Evidently, due to some misunderstandings, Dark Horse CEO Mike Richardson has released a statement regarding the publisher’s imminent switch to simultaneous print and digital release: digital comics will be priced at $2.99 for the first month, dropping to the standard price of $1.99 after that.
You can read the statement below. While it’s obvious that keeping DH’s retail partners from mutiny is part of these decisions — DH also has a jacked-up digital price for a one-month window — it presupposes that the print and digital audiences are the same. There isn’t really any evidence that this is the case right now.
However, in the short term, digital sales will continue to be seen as a direct competitor to print. Like we said, we understand the concerns on both sides…it just doesn’t seem feasible for the unknowable, unseen future.
Dark Horse retail partners and fans,
You may have been surprised by our recent announcement regarding digital pricing.
We apologize for the confusion and concern surrounding Dark Horse’s recent announcement of simultaneous release in print and digital. We want to make it clear that nowhere in our announcement (see below) did we indicate that our same-day digital pricing would be less than that of our physical books. Due to some miscommunication, there has been widespread speculation based on our current pricing model.
To clarify: We have chosen to release all new single-issue comics digitally for the price of $2.99 for the first month, dropping to our standard digital pricing of $1.99 after that.
Dark Horse values our retail partners and is grateful for the twenty-five years of business we’ve done together. We have considered the retail community in all of our digital decisions and look at direct-market shops as crucial to our continued success. With that in mind, Dark Horse will make every effort to keep our comics retailers strong in a changing market.
We continue to value everyone who both buys and sells Dark Horse products, and thank you for your support. All of you are the reason we are here today.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.