Anime Central 2011 Funimation Industry panel
by Theron Martin, May 21st 2011
The originally-scheduled morning slot for the Funimation industry panel was moved to late afternoon and a bigger room to accommodate what would have been a tremendous overflow crowd in the originally-scheduled room. Funimation Community Manager Adam Sheehan and Social Media Manager Justin Rojas opened up the panel with a video montage of action clips from assorted already-existing Funimation titles. They then cycled through a breakdown of upcoming releases for the rest of May, June, and July, with advertising clips for many of the titles, before getting to the meat of the panel: the new releases. As previously announced on ANN, Adam and Justin announced the license of Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?, which will be released under the title Is This a Zombie?? They then announced the licensing of the upcoming stand-alone movie Fullmetal Alchemist: The Star of Milos. They could not offer any time frame for releases on either title. They also announced Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood: Fullmetal Battle, a card game-styled turn-based RPG which is in development for an expected July release. The game will be available on Facebook and iOs and as an application for iPad, iPhone, Facebook, and Android.
After the announcements, Adam and Justin opened the floor for questions, which primarily concerned expected release times. Although they could not provide specifics on release dates for any title beyond the Spice and Wolf 2 DVD (due out August 2nd), they did clarify that Fairy Tail and Rosario to Vampire are expected “at the end of the year” and Darker than Black: Gemini of the Meteor is expected out “later this year.” When asked about the lengthy delays in release times for some titles that they announced last year, Adam explained that the problems primarily lay with delays getting masters from the Japanese licensors.
They also revealed that a subscription tier can be expected later this year at the Funimation video site. In response to other questions, Adam suggested that the DVD/Blu-Ray packs will become a regular feature for them and stated definitively that streaming numbers are something that Funimation takes heavily into account when deciding whether to just stream titles or give them full dubbed releases. Adam and Justin also confirmed that they have no plans to license any further Kodocha, but more One Piece, including appropriate movies, is certainly in negotiation.
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