Over at Anime Vice, ex-Tokyopop editor, Tim Beedle, has a rather succinct post written on the subject of the company’s days of growth and their eventual downfall due to — in his opinion — a lack of focus (via Mangablog).

 

Beedle believes that Tokyopop’s manga was doing just fine, and that the company’s troubles came from trying to do too many things at once, such as their foray into TV development and social media.

 

Here’s an excerpt from the post:

 

“I think it was this last point that really started the avalanche for TOKYOPOP. Sometime around 2005 or so, licensing really became more of a challenge. All of the highly demanded and anticipated titles in Japan had been licensed, and manga publishers were forced to switch from licensing titles with known demand to attempting to determine which titles currently being released in Japan might break out and become the next big thing. Combine that with far more players in the field (in addition to VIZ and Dark Horse, we now had Del Rey, Yen Press, CMX and Go! Comi) and exclusivity deals being signed by the biggest manga publishers in Japan, and all of a sudden this growing industry and company had hit a very real ceiling.”

 

It’s an opinion piece, of course, but considering that it comes from a longtime ex-employee of the company who was present during both the company’s best and worst times, it’s worth a read if you’re still looking to make sense of just what happened to Tokyopop over the last few years.

 

Image sourced from Tim Beedle’s official website.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and a contributing writer at GamesIndustry.biz. He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.

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