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Koei Tecmo and Bekko Settled Their Copyright Lawsuit Outside of Court

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Koei Tecmo Nobunaga's Ambition Sphere of Influence images used in Bekko copyright lawsuit

Koei Tecmo announced that it amicably settled a copyright dispute with Bekko Games outside of court. The company previously filed a lawsuit against Bekko’s parent company, Hangzhou Jedi Technology Co., Ltd., for infringing its copyrights in January 2020.

Koei Tecmo’s new press release includes visual proof of copyright infringements that Bekko Games made in its own advertisements. The latter used screenshots from Romance of the Three Kingdoms VI and Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence in advertisements for Three Kingdoms: Overlord and Sengoku Fubu. Both titles are historical strategy games taking place in the Chinese Three Kingdoms and Japanese Warring States periods, respectively.

Bekko Games acknowledged its mistake during the settlement process and apologized directly to Koei Tecmo. The Chinese mobile game publisher also promised to delete any images related to the infringement. Additionally, Bekko paid Koei Tecmo five million yen (~$38,300) as part of the settlement.

Koei Tecmo is no stranger to court proceedings. In 2014, Capcom sued the company for infringing a couple of patents that the former had registered. The court proceedings ended in December 2020 in Capcom’s favor after the Supreme Court of Japan rejected Koei Tecmo’s final appeal. The court ordered Koei Tecmo to pay over 143 million yen (~$1.1 million) in compensation to Capcom.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms VI came out for PC and PlayStation in 1998. Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence was released first on PC and PlayStation 3 in 2013. Both titles are available on Steam. Although Koei had an English localization of Romance of the Three Kingdoms VI on the PlayStation, its Steam release only features Japanese subtitles.

Kite Stenbuck
An avid gamer who learned the Japanese language mostly by playing Japanese games. Especially enjoys Dynasty Warriors, Ace Combat, and Gundam a lot.