Media Works emerged in 1992 from Kadokawa Shoten, at the time lead by president Haruki Kadokawa (角川春樹 Kadokawa Haruki), and younger brother and vice president Tsuguhiko Kadokawa (角川歴彦 Kadokawa Tsuguhiko), the company which was founded by their father Genyoshi Kadokawa (角川源義 Kadokawa Genyoshi). Citing differences in the interests of business direction, Tsuguhiko resigned to start MediaWorks, with a large contingent from Kadokawa Shoten joining the switch. In 1993, after Haruki was arrested for cocaine smuggling, he lost his presidency at Kadokawa Shoten and soon Tsuguhiko took over his place by holding president positions for the two companies. Kadokawa Shoten was later made the parent company of Media Works. Tsuguhiko also became the CEO of Kadokawa Holdings, Inc.
It merged with ASCII to form the company that is now called ASCII Media Works.