NEC selling off its game subsidiary

Index Corporation to purchase, rename developer and publisher NEC Interchannel.


TOKYO-- NEC revealed today that it will be selling off its video game subsidiary, NEC Interchannel. Best known in America as the publisher and developer of Culdcept, NEC Interchannel is also one of the largest dating-sim publishers for home consoles in Japan.

NEC will be selling 70 percent of its NEC Interchannel shares to Index Corporation for approximately 3 billion yen ($28 million). Index is a company that specializes in Internet and mobile phone content. After the transaction, NEC Interchannel will be renamed Interchannel, and Index will become its new parent company. NEC will still keep a 27.2 percent hold of NEC Interchannel’s shares. NEC Interchannel's new president will be Fumihiro Hamuro, who is also the president of one of Index's subsidiaries, Index Magazines. NEC Interchannel's current president, Yasushi Kurokawa, will assume the company's chairman position.

The deal is part of a new alliance between Index, NEC, and Biglobe. Biglobe is NEC's Internet Service Provider subsidiary and is currently a major stockholder in NEC Interchannel. While the three companies have worked together in the past, they hope that this new alliance will further strengthen their relations. The companies will be extending their businesses toward mobile phones and broadband, thus creating new services and solutions for both the consumer and corporate sectors.

Index, NEC, and Biglobe plan to use Interchannel as a base for examining and developing new content and services together. They hope to eventually get listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. It isn't known whether Interchannel will continue to develop console games.

Currently, NEC Interchannel is known as a game publisher, but its recent corporate developments seem to indicate that it's more focused on the other businesses in which it is engaged, including its Web site and its mobile phone services.

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