In the middle of one sea of mass layoffs in the tech industry, Amazon’s previously announced plans to reduce its workforce by nearly 20,000 job cuts started rolling out this week – and are reports that comixology, the digital comic store Amazon bought in 2014, is get hit hard.
News of major cuts at Comixology hit social media yesterday afternoon, as program manager Scott McGovern confirmed his departure among “numerous” others. Anonymous staff speaking Polygon claimed that employees of Comixology— who are part of Amazon’s Stores division, the division that these new layoffs largely focus on — have been told that while some will be laid off starting this week, more have been informed about whether they will be laid off in the coming months or beyond deleted in 2023.
The true extent of the layoffs at Comixology is unknown, leaving their fate uncertain, especially in the wake of a highly controversial overhaul of the platform last year. The changes went far beyond redesigning the app and website for the leading digital comic store and included a disastrous integration of the service more closely into Amazon’s storefronts, shutting down Comixology’s own website. Between massive errors, clumsy navigation, problems with finding titles and the end of a long oneComixology, which spearheaded the maker’s royalties program in favor of using Amazon’s Kindle Direct ebook publishing system, spent much of the past year apologizing for and trying to fix the litany of problems, an ongoing process.
Or at least, used to be. Amazon’s moves to undermine Comixology after nearly a year of battle between customers and creators may threaten not just the service’s presence at the forefront of digital comics distribution, but its very existence.
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