For Avex, this news is simply Luv-ly.

Earlier today, game developer and animation studio Ixtl announced that they were acquired by Avex Pictures. Avex acquired a controlling 90% stake in Ixtl, making the studio a subsidiary of Avex Pictures. According to the announcement, Avex Pictures picked up Ixtl with the intent to grow its presence in the gaming industry. Avex seeks to cultivate and leverage Ixtl’s expansive library to gain a foothold.

Prior to the acquisition, the ownership breakdown was as follows:

  • Ixtl CEO Takashi Nakanishi (60%)
  • Nippon Cultural Broadcasting (20%)
  • Good Smile held (20%).

Avex purchased the entire stakes of Nippon Cultural Broadcasting and Good Smile, as well as most of Nakanishi’s stake.

As of press time, Nakanishi holds a 10% stake in Ixtl, and will continue to work as CEO of the organization.

This isn’t Avex’s first exposure to Ixtl’s brands or the organization as a whole. In the past, Avex distributed many products from the studio, including home video releases, music CDs, and game software.

Ixtl was founded in 2011, as a rights management property for game developer Age. In particular, the company was formed to manage the Muv-Luv franchise. Since Ixtl’s founding, Muv-Luv has gone on to spawn numerous spinoffs, sequel projects, and adaptations including Schwarzes Marken and Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse.

The publisher completed a successful Kickstarter in 2015, which funded English localizations of their games. The last game hit retailers in July 2016.

Sources: Animation Business Journal, Anime News Network