Kensuke Tanaka, who prior to Kantai Collection was involved in the production and public relations for Final Fantasy X, XI and XIII, wished to create a game which involves historical elements while still appealing to the regular fans of DMM.com, namely fans of anime and manga culture, and this led him to the idea of developing a game centred on anthropomorphisms of warships.
A bi-monthly online web manga by Ryōta Momoi began serialization from April 23, 2013 in the Famitsu Comic Clear.
The game is currently intended to be played by a Japanese domestic audience only, with the interface exclusively in the Japanese language.
As of present, the game cannot be played outside Japan without the use of a VPN; After July 2015, new registrants were able to join the 20th server without the need to partake in a lottery; due to excessive player numbers, however, the new server has closed on multiple occasions.
Within an update introduced May 15–17, 2013, additional fleet girls were added.
Kadokawa has also announced a manga series titled Kan Colle: Black Order (provisional) Famitsu Comic Clear, DNA Comics, Comptiq and Dengeki Comics have also published numerous series of comic compilation books which each contain a collection of various one-shot manga.
A short story series featuring aircraft carriers Zuikaku and Shōkaku written by Hiroki Uchida and illustrated by Matarō, titled Kan Colle: Bonds of the Wings of Cranes .
Presently there are 164 original girls in addition to 72 upgraded variants, bringing the total number of fleet girls to 236.
The game currently holds spaces for 250 different types of fleet girls.