I sometimes joke that 50% of my cultural understanding of Japan comes from Namco. Turns out that, by the end of this transaction…that may not be far wrong. [LINK]
Japanese games giant, Bandai Namco is to buy out its partners in Anime Consortium Japan. ACN’s main business is licensing and streaming Japanese animation abroad via its Daisuki website
Bandai Namco currently owns 36% of ACN and announced that will spend $18.5 million (JPY2.1 billion) to make it a wholly-owned subsidiary. The other partners in ACN are publishers Kodansha, Shueisha, Shogakukan and Kadokawa, merchandise firm Good Smile Company, anime studio Toei Animation and the government’s Cool Japan Fund.
Launched in November 2014, ACJ is facing stiffening competition from other streaming services run by major industry players. Namco hopes to make it a more nimble operator.
This may be one of the smartest moves imaginable: Namco’s in a unique position to partner with Microsoft and Sony to create streaming channels for this stuff via their respective consoles. You want the anime-watching demographic? There’s almost – almost – a complete Venn diagram overlap with gamers.