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Koei Tecmo GM Reflects on NiOh’s Huge Success; Plans to Bring Big Titles to Western Market in the Future

Over the past 6 months, Japanese publisher Koei Tecmo has enjoyed great success in the western market following the release of A.O.T Wings of Freedom in North America and Europe, and more recently with Team Ninja’s superb action-RPG NiOh.

In a recent interview with MCV, Koei Tecmo’s General Manager Yasutomo Watanabe spoke openly about the publisher’s recent release, NiOh, its challenges and the companies plans to push more big name titles out to the western market in the future.

Nioh has been particularly challenging, as it’s a brand new IP we’ve been working on for years,” said Watanabe in an interview with online publication MCV.

It utilised all the resources of our company. We received unequivocal support from our western publisher, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Nioh is performing very well so far so we are very happy with it.”

Following its release last month exclusively for PS4 in Japan, North America and Europe, NiOh garnered a lot of praise from critics and players alike for its combat, setting and difficulty; drawing strong comparisons with another of Japan’s big-name developed and published series – From Software and Bandai Namco’s Dark Souls, NiOh‘s success is testament to that comparison with over 1 million units sold worldwide to date.

The huge success of NiOh resulted in the action-RPG becoming Koei Tecmo’s most successful game in the west, something the publisher hopes will be repeated in the near future.

On the back of its 2 huge success stories of the past half year in the western market, it comes as no surprise to hear Tecmo’s GM talk up the publisher’s ambitions for the future, with more big name titles heading to the west next year and in the future according to Watanabe.

“We are proud to be a Japanese game publisher with unique content and approach and will continue to strive for success in the western regions.

Thanks to A.O.T. Wings of Freedom and NiOh, a lot more gamers are now aware of our company and are interested in our releases. Next year and going forward, we plan to release big titles for the western market.”

On the subject of Ninja Gaiden, another of Koei Tecmo’s big IP’s and a possible revival of the hack and slash series last seen back in 2014 with Keiji Inafune’s Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Watanabe had this to say:

We know a lot of our fans in the world have been waiting for the next Ninja Gaiden and it is one of the most important projects for us as wellAt the moment, we are not in a position to announce anything, but we are hoping to share good news with you once we are ready.”

NiOh is out now for PS4.

Dan has been gaming for nearly 30 years and has survived everything from Nuclear Fallouts to Zombie Outbreaks but his main love is Survival Horror and don't we all know it. Favourite games include Resident Evil and Grand Theft Auto, he can be regularly found cruising the streets of Vice City listening to the classics.


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