A capital tie-up deal between Japanese animation production company Twin Engine and Chinese internet conglomerate Tencent Holdings has been announced. The deal also includes Amutus Corporation and BookLive.
This is actually not breaking news as the companies are entering a second round of funding (the first one took place in April 2019) but it somehow went unnoticed at the time.
A capital tie-up portends that a company is purchasing shares in another company (or more than one) or that all companies are buying shares among themselves. Basically, it is a business partnership agreement where all companies involved create ownership for a collaborative project financed by all parties involved.
Twin Engine and Tencent representatives have specified they’ll be focusing on the long-term planning, development, and production of animation content, with chief goals being “globalization” and “gamification.”
Both Twin Engine and Tencent are hoping to expand into the manga industry with the help of Amutus and BookLive and also, to increase their anime content.
This joint funding initiative will enable all four companies to invest in target strategic areas and forge new business relationships with additional media partners. The deal also allows the signees to sell distribution rights and original content production resources.
Who are Twin Engine and Tencent?
Twin Engine is a Japanese anime production company established by former Fuji TV’s Noitamina Executive Editor Kōji Yamamoto, in 2014. Mr. Yamamoto intended from the very beginning to engage in the planning and production of anime content and in creating a network of animation studios.
He made good on his word in 2015 when Geno Studio was founded with the former Manglobe staff (Manglobe went bankrupt earlier that year). In 2016, Twin Engine founded Twin Engine Digital Animation Studio, animation studio Revoroot , and Relation Inc., which deals with advertising.
In 2020, Twin Engine founded studio team EOTA, which includes numerous staff members of Geno Studio, Lay-duce, Peakys, daisy, Studio Colorido, FILMONY, team Yamahitsuji, Bug Film, and Scooter Films.
Twin Engine mainly cooperates with Fuji TV on its Noitamina programming block due to director Yamamoto’s business ties. Of late, the company has also started partaking in other TV stations’ anime programs.
Tencent Holdings Ltd. is a Chinese multinational technology and entertainment conglomerate. It is one of the world’s highest-grossing multimedia companies and the largest one in the video game industry through its subdivision Tencent Games.
As for the other two companies, Amutus Corporation operates MechaComi (the largest electronic comics store in Japan), whereas BookLive is an e-book distribution and publishing company operated by Toppan Printing.
Will the Twin Engine x Tencent deal result in more ‘Chinese anime’?
Hopefully, the deal means we’ll be seeing more donghua (Chinese animation) with English subtitles in the future, as Tencent is the largest online video streaming platform in China and often the only place to watch popular donghua titles as they’re airing in China.
It is also worth noting that China’s video game industry is facing two major challenges. The first is a sharp decline in revenue for domestic companies due to a resurgence of the “Zero COVID” policy, which has seen lockdowns of major cities, including Shanghai, China’s financial metropolis.
The second is due to stricter gaming regulations in China, which were introduced in 2021 and stipulate that children under 18 years old cannot spend more than three hours per week playing online games. Approval of new games was also on stand-by from July 2021 to April 2022.
Tencent launched just three mobile games in the second quarter of 2022, leading to the company posting its first-ever quarterly year-on-year revenue decline in August 2022.
Let’s hope things will start looking up for all of the companies involved in the tie-up and that fans worldwide will get access to new, exciting titles.