Monday, May 26, 2008

Bandai Visual Bites the Dust

After writing so many articles about the folly of Bandai Visual's pricing and release policy, I don't really have much to say about this news (this being a holiday weekend).

From ANN:

Bandai Namco Holdings has announced on Friday that it will combine its two video/audio content subsidiaries in America — Bandai Entertainment and Bandai Visual USA — on July 1 and liquidate Bandai Visual USA. The company's announcement still lists Tatsunori Konno as the head of Bandai Visual USA, even though he moved back to Japan this month. As of the end of April, there were officially only two employees of Bandai Visual USA. The liquidation of Bandai Visual USA is expect to be completed by the end of September.

Bandai Visual USA was established on January 5, 2005 with an emphasis on collectors' editions of Bandai Visual titles from Japan. It met with heavy resistance to its prices which were similar to those in Japan, but far above those in the rest of the North American anime market. It has US$4 million in capital and, as of last December 31 (the end of its last accounting period), US$2.983 million in total assets. During the accounting period that ended last December, it sold US$1.151 million worth of goods, but lost US$595,000 before taxes.

And from ICv2:

Bandai Visual to Shut Down, Assets Transferred to Bandai Entertainment

Bandai Namco has announced that it will fold its Bandai Visual subsidiary in the U.S. into Bandai Entertainment on July 1st, eliminating Bandai Visual as a separate operation by the end of September.

Bandai Visual had been established in the U.S. to release material originally released by Bandai Visual in Japan in Criterion-style, high quality, high priced formats (see “ICv2 Interviews Tatsunori Konno, Part 1”). Its U.S. releases never caught on and the operation was losing money, leading to the liquidation.

The shutdown comes amid generally poor conditions for U.S. anime companies with illegal downloads generally seen as the primary contributing factor.

It's not like we didn't see that coming. Remember what Macarthur said?

" Poorly Run Anime companies never die, they just fade away...."

1 comment:

ザイツェヴ said...

It wasn't a foregone conclusion that the sanity would prevail as it did. If Japanese were into face-saving as much as it is sometimes said, the Namco could have sustained BV indefinitely and starve BEI of BD licenses until DVDs went the way of VHS. They could have played other nasty cards as well.