Company plans to maintain the Tecmo brand

TOKYO — Game maker Square Enix has launched a friendly take-over bid for game developer Tecmo, offering to buy shares at 930 yen ($8.56) apiece, 30% over their latest asking price. 

 If Tecmo does not respond by Sept. 4 or rejects the bid, Square Enix says it will drop it. The company plans to maintain the Tecmo brand after any take-over.

 At a Tokyo press conference on Friday, Square Enix prexy Yoichi Wada said that the Japanese game industry “had better join hands strongly to some degree to develop its (business) worldwide” as global competition in the game biz intensifies.

He said that Square Enix itself was formed of a merger in 2003 and had pursued “a united strategy for a long time.”

Tecmo prexy Yoshimi Yasuda will resign Sept. 1, to be succeeded by chairman Yasuharu Kakihara, who will hold both posts.

Wada said that he had been meeting with Kakihara since May to discuss “working together as a group.”

However, a lawsuit filed in June by Tomonobu Itagaki, developer of the hit Tecmo game “Dead or Alive,” claiming unpaid bonuses and emotional distress had complicated matters, as had another suit filed by Tecmo employees for unpaid overtime wages.

“I’d become concerned about what would happen concerning what we had discussed so far,” Wada said, explaining his decision to launch the take-over bid.

Now that Tecmo is in play other game companies, such as Capcom and Konami, may launch a bidding war.  

Founded in 1967, Tecmo created hit games “Dead or Alive,” “Ninja Gaiden” and “Tecmo Bowl.”

Started in 1975, Square Enix is best known for its role-playing games “Final Fantasy,” “Dragon Quest” and “Kingdom Hearts.”

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