The Kadokawa Group is working to move beyond its existing publishing business to expand in film and web video projects and mobile apps, as well as develop business overseas with an emphasis on Asia.
Kadokawa Corporation and Dwango integrated to form Kadokawa Dwango Corporation as the holding company of both businesses on October 1, 2014. Kadokawa Shoten is a well-established Japanese publisher of books, Mangas and Manga magazines. The company was established on November 10, 1945 by Genyoshi Kadokawa. Its first publication imprint, Kadokawa Bunko, was published in 1949. Kadokawa Shoten went public on April 2, 1954. Kadokawa Shoten was renamed Kadokawa Holdings in 2003 and Kadokawa Group Holdings on July 1, 2006. The group inherited the management and integrated publishing businesses within Kadokawa Shoten in January 2007. The magazine businesses was transferred to the Kadokawa Magazine Group. The video game divisions of Kadokawa Shoten, ASCII Media Works and Enterbrain were merged into Kadokawa Games. Since the founding of Kadokawa Haruki in 1976, Kadokawa was also active in movie production.
In fall 2013, Kadokawa restructured based on a “one company” model, integrating nine subsidiaries to become Corporation. Kadokawa Corporation merged with Dwango on October 1, 2014 to form Kadokawa Dwango Corporation, and in April 2015 Kodowaka announced it would continue the restructuring process and shed the Kadokawa Shoten brand name along with others. The editorial staff will be consolidated in a new department structure.
Analysis & Key Developments
No full-year corporate financial report for 2015 was made available by the time of this report. Results for publishing come from the Japan Company Database.
A major restructuring of the group in 2014 and 2015 changed the financial reporting, so results in 2014 and 2015 cannot be compared on a like-for-like basis.
In October 2014, Kadokawa Corporation and Dwango merged to Kadokawa Dwango Corporation as the holding company of Kadokawa Corporation. Dwango Co., Ltd. was established in 1997 as a game development company, and has achieved significant growth through its content distribution services for mobile devices. Dwango also operates niconico, which has become one of the largest video-sharing web services in Japan. Tatsuo Sato, President of Kadokawa Dwango Corporation, stated that “The merger of these two companies cannot be described simply as the integration of a content holder and a platform provider.”
According to the Japanese news site Nikkei, Kadokawa Corporation announced in April 2015 that it would restructure its internal brand companies after merging nine subsidiaries into a single “one company” structure. The main change in the organization involved the replacement of brand companies by departments based on business domains.
While some brand names have remained unchanged, others such as the group’s traditional publishing division Kadokawa Shoten and Fujimi Shobo, a light novel brand, will be dissolved and consolidated within a new department structure: Business, Life, and Culture; Comics and Character; Magazine Brand; ASCII Media Works; and Enterbrain.
A new line of web novels called Kadokawa Books was launched In 2015. One title, Overlord, was initially published as a web novel and has now been transformed into an anime adaptation. Several magazines have been digitized in 2015, including those under ASCII.
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