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Bandai Namco Is Trying To Buy The Entire Gundam Franchise

Gundam W Cover

Bandai Namco's attempt to control all of the anime has resulted in a bid to purchase a majority of the common stock of Sotsu Co., Ltd, which would result in Bandai Namco owning the rights to the entire Gundam franchise.

Sotsu is an advertising agency that already has 22.3% of its stock owned by Bandai Namco. One of the subsidiaries of Sotsu is Sunrise, which is one of Japan's best-known animation studios. Sunrise is responsible for series such as Cowboy Bebop, Space Runaway Ideon, and Code Geass, as well as the Gundam franchise.

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Bandai Namco is making a bid to purchase a majority stake in Sotsu, which would make them a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company. According to the Anime News NetworkBandai Namco is making a bid to purchase the shares owned by Sotsu founder, Yuji Nasu, and the shares owned by Nasu's asset management company, which would give Bandai Namco control over 70% of Sotsu's stock. The cost of the purchase would be around $325 million dollars/35 billion yen.

via: screenrant.com

Bandai Namco is one of the biggest video game developers in Japan and they hold the license to several major anime and manga franchises. The vast majority of the video games based on the Dragon Ball franchise have either been developed or published by Bandai Namco, which dates all the way back to Dragon Ball: Shenlong no Nazo from 1986. Bandai Namco has a close relationship with Shueisha, which is why they hold the video game licensing rights to other Weekly Shonen Jump series, such as One Piece and Naruto. 

The Gundam series is one of the most profitable media franchises of all time and has maintained a loyal fanbase since 1979, so it makes sense that Bandai Namco would spend so much money in order to consolidate the rights to the franchise under one banner. Sotsu already has a close relationship with Bandai Namco, so it remains to be seen how much the Gundam franchise will change under the new ownership, assuming that the deal goes through.

Source: Anime News Network

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