M2, the Japanese developer and emulation expert, has announced on its blog that it has acquired the rights to a bunch of PC-Engine games from the Tokyo company Lightweight (as spotted by Famitsu & Gosokkyu).
The announcement was made earlier today, with the transfer of rights happening last March, according to M2's blog post. In that post, M2 didn't go into specifics on what games it had actually acquired but did reveal that the collection was previously owned by NEC Interchannel, a business that had itself inherited the rights from NEC Avenue (a company best known for publishing PC-Engine ports of Sega, Capcom, and Taito arcade games).
This likely explains how M2 was able to include the NEC Avenue-developed PC-Engine Super CD-ROM² conversion Hellfire S in its Zero Fire collection, which was released in Japan earlier this week).
As Gosokkyu highlights in their Twitter thread on the acquisition, M2 only owns the publishing rights to many of these games (though NEC Avenue did produce a few original games too), so it will likely need to partner up with the corresponding license holders should it want to release any of these games to the public.
M2, however, seems uniquely placed to make these kinds of deals, considering its close relationship with Sega, Taito, and Capcom.