RIP Madefire, a startup that recruited top artists to reinvent comics for new formats and platforms.
An announcement on Madefire’s website says the company entered into a “creditor benefits assignment” (explained as “state-level insolvency proceedings similar to bankruptcy”) earlier this month- ci, which was subsequently reported this morning in The Beat. As a result, no new books will be released, users will not be able to purchase additional books, and they are also encouraged to download any content they have purchased before the end of the month.
This news affects other applications built with Madefire technology. The Archie comic book app was also shut down, with the publisher writing, “We realize this is a surprise and we are doing everything we can to do good with our loyal clientele,” including offering readers a free one-month subscription to Unlimited Comixology. (Amazon acquired the digital comic book platform Comixology in 2014, launching an unlimited subscription service two years later.)
Madefire first launched in 2012, when publishers were experimenting with formats like animated comics. The company has described its titles as “animated books,” combining the animation and effects of animated comics with a more traditional reading experience.
“Animated comics are a passive experience, a viewing experience that equates to bad animation – it’s like watching a movie,” said co-founder and CEO Ben Wolstenholme at the time. “Motion Books is a reading experience, actively controlled by the reader – it’s like reading a book. Our goal is to be the best reading experience developed for the iPad. “
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the company was the artists it enlisted before its launch, including Dave Gibbons and Bill Sienkiewicz.
Most recently, Madefire announced partnerships with other tech platforms, including Snapchat and struggling augmented reality company Magic Leap.
According to Crunchbase, Madefire had raised $ 16.4 million in funding from investors such as True Ventures, Plus Capital, Kevin Spacey (yes, this Kevin Spacey) and Drake, but The Beat reports that the total was “even more than that”.