Anime Vice News

Yu-Gi-Oh! Cancelled in U.S.

Studios behind show call financial foul.

I have made it clear how I feel about the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise before. This card-marketing scheme franchise has been dubbed and distributed by 4Kids Entertainment for years now. In the US, this franchise has diverged greatly with not just the anime series but also with merchandise. Unfortunately, for all of the franchise's fans, the US deal has been terminated.
On March 24th, TV Tokyo and Nihon Ad System, the Japanese studios behind Yu-Gi-Oh!, canceled their deal with 4Kids Entertainment. The Japanese companies filed a lawsuit against the US distributor after accusing the company of making unauthorized deals and hiding revenues. Even after 4Kids wired $1 million as a "good faith" initial payment, the Japanese companies alleged the US distributor to owe millions of dollars for their actions.

The Hollywood Reporter explains: 

The Japanese companies terminated their licensing agreements with 4Kids, providing the specter that the company would no longer be able to sub-license "Yu-Gi-Oh!" and other shows to U.S. television networks, home video, and affiliated merchandise.

The Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise earned over $154 million in income between 2001 and 2009 for 4Kids. Then dropping sales to $14.5 million in 2010. Now 4Kids Entertainment has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in hopes of keeping the assets gained in wake of this Yu-Gi-Oh! lawsuit. This bankruptcy is bound to affect other companies as well. 

The article continues: 

According to the petition, it owes $4.7 million to The Pokemon Company, its largest creditor. (4Kids was once the major licensor of the "Pokemon" franchise.) 4Kids also lists The CW network with a $2 million claim against the company, although the claim is disputed, according to the petition.

Putting aside my personal opinions of this anime, there is a lot of money in play here. Chapter 11 bankruptcy would allow 4Kids to "remain in control of its business operations as a debtor in possession, and is subject to the oversight and jurisdiction of the court" (according to Wikipedia). 4Kids has been in the brink of being sold in the past but in the seriousness of the situation it seems that this American is in trouble.

4Kids Entertainment is also responsible for broadcasting Dinosaur King, Pokemon and One Piece (amongst others) in the US and this piece of news raises a lot of questions for the future of the company. Can 4Kids be trusted after making deals like these and hiding revenues from the Japanese source? What will this mean for the Yu-Gi-Oh! avid card players?


-- Geo (sora_thekey) 24/7 geek! -- Follow me on Twitter: @sora_thekey
Brenderouson April 11, 2011 at 2:16 p.m.
It's time to duel?
marvelrules2011on April 11, 2011 at 2:17 p.m.

i didnt know that
PenguinDuston April 11, 2011 at 2:23 p.m.
This thing was still on?

Seriously though, losing that type of cash cow is going to hurt 4Kids.  What do they have left?  Just DBZ Kai?  Well, at least that's still on Nicktoons, so they shouldn't be going under at least.  Then again they did file Chapter 11 bankruptcy to protect their assets due to the Yu-Gi-Oh lawsuit, so who's to say?
Crono11on April 11, 2011 at 2:25 p.m.
I'm one of those avid yugioh players and it better not mean anything or I'll be really pissed. 
Kelleth moderator on April 11, 2011 at 2:26 p.m.
I don't know if I should be happy or sad....
ZombiePieon April 11, 2011 at 2:28 p.m.
  
Vorsicon April 11, 2011 at 2:40 p.m.
@PenguinDust said:
" This thing was still on?

Seriously though, losing that type of cash cow is going to hurt 4Kids.  What do they have left?  Just DBZ Kai?  Well, at least that's still on Nicktoons, so they shouldn't be going under at least.  Then again they did file Chapter 11 bankruptcy to protect their assets due to the Yu-Gi-Oh lawsuit, so who's to say?
"
Funimation has DBZ Kai.
Hailinelon April 11, 2011 at 3:09 p.m.
Dare I say that TV Tokyo has played their trap card?
dccomicsrule2011on April 11, 2011 at 3:12 p.m.
aw man
Dream moderator on April 11, 2011 at 3:29 p.m.
@Hailinel said:
" Dare I say that TV Tokyo has played their trap card? "

FoxxFireArt moderator on April 11, 2011 at 4:03 p.m.
4Kids hasn't been the distributor of One Piece for a few years now.

Now, if only Shonen Jump would start leaning on VIZ Media.
Makoto_Mizuhara_Sakamotoon April 11, 2011 at 4:04 p.m.
I'm slightly surprised that this HADN'T HAPPENED SOONER. I mean, COME ON- these guys keep shooting themsleves in the dick with their localization pratices.
sotyfan16on April 11, 2011 at 5:24 p.m.
Should I be upset? Because...it's such a damn shame I won't see any of this franchise anymore..
WilloughbyJacksonon April 11, 2011 at 5:53 p.m.
This at least explains why Yugioh the Abridged Series keeps getting banned from Youtube lately. 4Kids and LK seemed to be at peace, but the Japanese company is the one that keeps banning him.
Landonon April 11, 2011 at 5:54 p.m.
The Abridged Series is still going, and that's all that matters.
ronat1on April 11, 2011 at 5:55 p.m.
I lost my interest in these franchise looooooong ago. Anyway...its still a shame for all the avid fans, but as they say, only money makes the world go round.
Droon April 11, 2011 at 5:56 p.m.
I'd almost feel bad, except that the 4kids anime was butchered compared to the manga. Literally no comparison. So fuck them. If the Japanese version was anything like the manga, then they probably censored that more than anything I've ever watched. Seriously, multiple people die in like the first 3 books.
AgentJon April 11, 2011 at 6:19 p.m.
@Dream said:
" @Hailinel said:
" Dare I say that TV Tokyo has played their trap card? "

"
Heh heh heh heh heh heh, please tell me you made that, because its fantastic!
Aarionfon April 11, 2011 at 6:28 p.m.

I don't yu-gi-oh to be cancelled
MrDirector786on April 11, 2011 at 6:39 p.m.
I'm happy that 4kids no longer has it but it's unfortunate that Yu-Gi-Oh! has been canceled in the US completely. I was hoping some other company would get it and treat the show better - not have the series be completely terminated here in the US.

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