Tsuburaya Productions, the studio best known for being behind the Ultraman franchise, has finally moved past its largest hurdle in paying back its debts, and is already looking towards the future.
Long standing tokusatsu production company, Tsuburaya Productions, has increased its business activity and is looking for new opportunities. It was established in 1963 and produced numerous tokusatsu movies and television shows. Having created the world famous Ultra Series, it is considered the representative studio of the genre in Japan.
However, by the late 90s, its economic condition declined and had been insolvent until 2007. It entered the TYO group in the same year and in 2010 became part of the Fields Group. During this period, the company worked on improving its financial condition. With increased sales and profits, it was able to completely overcome the insolvency it had been suffering.
According to the information from the Fields business strategy meeting held on May 9th, Tsuburaya Productions’ sales by the end of March were 3.27 billion yen, an 11% increase compared to last year. Sales profits were 670 million yen, a 72% increase. This increase was instrumental in the elimination of the excessive debt.
Tsuburaya Productions has recently put effort into licensing and events with its Ultra Series, popular among many age groups, as its centerpiece. This has also been a factor for the increased profits. The series expansion has not been seen only in TV but in manga, merchandise, arcade games, social games, commercial tie-ups, pachinko machines, events and expositions.
In visual media, Tsuburaya launched Ultraman Ginga and Mega Monster Rush: Ultra Frontier in 2013. It also created projects pertaining to the company’s 50th anniversary.
The company now plans to join forces with Bandai, one of its shareholders, to create a new kids TV show and increase income through licensing. Also, being part of the Fields Group is certainly going to give it momentum. The manga published by Heroes Co.,Ltd., ULTRAMAN has released its 4th volume and has sold more than 1.17 million copies.
Expansion to overseas markets is also drawing attention. They aim to expand Ultraman with Asia at the center. Western markets are also in sight due to the incrased attention from America and Europe. Additionally, by 2016 they plan to launch other licenses abroad with Ultraman as a hook.