Manga Rock LogoOn September 1, news service J-Cast News reported that pirated manga service Manga Rock will close its doors. In a statement to J-Cast Studios, developer Not a Basement Studio stated that Manga Rock began as a project by the Vietnam-based team when they were still in university, and gathered already-released scanlations.

The studio issued the following statement (Translation via Anime News Network):

At that time, we didn’t understand the manga industry, and we didn’t know the origin of the scanlations (including things without official licenses). As time has passed, we have come to understand the damage being incurred by manga creators and publishers. Moreover, as Manga Rock’s popularity increased more and more, the damage also increased. Therefore we are deeply reflecting on our role in accelerating the popularity of scanlations, and we give our heartfelt apologies to the victims, manga creators and publishers. As a result, we plan to shut down our scanlation website and app. We also recommend that similar scanlation sites (there are many) shut down as well. We are truly sorry for causing problems for the manga industry.

As of press time, Not A Basement Studio’s website and Facebook page are no longer accessible. The Manga Rock website is also unable to be accessed, though the app is still able to be downloaded.

the news comes just days after On Takahashi, CEO of Irodori Comics took to Twitter to issue a series of tweets, plus an English translation, which criticized the organization. In addition to releasing pirated manga, the site offers a $4.99 monthly subscription which, Takahashi argues, muddles the perceived legitimacy of the app.

“Not a single dollar of the advertisement revenue goes to the artists,” Takahashi stated, adding that “many foreigners believe the app to be ‘official'” in a later tweet.

The statements would garner 60,000 retweets since their first posting on August 27.

Source: Anime News Network