|Yōichi Erikawa is the co-founder of Koei and now CEO/President of Koei Tecmo. He was producer for the classic strategy game Genghis Khan II.|
I've covered the game Genghis Khan II in this blog a few times before and the posts mainly concerned its music by Michiru Ōshima. However, I don't believe I've ever talked about the producer of the game, a man who found probably the greatest Japanese PC game development studio, Koei; His name is Yōichi Erikawa but he has also gone under the moniker "Kou Shibusawa".
Why was Genghis Khan II so great? Well it's probably because it was my first experience of anything remotely related to the "grand strategy" genre, i.e. a genre that mixes tactical and strategic aspects where you not only get to manage an army of soldiers, you get to manage the politics, the economy and even your bloodline. These types of games tend to mix elements of role-playing and strategy, which I whole-heartedly approve of (at least when you get it right - Warcraft III is an example where I don't think it works, or at least it biases the game towards roleplaying Hero units a bit too much).
But I digress. What about Yōichi Erikawa? Where is he nowadays? Well since the 1990s (which was probably his heyday or when he really got his hands dirty with development) he's been credited as a producer on several games developed by Koei and now Koei Tecmo (after they merged in 2009). That's probably understandable considering he was a co-founder of Koei (with his wife Keiko) and now he's President and CEO of Koei Tecmo. The last game he's credited as producing is 2012's Pokemon Conquest for the Nintendo DS. Prior to that, he was credited as Producer for 2007's Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI which was released on Windows and Playstation 2.
So what's he up to nowadays? Well he still seems to be CEO of Koei Tecmo but at least according to MobyGames, he hasn't been credited as having developed a game for a few years now.
I unfortunately don't have the time to cover what happened to the entire development team but if you happened to be part of the original Genghis Khan II development team, then let us know! We'd love to hear your stories and anecdotes! :)
[ MobyGames: Yōichi Erikawa ]
[ Wikipedia: Koei Tecmo ]
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