Thanks to @Sonicbug on twitter (via @calaggie) for noting that Go! Comi’s domain has apparently expired. The GoDaddy page in it’s place says that “This domain name expired on 05/08/2010 and is pending renewal or deletion,” so it only expired yesterday.
A WhoIs search for the domain shows that it was indeed registered by “Go Media Entertainment” on May 8, 2005, and the registration expired on May 8, 2010, but hasn’t been updated since February 27, 2008, meaning that they had bought the name for at least 3 years (May 2007 – May 2010), and it’s quite possible they bought it for a 5 year span back in 2005.
The fact that Go! Comi has been having problems isn’t anything new, but whenever a company starts blaming piracy for their financial problems, that’s probably a sure sign that the problems are much deeper than that. (I’m not saying that piracy and scanlations aren’t an issue, but they are unlikely to, singlehandedly, bring down a company. However, it’s an easy excuse to give fans and possible investors without having to say what the real problems are).
Perhaps just as ominous, Go! Comi’s twitter account has been deleted. The last cache file Google has for it was on April 8th, with the last actual tweet being from February 1st. This definitely looks like a company which is winding down it’s existence. You don’t start deleting your marketing efforts (especially free ones!) like Twitter accounts unless you just don’t plan on actually marketing things anymore, or there is no one left to market your products.
The evidence really is mounting that Go! Comi is going the way of other anime and manga companies, such as Central Park Media.
The AnimeVice article about Go! Comi’s January post (referenced in one of the links above) notes this:
The company also posits that they may have to shut down their website in order to keep costs down and keep books coming– regular users will be given advance warning if this has to happen.
Running a website is hardly an expensive proposition unless you just run some huge site which takes up tons of bandwidth, which I have my doubts about with Go! Comi (I can’t remember what their website looked like, so I”m not really sure what they had), so the fact that they even discussed it as a possibility shows how short on cash they really were. However, clearly no “advanced warning” was given about the website shutdown, which just piles on the evidence that Go! Comi is, in fact, shutting itself down.