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tri-Ace Inc.


Tri-Ace was founded by Yoshiharu Gotanda, Masaki Norimoto and Joe Asanuma in 1995. These three were the Three Aces from Wolf Team. Joe Asanuma protested because Asanuma was the director and head of Wolf Team but they brought in Eiji Kikuchi to direct the game Tales of Phantasia. Meanwhile, Yoshiharu Gotanda and Masaki Norimoto were protesting how Namco marketed the game "Tale Phantasia" (Namco changed its name to Tales of Phantasia, took the copyright and the trademark, etc.) that Gotanda wrote and totally programmed and Norimoto designed. These protests pushed the games release back by almost a year. Many other development staff members involved with Wolf Team also left and participated in the founding of Tri-Ace, such as: Yoshiaki Inagaki, Hiroya Hatsushiba, Motoi Sakuraba, Kenichi Kanekura, Shigeru Ueki and Mari Kimura.

Initially the company was headed by Joe Asanuma, but he left in 1998 to pursue other interests and Yoshiharu Gotanda took over the position.

The company has been financed by Enix since it began its operations. This did not change with the merger of Square and Enix into Square Enix. Square Enix also publishes the games that Tri-Ace develops.

Also Known As

  • tri-Ace Ltd. (from Mar 16, 1995 to Aug, 1996)


The company name refers to the three founding developers (three aces): Yoshiharu Gotanda, Masaki Norimoto and Joe Asanuma. They established the company out of protest how Namco and Telenet handled the development and branding of the Tales of Phantasia, which was then in development.

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