Tencent Will Soon Own 20% of Rune Factory, Story of Seasons, Senran Kagura Developer Marvelous
Tencent will be investing in Marvelous, allowing the Japanese studio to further develop its franchises and release new IPs in the next three years.
Marvelous announced on May 25 that Tencent will buy 20% stake in the Japanese studio, thus owning 20% of the studio. Tencent, which is China’s biggest gaming company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Image Frame Investment, will spend around 7 billion Yen ($65 million) on Marvelous. This will allow Marvelous to expand its existing IPs and launch new ones in the next three years.
Tencent recently invested in Japanese studio Platinumgames. As it’s already owning Fortnite, Tencent aims to furthermore spread its influence on the gaming market with Japanese games. Marvelous is the studio behind farming RPGs Story of Seasons and Rune Factory, sexual fanservice shinobi games Senran Kagura, and anime mecha game Daemon x Machina, to cite some of its franchises.
Marvelous is also heavily tied in with anime production in Japan. The company is often part of anime production committees. These are groups made of various companies each contributing money for the anime’s production, in order to mitigate risks. The amount of money each company puts on the table is different, and obviously never made public, but you can globally tell by the order of the company listing in the anime’s Opening or Ending credits. In particular, Marvelous is always on the anime production committee for the yearly Precure movies by Toei. Marvelous also works in the production of many stage plays including the adaptations of Prince of Tennis.
Marvelous currently announced multiple games in development. Some were announced in great style like Rune Factory 5. Others were revealed in a more discreet way. Like the next Story of Seasons game on Switch. Marvelous also works on Senran Kagura 7Even. Kenichiro Takaki said the game should be finished. Who knows when it’ll happen though. Kenichiro Takaki who now works at Cygames, and Marvelous, recently collaborated on Kandagawa Jet Girls.
The latest upcoming Story of Seasons game in the west is the Friends of Mineral Town Switch remake, launching on July 14, 2020 in USA. Rune Factory 5 is scheduled to launch in 2020 in Japan on Swtich. Though I personally expect it to be delayed to 2021 seeing the Covid-19 pandemic slowing down development.