E3 2010 Preview: Tecmo Koei

By Jordan Douglas on June 7, 2010, 8:06PM EDT
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Tecmo and Koei are both storied Japanese game publishers responsible for iconic franchises such as Dead or Alive, Ninja Gaiden, and Dynasty Warriors. In 2009, the two companies announced plans to merge, which isn't as interesting as it may sound because nothing really changed. As for E3 2010, well, the publisher hasn't publicly released much information on its lineup at this point, allowing us to let our minds run wild with speculation. A new Ninja Gaiden? Dynasty Warriors? Quantum Theory on the show floor? It's all on the table.

While Tecmo Koei's lineup is largely a mystery, one thing is a fairly set bet, Quantum Theory will be making an appearance. The Gears of War-esque game is being targeted at a Western audience and is currently slated for a Summer 2010 release window. So, what better way to promote it then with a big showing at E3, the biggest gaming conference in the West. Expect Tecmo to announce a firm release date for the game, alongside a playable demo. In our preview, we described Quantum Theory by saying, "[While not] the most original game concept in the world... there are a few intriguing aspects which could make the game worthwhile. The interplay between the two main characters and the dynamic environments are interesting additions to the third-person shooter formula popularized by Epic."

Another game that seems likely to be at the show is Warriors: Legends of Troy. Developed by Koei Canada, Legends of Troy is an extension of the Dynasty Warriors series, but differs from previous installments due to its setting and emphasis on gore. Considering the game was originally unveiled at last year's E3, it's not a stretch to assume the game will make another appearance. Gaming Union got an early interview with Koei Canada last year on Legends of Troy, where the developer described it as "the first real attempt to bring 'Warriors' to the rest of the world [outside Japan]." The game is scheduled for a November 2010 launch, though that could all change in a couple weeks.

The future of the other major Tecmo Koei franchises is a lot less certain. Will we see a new Ninja Gaiden or Dead or Alive? In the aftermath of Itagaki's (creator of both series) ugly departure from Team Ninja in 2008, the future of both series is unclear. Tecmo has confirmed that both franchises will continue without Itagaki's direction, but nothing has materialized so far. Ninja Gaiden III or Dead or Alive: Code Chronos could theoretically appear at Microsoft's press conference, as they published Ninja Gaiden II and Code Chronos was planned as an Xbox 360 exclusive, but judging from the relatively poor reception to Gaiden II, don't hold your breath.

Tecmo Koei has a lot of room to surprise at this year's show. The company has been very tight lipped so far about its plans. They have got many storied franchises to draw from, announcing a new Ninja Gaiden or Dead or Alive would certainly make waves. Stay tuned for GU's E3 coverage from June 13th - 18th and many more publisher previews as the convention draws nearer.

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