I apologize for not reporting on any of this earlier, the news just kept changing! In late August Geneon and ADV Films “teamed up,” basically ADV Films were to take over all of Geneon’s sales, marketing, and distribution from that point forward. At that time people were already speculating that this could destroy Geneon and if ADV were to take over the production part of Geneon, they would have one less competitor. At the beginning of September, Geneon laid off 20% of its staff due to this deal, shortly thereafter, Mitsubishi sold off its Geneon equity, the remaining sole owner Dentsu Inc. stated that as of October 1, 2007, Geneon USA would primarily focus on the management of its current portfolio and stop in-house production by the end of the year.
Last week, less than one month after the intial Geneon/ADV announcement, the deal was swiftly called off with little information as to why. Today Geneon Entertainment notified retail customers of their decision to cease “the sales of DVDs and all related distribution and marketing operations as of 5 p.m. on Friday, September 28, 2007.” That marks the deadline for orders from their previously announced releases up through November 6. Anything after that date is expected to be canceled. This effectively marks the end of Geneon’s DVD distribution in North America.
Note that Geneon USA also has had distribution deals with Bandai Visual USA; no word on what repercussions, if any, may stem from that as well.
For one of the oldest and largest anime companies in North America to recede so quickly, it really shows how fragile the anime DVD industry can be, especially with the overall decline of DVD sales in the past few years. This reminds me of Central Park Media’s rise, fall, and their struggle to regain entry into the homes of anime fans. We can only hope that Geneon will follow in the footsteps of CPM and fight their way back, they do after all have a very large anime portfolio.Date Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2007