Today I noticed that Mikandi’s adult app store website is gone. It redirects to a Mikandi-branded cams site now. This is semi-recent news; there’s an archived version showing that the actual website was still up on April 27. All you people who paid for content locked inside Mikandi apps: I am sorry for your predictable loss.

Mikandi ignored Bacchus; now they are gone

I am sorry, yes. But I’m not surprised. I have an amusing little history with Mikandi. The story goes like this: six years ago I got an email in a promotional mode from one of the very nice Mikandi marketing people. At that time they had been getting a lot of good press about their independent adult app store for Android. My correspondent particularly wanted me to try out their then-new Mikandi Gold “buy an adult comic as an app” product.

Instead, I wrote them 2,400 words of free, unsolicited, and undesired (I have no doubt) business-consulting advice, in which I made two points. First, paying for content that’s locked inside an app is a fools’s game and a cursed business model, because what happens when the app provider goes out of business and turns off the app servers or the digital rights management software?

“Basically if I can’t load it into my Calibre library (as I do with ebooks), convert it to whatever device-specific format I’m using this week, and then side-load it onto my devices, I’m not going to shell out good money for it. I realize this makes me a crusty curmudgeon. Nonetheless I have all good wishes for your venture; I’m just not excited about this specific business model of shoving media into app-wrappers that need to phone home periodically.”

Good news: I was just warming up!

Mikandi also had an offensively-vague content policy for publishers, at a time when the pornocalypse had already been on my radar for a few years. Mikandi had a payment processor who wouldn’t process rape content, is my guess, but Mikandi didn’t have the courage or the intellectual willingness to tackle the difficult philosophical problem of what that actually means in the comics context. That struck me as rather a fatal flaw for a publisher in the manga space. Maybe it wasn’t their fault; perhaps they couldn’t get their payments processor to set clear guidelines. I dunno. But I do know the nonsensical and patronizing solution they came up with: “MiKandi does not accept any non-consensual material, actual or implied. Consent is sexy!”

I told them: publishers need a lot more precise rules, and if Mikandi couldn’t achieve the needed clarity with their payments processor, their product was not ready for market. Moreover:

“Consent issues are at the emotional heart of a lot of BDSM fantasy literature, including in adult comic books. Ambiguity about consent is part of that, whether the ambiguity arises from the limited information available to a third-party viewer (if the opening panel is a handcuffed character fucking, we just don’t have facts to answer the consent question) or whether it arises in the notional mind of the character. Are they undecided? Have they changed their mind since inviting the handcuffing, but not said anything? How do we know? How would we ever know? Since the mind we are interrogating doesn’t exist, what do these questions even mean? It seems to me that there’s a huge realm of adult “comics” literature that is just INCOMPATIBLE with your current ten-word policy on consent. It’s not because non-consensual themes are predominant, but simply because there’s no way to evaluate the work against the 10-word policy and reach any kind of sensible, predictable, or reproducible answer.”

My friends, Mikandi did not get back to me about my observations. Which is fair. “Unsolicited business consultant” is right up there with “surprise volunteer subway dentist” on the list of unpopular people in this world.

Nevertheless, here we are. Six years have passed. So, too, apparently, has Mikandi. I can’t find any web coverage about them closing their virtual doors. Maybe it was so predictable it wasn’t even a story. Is this a genuine ErosBlog adult-industry scoop? Gosh I hope not; doing journalism stuff always makes me cranky.

Could Mikandi have avoided its ignominious end (vanishing from the internet without anybody except one cranky blogger noticing) if they had heeded, instead of ignoring, my unsolicited business advice? I very much doubt it! I don’t claim that kind of power or percipience. No doubt, they got eaten by forces larger than all of us.

However, I did give them advice, and they did ignore it, and now they’re gone. Moral: when Bacchus speaks on matters of pleasure, foolish mortals should listen!

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