I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the understanding and continued support of our shareholders, investors and all our other stakeholders.
Moreover, I would like to convey our deepest apologies for any distress caused to our stakeholders concerning the Company’s results in the last fiscal year. We will not waste this experience, instead, we will use it to spur ourselves on to ensure vitality in the future, and our management and employees will strive diligently in unison.
The Company’s Establishment and Innovation of PS Distribution
Since the foundation of FIELDS, we have become integrated in the lives of many people in every region across Japan, discovering unrealized potential for enjoyment of pachinko, a form of mass entertainment, into the future. We have endeavored to find ways to develop pachinko as a form of entertainment with community-based value.
From the standpoint of a distribution-oriented trading company, rather than that of a manufacturer or pachinko hall operator, FIELDS has pursued the true needs of fans, and has embarked on reforms to meet these needs. We have provided a wide range of proposals to the industry as a whole, from the line-up of pachinko and pachislot machines installed in pachinko halls, the services offered, through to the very format of the pachinko hall space itself.
As one approach, we have built systems for collaboration with major manufacturers to focus on the creation of highly entertaining pachinko and pachislot machines to take advantage of advances in hardware. We have proposed and driven the development of products that feature characters from comic, anime, and movie. Rather than focusing only on the success or failure of pachinko and pachislot, we launched a revolution to provide even more people with enjoyable entertainment.
Dawning of the IP Business
Since its foundation, FIELDS has promoted planning and development of pachinko and pachislot machines utilizing intellectual property (IP) including well-known characters. After listing our shares on JASDAQ in 2003, we concentrated on securing merchandising rights for the IP that form the core of our strategy in all kinds of entertainment fields.
Following this, with the sale of comparable new machines from various manufacturers, we became concerned about the future depletion of IP, and in particular, a lack of IP compatible with machine characteristics, and so we began to engage in the creation and ownership of IP.
We created monthly magazines in collaboration with major publishers. Rather than relying on traditional distribution practices, we established our own distribution channels, building a model for the creation of new IP. Also, in 2010, we welcomed Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. into our Group—the creator of Japan’s most popular hero, Ultraman—to make use of the wealth of IP possessed by this company. With the intention of leveraging digital content, we also welcomed Digital Frontier Inc. into our Group—a company possessing advanced CG technologies—and began to gradually build a foundation for business centered on IP.
In 2012, we announced a new business model focused on IP. At present, we are promoting a cyclical business model as an “IP-oriented” company that not only acquires IP but also creates and owns original IP, through development of IP over a variety of business platforms.
Future Plans for the Long Term
At present, Japanese comic and anime content are flourishing around the world. FIELDS is further accelerating business deployment focused on IP to contribute to the development of a contents industry that holds significant promise for the future of Japan. We aim to become a Company able to continuously provide the greatest leisure time to everyone on the planet.
In recent years, the entertainment sector has undergone a technological revolution which has seen advancements in hardware and software, together with a rise in people’s leisure time. We are attempting to capture people’s diversifying demands, and to adapt to changing habits and culture globally, creating entertainment in a variety of forms for everyone from children to adults. To achieve this, we are leveraging all of the experiences we have amassed so far, exercising our innate sense of adventure, planning capabilities, and spirit of endeavor, which form the DNA of the Company, to advance our business model as we continue in our efforts. It is my sincere wish for us to spread happiness and excitement throughout the world with the greatest entertainment.
We are grateful to all of our stakeholders for the support shown for our corporate philosophy and the strength given to us through the years. We will continue our efforts to meet stakeholder expectations going forward, and ask for your continued guidance as we pursue our goals.