DMM, a Japan based e-commerce and internet company, announced that they have set up GIGATOON Studio, a company that will be responsible for planning, producing and distributing original content including webtoons (vertical scrolling manga) and e-books.
An official website that was launched for the same stated that GIGATOON will be working hard with a mission of “creating the future of manga.”
Beyond manga, the studio will be focusing on creating new content and experiences.
Representative Director and CEO Junichi Ota cited the lack of domestically produced webtoons as a reason for starting GIGATOON Studio.
“…there is a lack of production know-how and studios in Japan at this time. The global WEBTOON market is expected to continue to grow, and is expected to be several times larger than the Japanese manga market,” Ota said.
“I felt a strong sense of crisis that the influence of Japanese manga might decline worldwide in the near future, and decided to establish GIGATOON studio to overcome this situation,” he added.
The company also aims to establish a system that allows non-manga creators to participate in the manga production process.
“We will challenge to build a system that allows people other than manga creators to participate in manga production, instead of the conventional manga artist-type production system (so-called manga artist + editor). By building this system, we aim to lower the hurdles for participating in manga production and create creators with many works and know-how,” Ota said in his note explaining how GIGATOON would work.
GIGATOON Studio will also use previously available data from DMM’s comprehensive entertainment platform “DMM.com”, which offers more than 40 services and has 35.45 million members, to produce the original content.
Dozens of works are currently under development and will be released in collaboration with Yuna, a production company and producer Yasuhito Tachibana.
DMM had earlier announced their intention of launching a vertical scroll-type manga business, aiming to bank on the growing WEBTOON market.
According to the Korea Creative Content Agency, the market size of vertical reading manga grew to 60.4 billion yen in 2019, 37% of the previous year. It has continued to grow since 2020, and the current market is expected to be even larger.
Vertical reading manga is a new format for manga work originating in South Korea, featuring a vertically long composition that matches smartphones and a reader experience with vertical scrolling that is different from the horizontal development of conventional manga.