It was announced on 15 December 2021 that DELiGHTWORKS’ Fate/Grand Order (FGO) development division is being acquired by Aniplex, and will form a new company, the name of which has not yet been announced. The acquisition is slated to be completed in spring 2022.
The FGO production committee currently consists of three companies: Notes (Type-Moon), which supervises; DELiGHTWORKS, which handles development; and Aniplex, which is the publisher. Aniplex acquiring the development team would thus mean removing DELiGHTWORKS from the production committee, leaving only Notes and Aniplex, with the new company being under Aniplex.
As only the development division was acquired, DELiGHTWORKS will continue existing as its own entity.
Though the move comes as a surprise, as FGO was the game that made DELiGHTWORKS what it is today, the company’s reputation had been taking hits in the past two years over what players perceived as mishandling of development and resources in FGO and the Sakura Wars smartphone game Sakura Kakumei, which was exacerbated in early-mid 2021 when a Youtuber revealed information he claimed to have received from a developer working on Sakura Kakumei who leaked details about bad working conditions and production/management decisions, and on how DELiGHTWORKS supposedly perceived FGO as being successful as a result of their own work, downplaying the value of the Fate IP (due to the nature of the leaks, these claims have not been confirmed).
Additionally, certain statements from past developer conferences circulated on social media (though frequently taken out of context) were also badly-received by players, which accelerated the level of distrust they had in the company, and combined with other issues resulted in discontent. As such, there is much speculation about the significance of them being removed from the production committee.
DELiGHTWORKS COO Ono Yoshinori commented on the acquisition, saying:
“With the completion of this transaction, we are confident that we will have more opportunities to take on the challenge of creating new games that will deliver new emotions and excitement.
In line with Delight Works’ corporate philosophy of “Just, simply, make fun games”, I hope that we can continue to bring happiness to people all over the world.
Together with the creators who are currently with us, and the creators we will meet in the future, I am filled with great hopes and dreams at the prospect of sailing into a new frontier.”