For a show that has seen a lot of changes and ownership in the past decade, Yu-Gi-Oh! has a lot of legs. Being a part of The CW’s Vortexx block and the Nicktoons lineup, the series is finally returning to the home entertainment market this September.
Cinedigm and 4K Media Inc. (the Konami-owned manager of the franchise) have partnered to bring the worldwide franchise Yu-Gi-Oh! into the home entertainment marketplace for the first time in five years. Plans include a strategic rollout of all 600+ episodes of the popular series onto DVD and BluRay in the US and Canada, followed by distribution on digital and VOD platforms. This marks an ongoing resurgence of the brand in the past year including expanded TV distribution and a renewed licensing program.
Cinedigm and 4K Media officially launched the home entertainment program for Yu-Gi-Oh! during Comic-Con International: San Diego. The first DVD release, Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic Season 1 Boxset, will be available September 10, 2013.
The Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series originated from the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga series created by Kazuki Takahashi. The Japanese collectible trading card game, developed and distributed by Konami, has sold more than 25 billion cards. The game and television series, features a strategic play pattern that incorporates a combination of monsters, spells and traps to defeat opponents, and is acknowledged by Guinness World Records™ as the best-selling trading card game of all time.
A long-running success on TV throughout the world, Yu-Gi-Oh! has aired domestically and internationally in more than 90 countries over the past 12 years.
Mr. Sinichi Hanamoto, 4K Media, Chairman and President Corporate Officer, said, “This deal continues an exciting year for the Yu-Gi-Oh! brand. Cinedigm is the perfect partner to bring the Yu-Gi-Oh! brand back into the home entertainment market.”
“We are pleased to be partnering with Cinedigm to reach Yu-Gi-Oh! fans and support our other licensee partners by extending the brand’s reach. The DVD announcement at Comic-Con International is the first of many to come,“ said Mark Kirk, 4K Media, Senior Vice President, Digital Operations.
“There is no bigger name in the world of anime than Yu-Gi-Oh! and we are excited to bring this series to both its avid existing fan base and new viewers,” said Mark Kashden, Senior Vice-President, Acquisitions, Cinedigm Entertainment Group. “The popularity of the series, both in broadcast and in the marketplace, speaks volumes about its quality storytelling and brilliant animation. We know we’ll find success in expanding its reach into home entertainment platforms, in addition to, digital, VOD and SVOD. We are thrilled to work with Kristen Gray, SVP, Operations and Business & Legal Affairs, Mark Kirk and the entire 4K Media team to bring this series to an all new audience.”
This most recent acquisition continues Cinedigm’s aggressive focus on bolstering its 20,000 title library. As the largest aggregator of digital content in the world, Cinedigm works with the existing and emerging digital platforms including iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and others to fulfill the appetite for diverse and plentiful programming.
One minus to consider. The six-disc set is English-only, so if you were looking for uncut episodes, especially you Blu-Ray completists, better luck next time.