Crossroad: A Hellsing OVA Fansite

Geneon USA Status--Questions And Answers

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Questions and Answers

As of July 2008, FUNimation will be distributing the Hellsing OVAs in North America. If you are just now arriving, this is great news because Geneon USA dropped distribution in September 2007. 
Q: When will OVAs 5 and 6 be available in North America? I heard a rumor that distribution had been cancelled!
A: North American distribution has not been cancelled. If FUNimation had announced something like that, there would have been an amazing uproar! However, FUNimation has not announced North American release dates for Hellsing OVAs 5 and 6 yet. I don't know what the delay is, and they haven't said anything about it. Heh. I guess Hellsing is doomed to be 'fashionably late' no matter what.
Everything on this page is history, so to speak. I plan to divide it into two parts, and FUNimation's news, press releases and other developments will come first. 
"The onetime anime distribution company Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc. has notified its retail customers that it will cease "the sales of DVDs and all related distribution and marketing operations as of 5 p.m. on Friday, September 28, 2007." The deadline for ordering all Geneon USA products is that time and date, and only orders for "catalog products in inventory or new releases with a street date" of November 6 or earlier will be accepted.",
September 26, 2007
January 20, 2008
Right now, the situation with Geneon USA is still unclear. There has been a lot of speculation, but very few facts that I can give you. Here are some questions I've been given, and my best guesses or ideas:
Will there be more Hellsing OVAs? Will the series be finished, or cut short?
The Hellsing OVAs almost certainly will continue to come out. There's a difference between Geneon USA and Geneon Japan--they are not the same company. Geneon Japan produces the OVAs and Geneon USA is just the distributor.
What does this mean for fans who want the North American DVDS?
Think of Geneon USA as a large bookstore in your neighborhood, and Geneon Japan as a book publishing company. If the bookstore in your neighborhood closes down, that doesn't mean that books will not be printed any more. It just means that you will have a harder time finding them, since they won't be widely available for sale in your area.
Now, the Geneon Japan/Geneon USA situation is a little more complicated than the analogy I just gave, and 'North America' is a larger area than my make-believe bookstore would cover. Also, Geneon USA hasn't closed down permanently--they have just decided to stop selling and distributing DVDs for now, and to "downsize its scope of business and increase business efficiency" (Dentsu news release, September 27, 2007).
They haven't said whether they are taking a break to reorganize, or dropping their distribution work entirely. It looks like they are looking at how they do business and figuring out how best to continue. They're adapting.
What did Geneon USA do that was so important?
Geneon USA's job was to take the Japanese-language Hellsing OVAs and make English-language packaging, produce press releases, and make deals to sell the OVAs in certain North American media outlets. With them gone, it's going to be difficult for a Hellsing fan to get the OVAs in the format that they want. It's not as if we can drive to the next city to find another 'bookstore', and it would be best if some other North American anime distributor would help distribute our title for us.
Why did Geneon decide to downsize their business?
They haven't said, and we don't know. I assume that they weren't making enough money to sustain their business, and apparently there were layoffs earlier in the year. Also, Geneon USA had been planning to team up with the company A.D. Vision, and make them the distributor of Geneon USA's anime DVDs in North America. But Geneon USA and A.D. Vision were "unfortunately unable to reach a mutual agreement" (Dentsu news release, September 21, 2007)
Perhaps Geneon USA can find another distributor to team up with.
How long before a new distributor steps in?
Back in September, I thought a new distributor would take over immediately. Three months later, I know I was too optimistic. But I have no idea how long such a business deal would take, even if the new distributor was extremely interested.
EDIT 7-10-2008 Well, it took a little over 8 months.
More news when it comes!

This page is meant to provide information about the Geneon USA business change.

All material Copyright Geneon.