Koei announced plans to open a new studio in Singapore, to be called, appropriately enough, Koei Entertainment Singapore. The new studio will be the first core game development house for the company to be located outside of its home base of Japan.
The company has announced a startup budget of $3 million ($1.85 million USD). $2 million ($1.21 million USD) will go into the personnel budget and the rest will be put into the construction of the actual studios. The initial staff will comprise ten Japanese and ten Singaporean engineers and programmers, and Koei hopes to increase that number to over 100 by the end of the year. The remaining 80 or so employees will be drawn from Singapore, and will includes at least a few Indian staff, to plant the seeds of an eventual expansion into the Middle East.
The Singapore studio's first project will be Romance of the Three Kingdoms Online
, a multiplayer entry in Koei's long-running historical strategy series. The game, which had no announced platform, is due to be released one and a half to two years from now.
Singapore's Economic Development Board chairman Teo Ming Kian praised the the new studio, citing it as "a clear testimony to how rapidly the games industry in Singapore is developing."