Comic publisher IDW’s losses continue to persist, with the company posting a $508,000 loss for the fiscal quarter that ended April 30, 2021. While this was actually an improvement above the previous year’s deficit of $647,000, it’s still not great news for the struggling comic publisher.
According to ICV2, a significant portion of IDW’s losses were from a $231,000 write-off in the quarter for game costs, advanced royalties, and vendor deposits for games that would no longer be created, following an assessment of its game production expenditures. This contributes to the perception that IDW is shutting down its games business, despite the fact that games sales were up $106,000 over the previous year in the period due to the completion of a direct-to-consumer campaign.
IDW Publishing sales (including games) rose to $5,988,000 for the quarter from $4,681,000 in the year ago period, which included four weeks of Diamond Comic Distributors’ Covid shutdown. In addition to the shutdown, IDW cited several high-performing direct market titles and increased direct-to-consumer sales as contributors to the increase, offsetting an increase in discounts and returns of $58,000.
Sales and profits for IDW Publishing were on par with the results in IDW’s fiscal Q1 ended January 31 (see “IDW Publishing Sales Decline, Swings to Loss”).
Overall profits for IDW Media Holdings, including publishing, its entertainment division, the impact of the sale of its CTM division (which closed in the quarter), were $2,541,000, up from a $354,000 loss in the year ago period.
IDW has really been struggling for the past few years, but overall the media holdings side of things seems to be turning around. What does the future hold for IDW? Should they hang up the publishing side of their business and focus on other revenue streams?