Marvel announced today that its Comixology-operated Marvel Comics app is shutting down this June. Fortunately, comic fans who bought issues in the app can access them in the company’s self-operated Marvel Unlimited app. The shutdown comes several months after layoffs at Amazon (Comixology’s owner since 2014) reportedly hit the comic storefront especially hard.
The Marvel Comics app will shut down on June 2nd. Exactly one month before that — May 2nd — is the cutoff date for new purchases in the old app. Any purchases made up to that date will transfer to Marvel Unlimited.
Android users who bought digital comics through the Comixology Marvel Comics app have an effortless transition: do nothing, and your comics should appear in Marvel Unlimited. (That’s because the Android app already required a Marvel account.) But iOS users have a few extra steps. First, you’ll need to open the Comixology Marvel Comics app on your iPhone or iPad. Then, follow Marvel’s instructions to link a Marvel account to the old app. After that, your old purchases should appear in Marvel Unlimited.
You won’t need a Marvel Unlimited subscription to access your purchases from the old app. But to entice you to buy into its service, Marvel is offering a discounted price of $5 per month for the first year with coupon code UNLIMITED. (It’s usually $10 / month or $70 if you pay for an entire year.) Marvel Unlimited is like Netflix for Marvel comics, offering access to over 30,000 issues from the Marvel universe. Like the Comixology-run app, there’s usually a delay of around three months between an issue’s initial release and its availability on the subscription platform.
Although Marvel has apparently gone out of its way to make this transition relatively smooth, it still illustrates the potential for chaos when digital content shifts platforms. We don’t own any of this stuff, so when parent companies mismanage apps, lay off workers and shuffle priorities, we’re left to hope mega-corporations want to do right by their customers — a trust factor worth bearing in mind any time you buy a comic, game or any other digital media.