Should Nintendo Make An Offer To Buy Koei Tecmo
With the next generation of console wars now underway, Sony and Microsoft continue to focus on consolidating the video game industry. Sony remains the leader in first-party exclusives with iconic studios such as Naughty Dog, Sucker Punch Productions, and Insomniac Games; however, Microsoft is not far behind with the likes of Obsidian Entertainment, Rare, and soon-to-be Bethesda Game Studios. The outlier in this fierce competition for talent acquisition is Nintendo. With the exception of Monolith Soft and Retro Studios, Nintendo internally develops most of its first-party exclusives. While the strategy has proven successful, the recent success of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity has fans wondering if Nintendo should be more aggressive. Should Nintendo make an offer to buy Koei Tecmo? Let’s dive in.
Rise to Prominence
It is no secret that console exclusives play a role in hardware sales. Sony is the industry standard for exclusive content; however, Nintendo fans are among the most loyal in gaming. Mario is arguably the most recognizable mascot in the world, and communities gather around the Pokemon and Zelda franchises. While the aforementioned series remain strong, several other Nintendo exclusives are experiencing unprecedented success on the Switch. Fire Emblem, Xenoblade, Paper Mario and several other franchises have enjoyed record sales. Recognizing the Switch’s popularity, Koei Tecmo has used the hybrid console to set many of its own records.
Known for the hack-and-slash Dynasty Warriors series, Nintendo fans first discovered Koei Tecmo with the Hyrule Warriors crossover title. The game sold well enough in North America that Nintendo approved a crossover Warriors game with Fire Emblem, which sold over one million copies. Fire Emblem Warriors impressed Intelligent Systems so much that the studio solicited Koei Tecmo’s help with Three Houses. The game quickly became the best-selling title in the series.
As far as this game goes, I’m pretty sure that without the help of Koei Tecmo it simply wouldn’t have been possible.Toshiuki Kusakihara, Director of Fire Emblem Three Houses
The M&A Bandwagon
In a daring move, Nintendo authorized Koei Tecmo to create a prequel to Breath of the Wild. Dubbed Age of Calamity, the game sold over three million copies during its first weekend. By comparison, it took Koei Tecmo’s popular Nioh franchise nearly three years to reach three million sales. Age of Calamity’s success begs the question: should Nintendo buy Koei Tecmo?
For most companies, mergers and acquisitions are costly alternatives to partnerships and mutual agreements. While the video game industry is no exception, third-party studios offer a turn-key solution to content gaps. In addition to the studio’s iconic games, the company is also a large player in the anime scene with the Atelier series. Given the dramatic success of Three Houses and Age of Calamity, Nintendo would be wise to secure the studio’s content for the foreseeable future. But this recommendation begs yet another question: does Koei Tecmo want to be acquired?
In short, the answer should be a resounding “yes.” Although Koei Tecmo has many successful franchises, such as Nioh and Atelier, the company’s hallmark franchise is Dynasty Warriors, which has been declining in popularity and sales since the early 2010s. Additionally, well-known series such as Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden have remained dormant for years. Hyrule and Fire Emblem Warriors have outsold every single Dynasty Warriors game, and the former is on pace to become the best-selling game in the company’s history.
Given the current state of its intellectual property and successful releases on the Switch, Koei Tecmo would dramatically benefit from a merger with Nintendo. Although the probability is unlikely, Nintendo would be wise to consider adding the studio to its stable of development powerhouses.
But we want to know what you think. Have you played Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity or Fire Emblem Three Houses? Do you believe that Nintendo should buy Koei Tecmo? Do you think the Dynasty Warriors studio is helping the Zelda team with the Breath of the Wild sequel? Let us know in the comments below or the social media links on the right. Also, be sure to check out our other news items on Mario, Zelda, Monster Hunter, Call of Duty and more.
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