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  • IDW Announces Major Layoffs and NYSE Delisting Amid Financial Losses

    Cuts and executive changes hoped to mitigate drops in games and streaming series divisions.

    Today, IDW has announced plans to cut 39% of its staff and delist itself from the New York Stock Exchange, as reported by Yahoo Finance. While an IDW Media Holdings investor report highlights the "approximately $4.4 million in annual savings," this decision follows significant reported losses this year of $335,000. ICV2 notes that book channel sales were up in the company's Q1 2023 financial reports, including those from the Sonic series and TMNT: The Last Ronin; however, major drops hit the company from their games division and streaming series.

    As part of big shake-up, IDW's Board of Directors has moved Davidi Jonas, previously Board Vice Chairman (and son of the Board Chairman), to CEO, and Amber Huerta, Senior VP of People and Organizational Development, to COO.

    At this time, we do not have any specific information regarding how this may impact IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog series, nor have we heard any reports of its staff being part of the 39% cut. With the series being one of IDW's bigger successes, and SEGA continuing to collaborate with IDW writers and artists on non-IDW projects, it's unlikely that Sonic himself will be on the chopping block. That said, executive shifts and deep staff cuts still have the potential to directly or indirectly impact the series.

    We extend sympathies to all whose job was hit by these cuts.

    Source: ComicsBeat.com


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    Lots of other companies have been doing the same. 

    I think if we are already in a recession but "unofficially". 

    Scary times ahead.

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    Last time a Sonic comic publisher had shakeups due to financial troubles, we lost the comic.

    Obviously this isn't a 1:1 situation, but still, you never know anymore...

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    *Sigh* Can't say I'm surprised.

    At this point, I just hope a bigger company (preferably SEGA) buys out IDW.

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    I didn't even know IDW had a games department (which I guess explains the lack of revenue there).

     

    The only good news here is that comic sales seem to be strong for IDW, which would indicate that any aggressive staff hedging will come form the games and streaming side of the house.

     

    Sucks, but comic companies are by and large too antiquated and overdue for course correction. Gotta shake some stuff up to get with the times.

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    These things can happened with any companies like comics and gaming from anywhere. So far IDW have done absolutely outstanding job on the IDW Sonic comics series. I feel sorry for the IDW staff that this happened because I love the IDW Sonic comics that they do and work very hard on these Sonic comics from the writers to the artists and staff.

     

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    Cannot really be shocked. This has been coming for a while.

    I even recently made a thread about it.

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    I just hope if Sonic does go down with the ship, SEGA won't just consider it a failure and throw everything out that this comic established if they do decide to go to a different publisher, assuming they don't just give up on comics entirely.

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    44 minutes ago, PublicEnemy1 said:

    I just hope if Sonic does go down with the ship, SEGA won't just consider it a failure and throw everything out that this comic established if they do decide to go to a different publisher, assuming they don't just give up on comics entirely.

    Here is a likely scenario, the new publisher wants another soft reboot and does not want to do a direct continuation as to market the comic to a new audience. Would you accept that?

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    If the IDW characters go, I think I might just be done with Sonic comics after seeing three of them get cut short within a decade. 

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    9 minutes ago, Slashy said:

    Here is a likely scenario, the new publisher wants another soft reboot and does not want to do a direct continuation as to market the comic to a new audience. Would you accept that?

    Probably not, as that would mean getting rid of everything IDW was building up to, like Surge and Kit, Whisper and Mimic's final confrontation, the Scrapniks (I especially don't want them getting rid of that). I don't want to be burned again after they had to jump ship off everything from Archie TWICE.

    I'd rather them just issue out reprints to older IDW issues, since Sega owns the characters and likely the stories as well (and considers them canon), and continue on from there. I wouldn't mind a slight timeskip to, say, post-Frontiers and keep the previous plot points to a minimum at first to ease in new readers, but I don't want any of them outright abandoned. If they do, I probably won't read the new one.

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    18 minutes ago, Razule said:

    If the IDW characters go, I think I might just be done with Sonic comics after seeing three of them get cut short within a decade. 

    At least this time there are no loose threads. If the comic ended right after the fight with Surge, it would be good enough finally.

    Urban Warfare would be a little worse at that (kinda introducing a new character, not feeling like a climax), but again, no lingering unanswered questions.

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    In the unlikely event the comic does get canceled at some point down the line, no doubt SEGA would shop the license around to another publisher. They know Sonic comics will make them a ton of money regardless of what company publishes them. That's why they wasted no time shuffling the license over from Archie to IDW.

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    I'm thinking the next publisher could be Boom! Studios, who own the comic rights to Power Rangers and Firefly to name a few.

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    1 hour ago, PublicEnemy1 said:

    Probably not, as that would mean getting rid of everything IDW was building up to, like Surge and Kit, Whisper and Mimic's final confrontation, the Scrapniks (I especially don't want them getting rid of that). I don't want to be burned again after they had to jump ship off everything from Archie TWICE.

    I'd rather them just issue out reprints to older IDW issues, since Sega owns the characters and likely the stories as well (and considers them canon), and continue on from there. I wouldn't mind a slight timeskip to, say, post-Frontiers and keep the previous plot points to a minimum at first to ease in new readers, but I don't want any of them outright abandoned. If they do, I probably won't read the new one.

    The actual comic itself may not be owned by SEGA. It would be a horrible deal because SEGA could just reprint IDW's material and cut them out of the sales.

    Also Boom, Dynamite, and Oni Press pay even worse than IDW based on surveys I have seen.

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    If IDW were to shutter completely, I'd say it's likely the license would go to another publisher like the aforementioned Boom, Dynamite, or Oni Press - I know some folks at Udon were interested in doing Sonic when it was announced IDW got the licence. I don't think the major publishers (DC, Marvel, Image) would go for a licensed property like Sonic, so you'd be moving to one of those other niche publishers. They could go back to Archie.

    Regardless of who were to get the rights in that hypothetical scenario, I'd say it's likely the current continuity would stay in place characters and all, and we'd simply start with a new number one. We know from comments surrounding the lore team etc. that Sega is taking a hard turn toward inter-connectivity in the franchise right now (movies notwithstanding), and the treatment of both IDW and Prime reflect this. Tangle and Whisper appear Speed Battle, have merch both on the Sega shop and through Sega's licensors, and Tangle has even been named dropped in Frontiers. Ian has confirmed multiple times stuff made by IDW is owned by Sega. This stuff isn't going anywhere, it's part of the larger brand now. I'd hate to go through another "reintroducing the cast and world" like we did with both reboot Archie and IDW, but it's kind of expected when you bring on a new publisher. Starting post Frontiers makes a lot of sense in such a scenario just as starting post Forces did for IDW. But it would definitely still be a game canon comic and would still have the IDW stuff acknowledged and included since Sega has a clear vested interest in that material. Reprints of IDW aren't as given as the other stuff, but if I were to guess Sega's got it in their contract those go with the license. If not, that's a short sighted move on their part.

    ALL of that said, we're not at that point yet. As we've heard some of the first folks laid off on the editorial side as a result of this, it wounds like Sonic editors David Mariotte and Riley Farmer are still there as of now. Maybe that changes, but given the position the company is now in I'd expect more IDW Sonic before less IDW Sonic. Sonic remains a money maker for IDW now during a period where they very much need it. If IDW hasn't already discussed getting stuff like another ongoing title or more minis going I'd be surprised. Maybe that stuff doesn't happen because Sega doesn't want to flood the market (they were against Sonic having three ongoing monthlys at Archie back in the day - only briefly relenting when they were trying to push Boom), but from IDW's perspective that should be a priority right now I think.

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    Ian has said as much that the way they're handling the comic currently is for how contained the stories are, so that if they do shut their doors it's easier to pack up the characters and carry them over to a new house. If IDW did go down, that wouldn't be the end of the comics, it'd be a change in ownership once they found a new roof over their heads.

    The comic is said to be one of IDW's most successful productions though, so it probably won't happen unless the company dies as a whole. Which definitely seems to be what a chunk of the Sonic fanbase is rooting for, surprisingly lmao

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    I know this is very unlikely, but I would love to see how Marvel would handle the comics if they ever got the rights. I mean, they could potentially integrate Sonic into the main Marvel universe, just like they had done most of their previous licenced books, particularly ROM.

    Just Imagine a Tails spin-off comic where he teams up with Iron Man for an few issues to defeat the latest evil scheme of Doctor Doom! That would be awesome!

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    CrownSlayers Shadow

    Posted

    Really gotta love how segments of this fandom go out of their way to be spiteful enough to want IDW to die as a company.

    It’s like this fandom’s hat whenever something big comes around, whether good or bad.

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    57 minutes ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

    Really gotta love how segments of this fandom go out of their way to be spiteful enough to want IDW to die as a company.

    It’s like this fandom’s hat whenever something big comes around, whether good or bad.

    Is that segment of the fandom winning this?  Like, did they succeeded in getting IDW Sonic's sales down?

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    CrownSlayers Shadow

    Posted

    8 hours ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

    Is that segment of the fandom winning this?  Like, did they succeeded in getting IDW Sonic's sales down?

    I wouldn’t really know, although I highly doubt it. But it’s just something that seems so typical in this fandom.

    What ever the case may be seems more due to unfortunate circumstances than anything coordinated to bring sales down.

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    7 hours ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

    I wouldn’t really know, although I highly doubt it. But it’s just something that seems so typical in this fandom.

    What ever the case may be seems more due to unfortunate circumstances than anything coordinated to bring sales down.

    Yeah, IDW seemed to be struggling for years.  But, I didn't really believe it at the time because the people who were mentioning this didn't really have good sources to go by and IDW seemed to be doing fine, despite what people were saying.

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    None of this has anything to do with Sonic's sales, though. The comic is selling fine. This is a company-wide issue that's currently affecting their editorial staff, and we don't know when/if this will extend to people like the various freelance artists and writers who make the books. Tom Waltz's statement at the very least explained that he is losing his editorial position, but has a non-exclusive agreement with IDW to continue working as a freelance writer (particularly with TMNT) while also writing for other publishers. It feels like it's missing the point to try to turn the conversation about sales when that wasn't what was directly affecting IDW's stocks (especially since the OP literally says it's about their other divisions).

    If something does happen with IDW that eventually affects their books, I'm hoping at the least the books as-is can just be pulled and restarted/reprinted elsewhere. Be a shame for the creatives to have their work flushed down the drain (in Sonic's case, again) for something that is so far above their paygrade and out of their control.

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    • Moderator
    Ryannumber1gamer

    Posted

    15 minutes ago, Zaysho said:

    None of this has anything to do with Sonic's sales, though. The comic is selling fine. This is a company-wide issue that's currently affecting their editorial staff, and we don't know when/if this will extend to people like the various freelance artists and writers who make the books. Tom Waltz's statement at the very least explained that he is losing his editorial position, but has a non-exclusive agreement with IDW to continue working as a freelance writer (particularly with TMNT) while also writing for other publishers. It feels like it's missing the point to try to turn the conversation about sales when that wasn't what was directly affecting IDW's stocks (especially since the OP literally says it's about their other divisions).

    If something does happen with IDW that eventually affects their books, I'm hoping at the least the books as-is can just be pulled and restarted/reprinted elsewhere. Be a shame for the creatives to have their work flushed down the drain (in Sonic's case, again) for something that is so far above their paygrade and out of their control.

    Not Sonic related, but thank god for this. The Armageddon Game is the most interesting TMNT has been in months, warts and all, and the Last Ronin is one of the best Turtles series we've gotten in years generally. Would've sucked losing him outright.

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    CrownSlayers Shadow

    Posted

    I’ve been hearing a lot about the Last Ronin.

    Haven’t been into TMNT since the 2003 cartoon. Is it really that good?

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    17 minutes ago, CrownSlayer’s Shadow said:

    I’ve been hearing a lot about the Last Ronin.

    Haven’t been into TMNT since the 2003 cartoon. Is it really that good?

    If that's the last major TMNT thing you've been into, then yes, read it.

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