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Aniplex Acquires Fate/Grand Order Development Unit From Delight Works

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Aniplex to launch new wholly owned subsidiary for Fate/Grand Order developers

Aniplex and developer Delight Works both announced on Wednesday that Aniplex is acquiring the entire game development division of Delight Works. Delight Works is first spinning off the division as a new company, and then Aniplex will acquire the new company and turn it into its new wholly owned subsidiary.

The new company will continue development on the Fate/Grand Order smartphone game, and the production committee of the game will change to be Aniplex, Notes (the corporate name of the Type-Moon creative circle), and the new as-yet unnamed company.

Both companies expect to complete the transfer of ownership by this coming spring, pending approval from related parties.

Delight Works will continue working on its other projects outside of its game development division.

Delight Works is best known for developing the Fate/Grand Order smartphone game, which has inspired numerous spinoff anime, manga, and games. The game, one of the largest and most successful smartphone games in Japan, is based on Type-Moon's Fate/stay night franchise, but with an entirely new story and dramatically expanded world. Aniplex publishes the game, and released it in Japan in summer 2015. The game received an English release in the United States and Canada in June 2017.

Delight Works was established in January 2014. It developed the Sakura Kakumei ~Hana Saku Otome-tachi~ smartphone game with Sega, which debuted last December, and will shut down in June. It signed a capital and business alliance with fellow online game developer Aiming in January 2019, but announced in July 2020 that the alliance has been dissolved with their jointly developed titles canceled.

Former Street Fighter series director Yoshinori Ono became the company's new president and chief operating officer on May 1. Delight Works founder and former COO Akihito Shōji assumed the role of chairman and chief executive officer on the same day.

Aniplex's existing subsidiaries include the anime studios A-1 Pictures and CloverWorks, the game company Quatro A, and the North America distributor Aniplex of America. It also established the joint company Peppermint Anime in Germany, and it established 3D CG animation company Boundary in March 2020. Sony owns Aniplex through its Sony Music Entertaniment Japan arm.

Sony Pictures Television announced in September 2019 that it and Aniplex are consolidating three Sony-owned anime acquisition and distribution companies — Funimation based in the United States, Wakanim based in France, and Madman Anime Group based in Australia — into one joint venture. Sony Pictures Television Networks acquired a majority stake in Funimation for US$143 million in 2017. Sony's Funimation Global Group recently announced in December 2020 that it will acquire Crunchyroll for a purchase price of US$1.175 billion, an acquisition which was only recently concluded in August earlier this year.

Sources: Aniplex's website, Delight Works' website, Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo)

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