SEGA buys Japanese animation studio TMS

Japanese publishing giant Sega Sammy has announced that it has acquired a majority shareholding in Nagoya-based animation firm TMS Entertainment (formerly Tokyo Movie Shinsha), increasing its holding from 35 to 50.2 per cent.

The deal means that TMS is now a subsidiary of Sega Sammy, and - fuelled by the recent success of the Sonic X series both in Japan and the USA - is likely to precipitate the creation of further television animations based on SEGA's various gaming properties.

TMS has a fairly illustrious history behind it as an animation studio, having worked on the hugely popular Lupin III TV series and specials, the Detective Conan movies and the Fist of the North Star movie.

The firm has also worked on a large number of franchises which are better known for their videogames than their TV animation, including Hamtaro, PoPoLoCrois, Project ARMS and - in a co-production with new owners SEGA - the Virtua Fighter TV series.

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