I knew the Geneon/ADV deal was bad medicine when it was first announced in September. When Geneon laid off some employees a short time after the announcement, I wasn’t surprised, nor was I too taken aback by the two anime distribution companies’ decision not to merge.
When it was announced that Geneon was no longer distributing DVDs, it was a confirmation of that initial bad feeling I had. I had no idea what was going on behind Geneon’s closed doors to lead up to this series of events, but like a divorce or break-up that seems to come outta nowhere, this sad event probably was some time in the making.
When I asked Mochi about the Geneon issue the other day, here’s what our top news contributor had to say:
As for Geneon, they are definitely out of the DVD business. However, it really depends on what Dentsu wants to do with Geneon USA. They will be posting a loss for the first half of this fiscal year (Oct. 2007 – Mar. 2008) due to downsizing their Geneon USA operation. Since they preferred to take a loss means that Geneon USA was probably operating at a loss with little chance of turning a profit for the foreseeable future. If they decide that it’s not worth staying in the North American market, then they will probably close shop once they have fulfilled all (or most) of their outstanding obligations. If they want to continue in North America, then they may turn to the Kadokawa model.
Kadokawa Pictures USA is essentially a licensing company. They license productions (both animated and live action) and sub-contract other companies to dub, distribute, and market. For example; they licensed The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, then contracted Bang Zoom! Entertainment for dubbing and Bandai Entertainment for distribution and marketing. Similarly,with Full Metal Panic! TSR, they contracted ADV for dubbing and FUNimation for distribution and marketing. As you can see, Kadokawa is not tied to one company for these functions and they don’t have to do this in-house either. This gives them flexibility to work out a deal with a decent chance for profit without the overhead of an in-house staff.
Speculaton by AnimeOnDVD.com and Robert’s Anime Corner Store seems to see this as a likely scenario for Geneon- unfortunate for former staff- but things can be cold in the world of business. If they decide to go this route, then Geneon can contract other companies to dub, distribute, and market the licenses which they still hold…otherwise these licenses will be in limbo for a while.
Well, now that Geneon is down and Bandai is in a sorry state as well, it looks like we fans may feel the ripple effects before too long. One of the major impacts Geneon’s absence will have is the lack of Hellsing OVAs. Who’s going to distribute them now? Who else is going to feel the effects of this giant’s take down? Are any of you going to feel the pain or does this not impact at you all?