November’s issue of Yen Plus – Yen Press‘ monthly digital magazine – came with a special message from its editor, letting readers know that the December 2013 issue would be the magazine’s last:
“… times are changing, and just as we once had to make a tough decision to switch Yen Plus from a print to an online-only magazine to keep up with evolving market, we now stand at the threshold of another big change. And with that, dear readers, I have to announce that next month – December 2013 – will mark the final issue of Yen Plus in its current format.”
This news doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, as the roles of digital content are increasingly dedicated to delivering same-day material, and of course the ever present chant of ‘more for less’. Yen Plus originally began as a print magazine back in 2008, before switching to digital-only in 2010. However it never seemed to fully live up to reader expectations as a simultaneous chapter provider of its on-going manga, something that Viz Media’s newly relaunched Shonen Jump has finally been able to bring to English audiences only over the past year.
Yen Plus was still a fun little magazine though. I was subscribed to it originally for new chapters of Yotsuba&!. It’s top titles since have been the company’s manga-style adaptations of novels, such as Maximum Ride, Soulless and The Infernal Devices. Since these comics were created for the company and not pre-existing, this allowed subscribers to read chapters well before the collected editions were published. Different manga and manhwa series were published in it chapter by chapter as well, including currently Jack Frost and Soul Eater NOT!, the latter being one of their series published with very little wait-times from the Japanese versions.
The November issue still included their call for manga-style artists, suggesting that while the magazine is stopping, they still have plans to continue releasing their novel adaptations.
The end of the editorial letter does also note:
“…this change will open the door to all sorts of new opportunities for us!”
Any theories what this could mean and what new endeavours we may see from Yen Press in the new year? A new method of simultaneous releases? A change in their current digital edition services? Could we see something closer to Shonen Jump’s day-and-date offerings, or the file type variety of eManga for collected editions? Who knows! Personally as long as the printed books keep coming, I’m a happy reader but that doesn’t mean I’m not now much more open to digital possibilities.
Do they still even license anything? Everything Yen Press I liked concluded and they seem pretty silent. This news just makes it sound like they’re near death.