Killer Is Dead publisher Kadokawa to merge with video portal company Dwango

Media corporation Kadokawa Corp. and video portal company Dwango Co. will merge on Oct. 1, the companies announced at a press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday.

The two companies will respectively delist from the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Sept. 26 and launch as a new holding company called Kadokawa Dwango Corp. in October. Current Dwango chairman Nobuo Kawakami will become chairman of the organisation once the two companies unify, while Kadokawa adviser Tatsuo Sato will become its president.

"We aim to establish the world's leading platform for content, which would serve as a new business model in the Internet age," Sato said during the news conference, according to Japan Times. Sato added that the merger would blend Dwango's technical strength and online experience with Kadokawa's production of media, such as movies, manga and video games.

According to reports last month, Kadokawa Shoten plans to purchase majority stake in Dark Souls and Armored Core series developer From Software, where the studio will become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Kadokawa group.

Kadokawa will purchase 80 percent of From Software stock and the deal is expected to be finalized on May 21, 2014. Once From Software becomes a Kadokawa subsidiary, it will work alongside Kadokawa Games to develop the company's games and create new IP. The studios are also expected to focus on the growing markets offered by the new game platforms and western markets.

Kadokawa's internal development team recently released Natural Doctrine in Japan last month, which is expected to launch in western markets in Q3 2014. Kadokawa Games also recently developed dungeon crawler Demon Gaze in conjunction with Experience Inc. Demon Gaze was released in Japan by Kadokawa's video game publishing arm last January and published in North America and Europe by NIS America last month. The publisher has released numerous titles in Japan, including developer Grasshopper Manufacture's Lollipop Chainsaw and Killer is Dead.

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