The Hollywood Reporter explains:
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 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 article continues:
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.
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.
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