Well, I have to say it’s about time Yen Press and Square Enix finally got on the digital bandwagon. Yen Press announced back in October at New York Comic Con that it would be announcing a digital strategy for the company, and nearly six months later, they finally have! I glad to see them moving away from proprietary apps and awful websites. Find out more after the jump.

Yen Press and Square Enix Launch International eBook Distribution

YenPress_logoSquare-Enix-

NEW YORK, NY (March 24, 2014) – Yen Press, the graphic novel imprint of Hachette Book Group, and leading Japanese gaming and manga publisher Square Enix in conjunction with the Tuttle-Mori Agency announced today that their highly anticipated inter-corporate initiative for the global distribution of Square Enix’s English language manga will commence on April 8th.

By virtue of this groundbreaking agreement, fans of Square Enix’s manga in over 200 countries will have access to the authorized, English-language ebook editions of 175 titles through Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google and Kobo with new volumes available concurrently with future print releases. Launching first with internationally best selling series like Atsushi Ohkubo’s Soul Eater, Yana Toboso’s Black Butler, and Yoshiki Tonogai’s Doubt, Yen Press will roll out additional series weekly throughout the month of April with a blockbuster assortment that includes Hiromu Arakawa’s Fullmetal Alchemist, Jun Mochizuki’s PandoraHearts, Ryukishi07’s Higurashi WHEN THEY CRY, and Until Death Do Us Part by Hiroshi Takashige and DOUBLE-S. As an added bonus for fans, these ebook editions will include color pages not reproduced in the titles’ print counterparts.

In addition to this ambitious launch of their cooperative digital publishing endeavor, Yen Press and Square Enix have also unveiled a program for the digital English language serialization of new chapters of two ongoing series – Atsushi Ohkubo’s riotous successor to Soul Eater, Soul Eater NOT!, and Yoshiki Tonogai’s latest mind-bending mystery thriller, Secret. Chapters not already contained in the collected volumes of these series will be released as digital comics in advance of the latest chapters slated for publication April 14th.

Kurt Hassler, VP and Publishing Director of Yen Press, said of the agreement, “In much the same way that video streaming technologies transformed the way fans consume anime, the digital availability of manga content stands to revolutionize readers’ access to the material they love. Particularly exciting to us is the opportunity Square Enix has provided international audiences to enjoy and support the latest installments of continuing series at the same time as Japanese fans. Manga has a truly global community of enthusiasts, and Yen Press could not be prouder to help connect these brilliant creators with the worldwide readership clamoring for their work.”

Katsuyoshi Matsuura, Division Executive of Publication Business Division and General Manager of Digital Publishing of Square Enix Co., Ltd., commented regarding the commencement of the service, “I am extremely pleased to know that our work will be available to manga fans to whom it was previously inaccessible. At the same time, I am very encouraged and excited to be able to implement this service in cooperation with Hachette Book Group and to work with them to address the ever expanding needs of enthusiasts while providing them with the most exciting experience possible.”

About the authors of the serialized chapter publications:

Atsushi Ohkubo’s debut manga series, B.Ichi, originally appeared in Square Enix’s Monthly Shonen Gangan magazine. Upon completion of the work, his concept for Soul Eater began as a series of shorts appearing in the same magazine and later became the long-running work that has earned him international renown. The final chapter of Soul Eater recently ran in the September issue of Monthly Shonen Gangan. Ohkubo is still at work on his spin-off series, Soul Eater NOT!, the animation for which is slated to begin airing this spring.

Yoshiki Tonogai leapt onto the manga scene as the artist on the Time Killing Arc of Ryukishi07’s epic Higurashi WHEN THEY CRY. He then went on to create his first solo work, Doubt, which was serialized in Square Enix’s Monthly Shonen Gangan, the success of which inspired its sequel, Judge. Tonogai’s latest murder masterpiece, Secret, kicked off its serialization in Monthly Shonen Gangan in October 2013, and he has been a recurring presence on the New York Times manga bestseller list.

Additional information:

For a complete list of Yen Press’s release schedule and participating digital retailers, please visit www.yenpress.com/digital/.

Square Enix Co., Ltd. develops, publishes, distributes and licenses SQUARE ENIX®, EIDOS® and TAITO® branded entertainment content around the world. The Square Enix Group operates a global network of leading development studios and boasts a valuable portfolio of intellectual property, including: FINAL FANTASY®, which has sold over 100 million units worldwide, and DRAGON QUEST® which has sold over 62 million units worldwide; TOMB RAIDER®, which has sold over 35 million units worldwide; and the legendary SPACE INVADERS®.

The company also owns a variety of manga titles including FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST®, which has over 64 million copies in print, SOUL EATER®, which has over 16 million copies in print, and BLACK BUTLER®, which has over 17 million copies in print. Square Enix is a Japan-based, wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd.

DRAGON QUEST, EIDOS, FINAL FANTASY, SPACE INVADERS, SQUARE ENIX, the SQUARE ENIX logo, TAITO, TOMB RAIDER, FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST, SOUL EATER, BLACK BUTLER are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Square Enix Group.

More information on Square Enix Co., Ltd. can be found at: http://www.jp.square-enix.com/

Yen Press is an imprint of Hachette Book Group’s Orbit division, dedicated to publishing graphic novels for adults and young readers.  Yen Press’ focus is primarily on licensed manga, but also publishes across the wide spectrum of the graphic novel market, including, but not limited to: original manga publications, original American comics/graphic novels, webcomics, licensed adaptations, and children’s graphic novels. For more information, visit www.yenpress.com.

Hachette Book Group is a leading trade publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre, the third-largest trade/educational publisher in the world. Hachette Book Group publishes under the divisions of Little, Brown and Company, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Nashville, Orbit, Hyperion, and Hachette Digital.  For more information, visit www.hachettebookgroup.com.

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