A few days ago, Media Blasters revealed that they wouldn’t be releasing Record of Lodoss War in the west. The title’s cancellation follows Media Blasters’s delays of Bakuman Second Draft and Ikki Tousen: Great Guardians last month. In almost the same breath, the company mentioned that they would be dubbing and releasing the entirety of Queen’s Blade.
Media Blasters’s announcements are actually quite fascinating, as they give a broad overview of the company’s short-ter strategy. The organization appears to be banking on the (often correct) notion that sex sells.
Moreover, Lodoss is a title that has seen numerous releases in the past. And, while sealed copies of the OVA often reach above the $200, it can be found in outlets such as Amazon for about thirty to fifty bucks. The TV series is just as easy to obtain, with prices hovering in roughly the same price range. New product, on the other hand, gets buyers ready, and stands out more at retail.
On a broad level, the idea seems sensible as Media Blasters’s strategy appears to be a safe investment that will appeal to the dedicated niche as Media Blasters re-doubles its efforts. But, as we’ve discussed before, “safe” is risky. Safe bets do little to grow the market, and are instead contractionary measures that will, at best, result in a net-zero gain across existing markets.
Likewise, the word of the cancellation is already spreading like wildfire across social media and news outlets. This was likely an unintended consequence, as Media Blasters first revealed their acquisition over two years ago, and said little about it since. However, in reality, we’re seeing people paint this as a nail in the proverbial coffin for the company, while others are expressing outrage that they’ll be unable to pay for a product they desired. The combination of downbeat news and discouraged customers will create a downward push on the company’s products in the market.
Of course, this is, as always, mere speculation. the terms of Media Blasters’s agreement are unknown to many members of the public at this point. Licensing is a complicated mess of issues, so the cancellation could stem from the exercise of an exit clause in the agreement, or by a simple lapse of license. There are far too many variables to determine an exact reason for the cancellation and, barring a comment from those within the company, we’ll never have a definite answer.