Bandai Entertainment has been making inroads with its digital distribution following the ending of active home video licensing and its manga lines in January which led to the cancellation of yet to be released titles Gosick and Nichijou, coming as a shock to fans. A shift to managing licensing for TV and online streaming services followed in its wake, which has seen the distributor post much of its catalog on YouTube, Hulu and Crunchyroll.
At the time of its shock announcement to end licensing new titles, the company did say that it would try to keep its home video catalog in print for as long as it could for retailers to satisfy any remaining demand and today, CEO Ken Iyadomi broke the news to retailers that Bandai would be completely ending the distribution of its current home video catalog to retailers in November, with the complete exit from home video distribution and licensing happening next March. The letter as sent to retailers is found below:
“I am writing to inform you that Bandai Entertainment Inc in discontinuing its home video publishing and distribution business effective March 1, 2013.
As we methodically wind down the business, the last day that Bandai will be accepting any purchase orders is November 15, 2012, with our last shipments occurring on November 30th, 2012.
On Behalf of Bandai Entertainment Inc, I want to express our gratitude for the opportunity we’ve had to do business with your company, and I think you in advance for your understanding and assistance during this period.”
This means that if there are any recent Bandai series that you haven’t gotten around to buying yet, you should do it now since come December, no new copies will be made available for sale. With this announcement, Bandai Entertainment is already becoming more of a holding company and it will only be a matter of time before the company is either folded completely by Namco Bandai, or turned into a different subsidiary.