Sony takes 1.9% stake in From Software’s parent company
‘Capital alliance’ sees Kadokawa Corporation partner with the PlayStation maker
Kadokawa Corporation, the parent company of Bloodborne and Dark Souls studio From Software, has formed a “capital alliance” with Sony, it announced on Wednesday.
The Japanese media conglomerate – which also owns manga, publishing and film companies – said in its latest financial reports that it had given Sony a 1.93 percent ownership as part of the financial deal.
As part of the alliance, smart phone firm CyberAgent will also receive the same percentage of shares in the company. CyberAgent is the owner of CyGames, the creator of hugely popular Japanese mobile games.
In its latest financial results, Kadokawa said the capital alliance would allow it to utilise Sony’s “global expansion power of animation and consumer games.”
The deal would facilitate the “creation, development, and acquisition” of new IP, in addition to allowing it to “maximize the value of the abundant IP that we already own,” it added.
“We believe that it is necessary to procure such funds in order not to miss potential investment opportunities and to solidify our ability to create IP based on our track record of creating rich and unique IP consisting of a diverse portfolio of books, movies, animations, games, and UGC platforms, both financially and financially,” it said.
Kadowkawa Corporation acquired From Software in May 2014.
While Sony’s investment in Kadowkawa doesn’t suggest any obligation to create exclusive games for PlayStation, From Software itself has a long history of partnering with Sony.
Of the 65+ plus games the studio has released since 1994, more than half have released exclusively for PlayStation platforms.
In recent years it partnered with the platform holder for PS4 exclusive Bloodborne. Last year its PS3 title Demon’s Souls was remade for Sony’s current-gen system.
It’s likely the alliance was partly influenced by Sony’s recent $1.2bn purchase of anime streaming platform Crunchyroll, which has over 100 million users.
From Software’s next game is fantasy action-RPG Elden Ring, which was announced at E3 2019 and described as the Dark Souls developer’s largest game to-date.
The title takes place in a world created in collaboration with A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin, who was tasked with creating Elden Ring’s lore, rather than working on the game’s story.
Director Hidetaka Miyazaki has said Elden Ring represents “an evolution” of the Dark Souls series he created.