Marvel Gave 700 Comics Away Free, Crashed ComiXology and Were Pulled
Earlier this month Marvel released two teasers, First and something about counting or cutting. They followed those teasers up with other teasers teasing that the thing the first two teasers were teasing would be revealed at SXSW. While I’m not sure what the counting/cutting was for (was it the Infinite Comics things?), Marvel and ComiXology made big waves with First.
At SXSW Marvel and ComiXology announced that they would be releasing 700 first issues from Marvel for free on the ComiXology platform until March 12th. Of course, people flipped the fuck out and got on ComiXology as fast as the could. But it was too fast for the servers to handle. For two days the ComiXology servers were so swamped with people trying to get their hands on the digital first issues that the service crashed. Nobody could get any comics.
ComiXology was aware of the problem. David Steinberger, co-founder and CEO of ComiXology, said in a blog post that his people will be communicating with users as often as they could to let them know what’s up. He also said…
We don’t like letting you down. Our teams are working around the clock to resolve these issues so that you can have the experience you’ve come to expect.
They did find a solution eventually: Just take the comics down. A day after releasing the comics, the promotion was pulled. This brought ComiXology back online and let people go back to their regular shopping habits.
The deal will be put back up when ComiXology figures out how to do it without breaking all of their stuff, with some bonus stuff to be expected because of the downtime.