On July 27th, representative director of Visual Arts Takahiro Baba announced he will be retiring from the company and transferring all his shares to Tencent. He will become an advisor to the company, while the new company president will be Genki Tenkumo (also known as Touya Okano).
Visual Arts is the parent company of Key which developed games such as CLANNAD, AIR, Little Busters!, and Rewrite, as well as the anime Angel Beats! There’s no word on what will happen to the team’s projects with Tencent running the company, but we’ll keep you updated.
According to Baba, the company had its biggest earnings in its 33-year history in June, thanks to the performance of the Heavens Burn Red, a smartphone game.
Baba explained in his blog entry that while he is currently very healthy, he is now 63 years old. According to him, while Visual Arts is a joint stock company, the Baba family owns the total of those stocks as a private enterprise. Since the company has no successor, if something happened to him, the company would have no choice but to close. Baba said he wanted to avoid that happening no matter what. “Of course Visual Arts will stay Visual Arts” even with this new event. He stressed that Visual Arts did not go through any middlemen for the purchase. Instead, Baba and the staff selected the company that they thought would be best for the future of Visual Arts.