The Japan-based anime network SEGA, which has a strong history of bringing classic anime and video games to the streaming and download platforms, has bought Japanese anime streaming and video service Anime Network for $1.9bn.
The deal, announced by SEGA on Tuesday, is part of the company’s ongoing effort to diversify its revenue streams.
It is expected to add a number of new properties, including a live-action movie adaptation of a popular anime franchise, and launch a new anime television series and anime video games.
Sega also confirmed plans to introduce the first-ever home console in Japan, the SEGA Saturn.
The console, which will debut in 2019, will be powered by the latest in graphics hardware.SEGA said the new deal will help create “more value” for its employees.
The SEGA network has been a strong supporter of the video game industry, having launched a series of games including the acclaimed Sonic Boom, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and Sonic Boom Fever.
It also launched the first major online-only game for consoles, Sonic Forces, in 2015.
It has also made significant investments in video game-related ventures, including publishing the hugely popular Sonic the Hedgehog video game series.
Sonic Boom was released in 2007 and launched to critical acclaim and a worldwide audience of nearly 60 million.
It was later followed by Sonic Boom 2, Sonic the Fighters and Sonic Heroes.
Sebastian Thrun, a member of the board of directors for SEGA and chairman of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, said the company is looking forward to further investments and to bringing the Sonic brand to a broader audience.
“We look forward to expanding the Sonic franchise beyond just the console platforms and continuing to work with partners to develop new products and services for the gaming world,” Thrun said in a statement.
“While we are focused on our long-term plans for our Sonic brand, we also look forward and are pleased to expand our partnership with SEGA.”