From Software Owner and Anime Publisher Kadokawa Corp. Enters a New Alliance With Sony


While they may not be a household name in the West, Kadokawa Corporation is a major player in the Japanese entertainment industry, as they produce numerous popular anime and manga series and own several game studios, including From Software, Spike Chunsoft, and their own Kadokawa Games. Well, today Kadokawa announced they’ve entered into a new capital alliance with Sony and the mobile game publisher CyberAgent. Both Sony and CyberAgent are buying a small stake in Kadokawa (about 2 percent each) and in return, they’ll help develop and promote Kadokawa properties around the world. While this agreement will likely focus heavily on anime, an area Sony has been making significant investments in recently, Kadokawa’s press release mentions they plan to “maximize the value of their abundant IP” in both the “animation and game fields.”

Kadokawa has spelled out what each player in this new alliance brings to the table (thanks to Gematsu for the translations in this article)…

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  • Kadokawa Corporation - Content strength to constantly create IPs composed of a diversified portfolio.
  • CyberAgent - Development and operation strength for smartphone games.
  • Sony - Global expansion power of animation and consumer games.

So yes, I know what some of you are thinking – given Sony’s recently-stated intention to ramp up entertainment-related investments, could this alliance be a first step toward them purchasing Kadokawa (and From Software and Spike Chunsoft in the process)? As of now, we have no evidence in that direction, and it would certainly be an expensive purchase. So, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. That said, could this alliance mean Sony will be in a position to set up favorable publishing deals for games developed under the Kadokawa banner? It seems likely. It will be interesting to see what might come of this deal.

What do you think this alliance might result in? Could it be the first step toward something bigger?