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Square Enix Plans E-Manga Store in N. America, France (Updated)

posted on by Egan Loo
Launch set for fall; free 1st chapters of FMA, Soul Eater, Black Butler already online

The Japanese manga and game publisher Square Enix has announced on Wednesday that it will launch a digital manga store in North America and France this fall.

The first chapters of Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, Black Butler, and O-Parts Hunter are already downloadable for free from Square Enix's North American and European websites in advance of the paid service's launch, with other series planned for later. (The North American website lists The Record of a Fallen Vampire, Pandora Hearts, Sumomomo Momomo, and Spiral: Bonds of Reasoning as "coming soon.") The service requires Adobe Flash Player on Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X.

The service is on display at Square Enix's booth at Comic-Con International in San Diego this week.

Update: More background information added.

Update 2: Kōtarō Ishii, a representative of Square Enix's Digital Publishing Section, confirmed with ANN that the manga title lineup will be different between the North American and French versions because Square Enix is releasing the titles that have already been localized in each particular region. To that end, Square Enix is working with both Viz Media and Yen Press for its digital manga releases in North America. Ishii cautioned that the titles listed in Square Enix's free download section now are not necessarily representative of the titles that will appear in the digital manga store in Fall.

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