Aplix Corporation announced that they would acquire AIC from pachislot company Oizumi. The company would pay Oizumi 700 million yen ($8.44 million), and make AIC a wholly owned subsidiary. Last September, Oizumi purchased AIC for 530 million yen ($6.39 million).
Upon reading this, I couldn’t help but breathe a huge sigh of relief. Many of you know that I was a bit emotional about Oizumi’s wholesale acquisition of AIC. In retrospect, it feels like this may have been for naught. However, the justifications at the time were many, and the reasons were good. AIC gave myself, and many other fans a lot of fond memories. To see a company that has no interest in the studios’ assets outside of branding on noisy, angry machines was troubling. While operation under Aplix still isn’t the most ideal situation, it’s far more preferable to what many saw as an eventuality.
Aplix is a mobile software company that holds the rights to the JBlend virtual machine. The company plans to distribute anime to mobile phones through southeast Asia and China on smartphones from numerous makers, including Samsung and Huawei Technologies. Because of this, they have a vested interest in keeping AIC producing and releasing new content. While AIC’s backlog will provide a good amount of content, fans are fans, and the latest and greatest is what keeps they viewing (and buying). This is Aplix’s first entertainment acquisition, so I am curious as to how they will run things.
Things certainly won’t be the same as they were when AIC was its own entity. That much we already know. After all – they still answer to the parent company, and please said parents. Also, I’m not exactly sure how Aplix plans to run the show, as their holdings have all been software-related up to this point. However, I do feel more at ease with the knowledge that they won’t be reduced to a mere license farm, or simple fodder for noisy faux-gambling implements. AIC has been given a second chance, and a second life. I hope they continue to produce titles that excite the imagination and entertain the masses alike.
Since we’ve already seen the end of an era, I guess it would be fair to say that a new chapter in the company’s life is about to begin. This one, unlike the last one, teems with hope, and promise of far better potential prospects. I wish AIC well as it enters this new chapter, and hope that things continue to improve under their new owners.