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Strong retail sales help Tecmo Koei to increased 2011 profits
Strong retail sales help Tecmo Koei to increased 2011 profits
May 8, 2012 | By Mike Rose

May 8, 2012 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Dynasty Warriors publisher Tecmo Koei today reported strong financial results for the fiscal year just ended, thanks to notable sales from multiple franchises.

The Japanese company noted strong sales performances from Ninja Gaiden 3, Musou Orochi 2, Sengoku Musou 3 Empires and Winning Post 7 2012, reports Andriasang. In particular, Ninja Gaiden 3 shipped 630,000 units worldwide.

On top of this, Tecmo Koei received royalties as a development team on games with other big publishers, including One Piece Pirate Musou for Namco Bandai and Pokemon + Nobunaga's Ambition for Nintendo subsidiary The Pokemon Company.

Also mentioned in the financial results was the acquisition of Gust, the developer behind the Atelier RPG franchise. Tecmo Koei said that it is currently looking to push its online and mobile businesses through the expansion of this subsidiary.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, Tecmo Koei posted revenues of 35.5 billion yen ($443.8 million), up 10.7 percent year-over-year, and profits of 4.6 billion yen ($57.5 million), up a notable 69.3 percent compared to the previous fiscal year.

Looking ahead to results for the current fiscal year, the company estimates that it will see revenue increase again to 39.0 billion yen ($487.6 million), up 9.8 percent, while it expects profits to increase 7.7 percent to 5.0 billion yen ($62.5 million).

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Ujn Hunter
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How does a company, whose games get worse and worse, keep making money? Who is buying this garbage? Mind is blown.

Arthur De Martino
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Except their games aren't getting "worse and worse" - Ninja Gaiden got worse yes, but all the games listed on the article were either new IPs (Pokemon + Nobunaga's Ambition) or surprinsly good entries on the warriors series. (One Piece Pirate Musou).

Sengoku Musou 3 is the best entry on that series and Musou Orochi 2 is so good it's getting good reviews even from western critics that demand that the Warriors series to be anything other than a beat'em'up.

Of all those games you claim they are getting worse because of one weak title?

Blackjack Goren
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I don't consider Ninja Gaiden 3 garbage, as this article has prompted me to reply to Mr. Nutt's article on the game (link above under Related News). It's a flawed, but still great and rewarding action game in its higher difficulty settings.

Ujn Hunter
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Garbage for a "Ninja Gaiden" game then I should say. They've removed all the smooth skilled action, all the ninpo & weapon upgrades, replaced it with button mashing, wave after wave of weak enemies, pointless "story" and dreaded QTEs. And all that other stuff that was included in the previous Ninja Gaiden games that was stripped out of Ninja Gaiden 3? Oh... you can now buy most of that stuff in $10 packs separately. Anyone who supports this is helping to ruin gaming for the people playing.

If it was "Ninja Blade II" instead of "Ninja Gaiden 3" then maybe it wouldn't be what I'd consider "garbage"... but it's not "Ninja Blade II". Team Ninja has done nothing remotely good since Itagaki left and since Koei took over.

Blackjack Goren
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Ujn said:

"They've removed all the smooth skilled action, all the ninpo & weapon upgrades, replaced it with button mashing, wave after wave of weak enemies, pointless "story" and dreaded QTEs."

I don't understand what you mean by "smooth skilled action," so I won't hazard a guess.

On the ninpo, I have yet to see what the complaint is. The ninpo system is indeed different, but it serves a more important purpose than in previous games. The player has to choose whether to spend ninpo to clear a tough wave of enemies at the risk of losing the ability to replenish health later (unlike NG1 and 2, health items in NG3 don't exist). Frankly, I haven't heard anybody make a compelling argument on why the NG3 implementation of the ninpo is worse than in previous games.

On weapon upgrades, they do occur but happen automatically. I can understand why some may miss this RPG-lite feature, but in the end it has little effect on what the 3D Ninja Gaiden series have been about: melee combat. In previous Ninja Gaiden games, the player discovered the moves by exploring the world, while in NG3 the player has most moves already available to him. This allows the player to focus fully on encounters, as opposed to collecting orbs to upgrade items and using enemies as grinding tools. Whether or not this was a wise choice is a matter of preference, but the result is, again, a greater focus on the encounters.

On the button mashing comment, which I assume you mean the player can just tap the attack button endlessly to win, then this is a rather incomplete statement. The player can pick Hard mode from the start of Ninja Gaiden 3, making "mashing" only useful against the weakest of enemies. Do it in an encounter against less weak enemies, like the assassins and dogs, and you will die. A lot. Never mind when facing the really tough enemies. Strategy is still present in NG3 in hard mode, and it becomes rather indispensable in Master and Ultimate Ninja settings.

On the wave of weak enemies comment, I refer you to my previous statement. Most enemies are tough and can kill you quickly in harder difficulty settings. The alchemists (Assassin Creed-looking dudes) are some of the nastiest enemy designs I've ever faced. They are merciless, with plenty of tools at their disposal, and they only get nastier with health-eating suicide moves in the later days of the game. In fact, NG3's true flaw lies in enemies that are too broken and cheap. Harder difficulties will increase the frequency of their strongest attacks, which more often than not are unblockable, powerful grabs. This means the player can only rely on a core set of moves to survive, and only sometimes. It's certainly challenging, though, and skill is required.

On the pointless story, you are absolutely right, and you would be as well if you lumped Ninja Gaiden 1 and 2. I can tell you I've beaten Ninja Gaiden 1 several times, and I can't for the life of me tell you what the hell the story was about. 3D NG games have always been about the action anyway, with little focus on story. Thankfully, this means that, unlike in a game like Mass Effect, the story of Ninja Gaiden can suck with little consequence to the experience.

On QTEs... I won't get into a discussion of what a QTE is or isn't (it's a whole other topic), but those aren't QTEs. They're just (optional) button prompts that teach the player early on the moves available based on the player's current situation. For example, if the player is in front of a door, he can open it by holding the shoulder buttons and tapping the circle button. While diving, the player can press the Strong Attack button when close to landing near an enemy, etc. After the first couple of days, the player won't need the button prompts, and can pull off those moves on instinct based on the situation. In other words, these "QTEs" are actually just context-sensitive moves, much like RE4's "A to climb" whenever Leon gets near a stair. It actually works really well the majority of the time, which surprised me since I came into the game already pissed off that QTEs were implemented, a misjudgment on my part from misinformation I read on professional reviews.

Ujn said:

"And all that other stuff that was included in the previous Ninja Gaiden games that was stripped out of Ninja Gaiden 3? Oh... you can now buy most of that stuff in $10 packs separately. Anyone who supports this is helping to ruin gaming for the people playing."

The new weapons are free, as has been additional multiplayer content. Most of it is downloaded automatically when I boot up the game. I haven't paid a cent. Ultimate Ninja difficulty is free for a limited time. All I've seen that costs money are the colors, helmets, and other superficial items for the multiplayer modes.

Please, man, I understand it's easy to be swept by the reception NG3 has received. Before I played the game, I was expecting a poor game akin to Devil May Cry 2. I was ready to hate it, but I held off on making my judgement publicly until giving it a serious try. The bottom line is: It's a great action game, and quite a challenging one in harder difficulty settings. It has a shitty story, its attempts at making the player care for Hayabusa as a "human being" seem misguided and poorly implemented, and the frame rate, camera and cheap AI can make combat a frustrating effort in an already challenging game. At times the game takes the player away from the melee combat action to place him poorly implemented scenarios, like a slow, boring walk, or a horrid, skill-less turret sequence. THESE are the issues with Ninja Gaiden 3.

Since this is Gamasutra, and not GameFAQs, I would hope my fellow readers would be more careful with their opinions before posting. The industry is already too lazy in plenty of areas. Let's not encourage it more.