Friday, May 20, 2011

Funimation shifting to Blu-Ray/DVD combo releases

Funimation announced this week Wednesday that they are planning to change their future retail releases of anime series. Instead of releasing on Blu-Ray and DVD seperately, the new box sets will include both. Funimation is currently holding a survey to gain feedback from consumers about the change. I understand Funimation's logic behind this move, and in all honesty it makes a lot of sense. However, my biggest concern with this is the price tag. I personally don't own a Blu-Ray player, nor do I have any intention of purchasing one in the near future. I'd certainly be willing to pay a bit more for the combo pack release, even though I presently have no use for the Blu-Ray discs, but I also have my limit on what I want to pay for anime. Say, for example, that Funimation were to issue a combo pack release of Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood part one. The MSRP for the DVD release of this is $40, while the Blu-Ray is around $50. If they were to offer a combo pack, I'd be willing to pay around the $50 they would normally charge for the Blu-Rays alone, or maybe even a few bucks more. However, if they decide to charge more along the lines of $90 (which would be the cost of the two separate), there's simply no way I'd be spending that much on anime. Now, knowing how Funimation operates, I imagine they've already taken this into consideration and are trying to work things out so that it benefits them as a company without screwing over their consumers/fanbase. I just found it to be an interesting move on their part, and am curious as to what others make of the change.

EDIT: Upon seeing a copy of Gai-Rei-Zero (the first of these new Blu-Ray/DVD combos) at my local Best Buy, I can confirm that the price for the 3 DVD, 2 Blu-Ray disc combo pack was $49.99 (and a total of twelve episodes), which is only a bit more than the MSRP for something like thirteen episodes of FMA: Brotherhood on two DVDs for $39.99. So assuming Funimation keeps prices around this range, I will have no qualms about the new Blu-Ray/DVD combos.

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