While it may have been one of the most visited websites on the planet, One Manga is shutting down due to pressure from publishers who don’t like it that the site was sharing scanlations for free. Like many of the other sites we’ve reported on, when a site gets too big and it is sharing material it hasn’t licenses or paid for, The Man is going to step in.
It pains me to announce that this is the last week of manga reading on One Manga (!!). Manga publishers have recently changed their stance on manga scanlations and made it clear that they no longer approve of it. We have decided to abide by their wishes, and remove all manga content (regardless of licensing status) from the site. The removal of content will happen gradually (so you can at least finish some of the outstanding reading you have), but we expect all content to be gone by early next week (RIP OM July ‘10).
For now it looks like the forums will remain open, but if you want to grab some free and possibly illegal comics, you better do it now.
So what is a manga fan to do if they want English translations of their favorite titles? It’s mighty telling that One Manga is shutting down just in time for Square Enix to announce it is setting up its own manga site. Don’t get too excited, Square Enix will be selling its copies.
Given the increasing popularity of electronic reading formats, Square Enix has decided to take advantage of the online distribution infrastructure originally developed for its games business, along with the company’s existing payment system and online fan communities in order to establish a paid digital distribution channel to better serve the varied needs of its global customers. Square Enix will continue to work with its existing regional publishing licensees to promote both electronic and print versions of titles, while aiming to deter piracy by establishing an official web-based distribution source.
If you are at the San Diego Comic Con, check out the Square Enix booth, and check out the demo.