Yen Press And Dark Horse To Launch iPad Manga Services



Yen Press already offer digital manga in the form of their Yen Plus manga magazine, which went from print to digital as recently as August. Come October, they’ll be extending their digital presence to the iPad with a new proprietary storefront.


“We know that people are keen to get manga on the iPad, and we are keen to provide it,” Yen founder, Kurt Hassler, revealed at the New York Comic-Con last weekend, as reported by “We are working with our Japanese licensors to try to get those agreements made, but in the meantime, we are diving in with some of our original works and some Korean series.”


Hassler reveals that the subject of digital distribution for manga was one that wasn’t even open for discussion with licensors until the last 6-8 months. “This is new territory for the publishers in Japan,” Hassler said.


Yen’s digital pricing will remain modest at $8.99 per digital volume, which, as point out, is far better than the current industry “standard” of $1.99 per chapter.


Meanwhile, Dark Horse Comics, too, are launching their own digital comics service across the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Like Yen’s storefront, The Dark Horse Bookshelf app will offer digital content at cheaper than the industry standard, with individual comics coming in at $1.49 per issue (down from the usual $2.00).


Dark Horse are trying some interesting experiments with their digital initiative. For one thing, they plan to offer an extensive list of free introductory #1 issues for their comic licenses, and also to bundle entire story arcs together for budget prices.


Dark Horse’s Bookstore app will launch in January 2011 with synchronized releases with print starting in February. No details regarding the pricing scheme for their manga licenses has been revealed yet.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". 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.