Eeek! Just as Bandai (and Europe's Beez) bowed out of the physical distribution scene, it seems like even more companies are tightening their belts. Media Blasters, fourteen-year veteran of the industry and publisher of such iconic titles as Berserk, Rurouni Kenshin, and soon Kite and Squid Girl, has tightened its belt by approximately ten people, effectively 60% percent of its full-time staff.
Ouch. That said, they're not all "fired" per se. CEO John Sirabella stated that the company will be asking the folks laid off to continue working on a freelance basis. Said Sirabella:
"All of the small publishers are going through this sort of thing right now. Not just anime. Everyone's transitioning from full-time staff to freelancers."
So yes, they won't all be gone, but obviously, not everyone's going to go for that option, which means that some folks will be departing "for realz".That said, Media Blasters was adamant that its release lineup will not change. It will continue putting out all of its scheduled titles as planned.
While it's good to see that Media Blasters itself isn't "dead" and will be continuing at the same pace, it's never cool to see layoffs in an already contracting industry.
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