultimatum from Square Enix to accept or reject their offering of turning the whole company into a subsidiary by purchasing 30% of its shares via bid of ¥22.3 billion. Kenji Matsubara, who had been CEO and president of Koei at the time, approached Tecmo with the idea of merging together as one. Tecmo agreed and officially declined Square Enix's proposal on September 4, 2008. Despite some doubts from the company's second-largest shareholder Effissimo, the merger was implemented on April 1, 2009 with development divisions from both companies converted into different subsidiaries and the combined company renaming itself as Koei Tecmo.


The company's current name is an acronym for "technology", "entertainment", creation", "man", and "overseas".

  • 1964~1977 - Teikoku Kanzai Co., Ltd. (帝国管財株式会社)
  • 1977~1986 - Tehkan (テーカン); fully derived from Teikoku Kanzai
  • 1986~2009 - Tecmo (テクモ)


Subsidiary Companies

  • Nippon Yacht Co., Ltd. - Used to be in charge of managing yachts, personal property, and real estate. Eventually renamed as Tehkan Electronics Co., Ltd. on December 6, 1982.
  • Tecmo Wave Co., Ltd. - Established in January 18, 1993 as Tecmosoft Products. Responsible for manufacturing, selling, leasing, importing, and exporting amusement equipment. Renamed as Tecmo Eight on August 1994 before receiving its current alias 10 years later.
  • Odaiba Kingdom Co., Ltd. - Established in September 2002.
  • CWS Brains Co., Ltd. - Formerly known as Z Project. Acquired by Tecmo Wave on August 2004. Responsible for producing sports-oriented products and services.


Tecmo's first headquarters was located somewhere in Chūō, Tokyo. In April 19, 1985, the company relocated to Kanda-Higashimatsushitachō where it renamed itself as Tecmo. Three years later, it moved again to a different part of Tokyo, this time at Kudankita.

The company ended up opening multiple offices with one at Kojimachi and another inside the Nihon Building. After the merger with Koei, Tecmo's headquarters at Kudankita had been taken over by the former.

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