Aug. 25, 2017
Basic Accord on Gamification of Japanese Anime for Overseas Markets and Joint Publishing
First step will be distribution of “Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? -- MEMORIA FREESE --” in early 2018
Sumitomo Corporation (Head Office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer: Kuniharu Nakamura), Crunchyroll (Head Office: San Francisco CA, USA; GM: Kun Gao), and GREE, Inc. (Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Chairman and CEO: Yoshikazu Tanaka; hereinafter, “GREE”), have agreed in principle on the gamification of Japanese anime for North America and other overseas markets and on joint publishing.
Sumitomo Corporation, in cooperation with Crunchyroll, is pursuing overseas sales of Japanese anime via Crunchyroll, a Japanese content distribution service offered by the company of the same name. The three companies involved in this accord will be utilizing GREE’s planning and development capabilities to gamify Japanese anime for overseas markets and promote joint publishing and working to expand related businesses, with the Crunchyroll video distribution platform as a starting point.
The first project will be the smartphone game app “Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? MEMORIA FREESE” (hereinafter, “Dan-Memo”), scheduled for release in early 2018. Dan-Memo is the first full-fledged smartphone game app for the popular TV anime “Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?” (hereinafter, “Dan-Machi”). A GREE Group app development studio began distribution in Japan in June 2017, and three million downloads were reached in the first month. The app has proved extremely popular, topping the sales rankings at both Google Play™ and the iTunes App Store. Since first distributed on Crunchyroll in 2015, the anime version of Dan-Machi has become a very popular anime in North America and around the globe. In distributing Dan-Memo overseas, GREE is responsible for managing copyrights and planning/developing/operating games, while Crunchyroll and Sumitomo Corporation provide game distribution, promotion and localization support. Sumitomo Corporation in future will supplement its distribution of game apps developed and operated by GREE by distributing other apps overseas in cooperation with anime copyright holders and development companies delivering games in Japan.
Sumitomo, produces new Japanese animation through its CSA Fund jointly established with Crunchyroll in January 2016 and distributes on a global basis. Further, Sumitomo has established a strategic partnership in April 2017 with The Chernin Group, LLC, which has a stake in Crunchyroll through Otter Media (a joint venture with AT&T), to pursue new opportunities in media & entertainment as well as advanced technology fields. Crunchyroll is the world’s largest destination for anime and manga, boasting a global community of more than 20 million registered users and over 1 million subscribers. Crunchyroll distributes Japanese anime and manga(comics) available immediately after Japanese broadcast through game consoles and mobile devices, and Crunchyroll sells related merchandise through its online store.
Originally founded as the operator of a social network, GREE quickly emerged as one of Japan's mobile Internet pioneers, developing the world's first mobile social game. Having shifted its strategic focus to smart devices, GREE's current popular games consist of content with original and licensed popular characters--spanning broad genres of action, adventure, RPG, as well as VR.
Sumitomo Corporation, Crunchyroll and GREE are bringing to the table their differing resources and know-how to make available to overseas markets a variety of mobile/PC games based on Japan’s treasure trove of anime content.
【Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? MEMORIA FREESE】
【About “Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?“】
More than eight million copies of the original book series have been published, and the TV anime broadcast in spring 2015 has made it a huge hit among anime fans as well as light novel fans.
The spin-off anime “Sword Oratoria “Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?” started in April 2017, and it has been well received by numerous fans.
■Sumitomo Corporation’s Material Issues
Sumitomo Corporation Group positions “Six Material Issues to Achieve Sustainable Growth with Society” as an important factor in developing business strategies and in the decision-making process for individual businesses. Going forward, we will pursue sustainable growth by resolving these issues through our business activities. This project especially contributes to “Establishing a Foundation for Comfortable and Enriching Lifestyles”.
Corporate Communications Department,