Square Enix to End E-Manga Service in N. America, France
posted on by Egan Loo
Game and manga publisher Square Enix will end its in-house e-manga distribution in North America and France, and it will stop directly selling digital manga in these regions on May 23.
On that day, the Square Enix Manga Store in North America and the Square Enix Mangas Boutique in France will stop offering new manga. Users can still read their previously purchased manga after the service ends, but Square Enix will exit the overseas digital manga distribution business.
Square Enix revealed its e-manga store plans at Comic-Con International in July of 2010, and it offered the first chapters of Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, Black Butler, and O-Parts Hunter as previews. The North American store officially launched that December with volumes of Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, The Record of a Fallen Vampire, and Yumekui Kenbun: Nightmare Inspector.
JManga, a platform for reading legal manga from different publishers online, announced last month that it will also shut down its services by May 30.
Square Enix announced last month that Yōsuke Matsuda is replacing Youichi Wada as president and representative director. Just hours before the "renewal of the Company's management team," it had reported projections for an "extraordinary loss" of 13 billion yen (about US$140 million) in the fiscal year ending on March 31. Square Enix's Los Angeles office laid off a significant portion of its staff earlier this month, and other offices around the world were expected to be similarly affected as the company restructures.