Sony Pictures Television and Aniplex Announce Global Anime Streaming Merger
Exclusive(*) Streamer for Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia
CULVER CITY, CA – September 24, 2019 – Sony Pictures Television, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., and Aniplex Inc., a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., today announced they have combined multiple Sony-owned Anime streaming businesses. France's Wakanim, Australia's Madman Anime Group and US-based Funimation will form a joint venture to be owned by Aniplex and Sony Pictures Television. The venture will be led by Funimation's General Manager, Colin Decker.
Under this structure, Funimation will acquire and distribute Anime content from Japan across this global portfolio of brands, each with deep regional expertise in serving fans. Now with a larger global footprint, the combined businesses will expand their 360° / multi-channel approach to fan engagement that spans home entertainment, theatrical distribution, live events and merchandising.
As the first project of this union, Funimation will be the exclusive(*) streaming home of the latest installment in the Fate/Grand Order series for one month. On October 5, Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia will be simulcast in the US on FunimationNow and will launch on Wakanim and Madman Anime Group's AnimeLab in their respective territories. Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia is the first television animation series of
the Fate/Grand Order mobile game, a global phenomenon which has been recognized as one of the most successful mobile games in the world with over 41 million downloads worldwide.
Mike Hopkins – Sony Pictures Television Chairman
“Anime is a growing area of importance for us at Sony Pictures Television. By combining these businesses, we immediately increase our global reach and expertise in SVOD, theatrical, home video, merchandising, events and more. Along with our world-class marketing capabilities, we're well-positioned to deliver unprecedented results for our partners and the best possible Anime experience for the fans.”
Atsuhiro Iwakami – Aniplex Inc. President
“Through Sony group's integration of Anime related streaming services, we are thrilled that numerous Japanese Anime titles will be distributed globally through its digital platforms. We hope our partnership will contribute to the further development and expansion of the Japanese Anime industry.”
Colin Decker – General Manager, Funimation
“For 25 years, Funimation has served creators, publishers, and fans. By merging, we can extend our support of the industry for another 25 years with some of the most respected talent, and brands, in global Anime.”
*Starting on October 5, episodes of Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia will stream exclusively for one month on FunimationNow, Wakanim and Madman Anime Group's AnimeLab before becoming available on other platforms.
ABOUT SONY PICTURES TELEVISION
Sony Pictures Television (SPT) is one of the television industry's leading content providers, producing, distributing and carrying programming worldwide in every genre and for every platform. In addition to managing one of the industry's largest libraries of award-winning feature films, television shows and formats, SPT is home to a thriving global content business, operating 24 wholly-owned or joint-venture production companies in 12 countries, as well as linear and digital channels around the world. Sony Pictures Television is a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company.
ABOUT ANIPLEX INC.
Aniplex is a diversified global entertainment company with focus on the planning and production of anime video and music content, distribution of its physical and digital products, development of related game apps and merchandise, and stage production of musicals and live events. Aniplex is a subsidiary company of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc.
ABOUT FATE/GRAND ORDER
As one of the most successful mobile games in the world, Fate/Grand Order is a free-to-play mobile RPG distributed by Aniplex, which is currently available in over ten regions and five languages. The game features strategic, turn-based gameplay requiring players to assemble powerful teams in order to advance through the story based on TYPE-MOON's celebrated Fate series. Together with its compelling narrative and characters, the game has captivated players worldwide and inspired an original anime special in 2016, the tabletop game, Fate/Grand Order Duel -collection figures-, and a TV anime series based on the game's seventh chapter premiering in October 2019, as well as a two-part feature length film inspired by the game's sixth chapter in 2020.
In addition to being featured on Android Authority's “10 Best Gacha Games and Mobile RPGs for Android” article, the game received praise from the official Apple App Store Games Twitter account, which posted: “We were curious why Fate/Grand Order was so popular. Now we can't stop playing it.” Fate/Grand Order also received an award for excellence in the Game of the Year division at the Japan Game Awards 2018 organized by the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA).
ABOUT FATE/GRAND ORDER ABSOLUTE DEMONIC FRONT: BABYLONIA Hailed as one of the most beloved chapters in Part 1 of Fate/Grand Order, the climactic seventh and final Singularity features a host of captivating characters and a deep, rich story written by Kinoko Nasu, the visionary mind behind the Fate universe!
Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia transports viewers back to the age of ancient Mesopotamia, 2655 B.C., and the city of Uruk governed by the wise King Gilgamesh. In this heart-racing story of a desperate fortress city under siege by deities and Demonic Beasts, the main character, Ritsuka Fujimaru, and his companion, Mash Kyrielight, must stand up for mankind in a last-ditch effort to prevent humanity's extinction as they embark on their final and most formidable battle.