From Software Acquired by Japanese Publisher Kadokawa
Sometimes, it’s better to be a master of one trade than a jack of all trades. Just ask Japanese developer From Software who have parlayed their painfully hard, old-school action-RPG Dark Souls into a purchase by Japanese publisher Kadokawa Shoten.
If you haven’t heard of Kadokawa, you aren’t a bad gamer. It’s because that they have only recently expanded their publishing offering to games and only publish in Japan.
Prior to launching Kadokawa Games five years ago, the Japanese publisher was primarily known for publishing manga, comic, films, animation, magazines and books. Since launching Kadokawa Games, they have published two noteworthy games in Japan, Killer Is Dead and Lollipop Chainsaw by Grasshopper Manufacture, and released a few internally developed games.
While there might be some initial concern over the fact that Kadokawa does not currently publish outside Japan, it should be noted that neither does From Software. They publish their games, including the Demon/Dark Souls franchise, in Japan themselves. Most recently, they’ve paired with Namco Bandai for worldwide publishing.
Kadokawa is planning to use their purchase of From Software to start a major expansion of the gaming efforts, including plans to publish internationally. They also plan to launch new IP, by both their internal Kadokawa Games and From Software, for more platforms and with a focus on overseas markets. It’s hoped that integrating the expertise and success of From Software will kickstart Kadokawa’s whole game division.
I’m worried that I’m getting a little soft in my old age because I don’t think this is a bad deal for From Software. Getting a big company behind them provides them financial stability, not that they had problems with that in the past. More importantly, it sounds like Kadokawa is going to let From spearhead the company’s direction and use that to chart a course for the publisher rather than the opposite which is often the case with big publishers.
And I don’t know about you but I think a Lollipop Chainsaw sequel that was basically a From Software Souls product in bright, colourful clothing would be something that I would pick up.