ShiftyLook, a portal launched by videogame giant Namco/Bandai in early 2013 to revive old gaming properties as webcomics, is being shuttered. While several properties will survive as graphic novel, gaming, anime and merchandising platforms, most of the webcomics as well as the ShiftyLook website, will cease updating content on March 20 and the ShiftyLook site will shut down completely on September 20, 2014.
The shutdown was announced via a notice posted on the ShiftyLook website by ShiftyLook’s Casy Casoni. In the statement Casoni says the site worked for several properities—“Wonder Momo, Bravoman, and some other very cool characters.” But he went to say, “that said, now that we have successfully revived so many franchises, the heavy lifting is completed – and so is our work. We battled the video games abyss and won, which means it's time for us to move on and let the hit-makers play with some new toys.”
The ShiftyLook venture was launched with much promotional fanfare (and expense) in an effort by Namco/Bandai to revive a series of 1980s game properties, most of which were not well known in the U.S. market. The ShiftyLook website launched webcomics series based on such properties as Bravoman, Wonder Momo, Dirk Davies, Valkyrie, Alien Confidential and others. ShiftyLook also became a regular and substantial exhibitor at the biggest comics conventions around the country with a large booth presences and large giveaways of swag and assorted promotional merchandise.
But overall the ShiftyLook model—build audiences with comics, convention appearances and lots of free swag—looks to have failed overall, though a select group of properties that include Wonder Momo, Bravoman and Katamari will survive. Udon’s Matt Moylan, who wrote the Bravoman webcomics series, released a statement on the shutdown of ShiftyLook on Bleeding Cool. The comics for these properties were produced by Udon, a manga-influenced publisher and comics pacakager, and Nambo/Bandai will continue to release anime, merchandise and graphic novels based around them.