The creator of a popular series on WEBTOON has announced that they’re leaving the platform due to “ongoing difficulties for several years.”
In an open letter posted to her website (as well as on her social media channels), Leeanne M. Krecic, who also uses the psuedonym Mongie, revealed that her Let’s Play series would no longer be appearing on WEBTOON.
“I will not be returning with season 4 of Let’s Play at WEBTOON,” Krecic wrote. “This was an incredibly difficult decision, and no single event led to it. There have been ongoing difficulties for several years, most of which I can’t discuss, nor is this the appropriate forum. But some concerns include Let’s Play being excluded from marketing, despite promises to the contrary, and placing LP behind an age gate when there are series with far more controversial content that isn’t restricted. My representation has voiced these concerns and others to the necessary individuals at WEBTOON, but the blame was reflected back at me for incredibly far-fetched reasons. These issues, among many others, have made me feel marginalized and that WEBTOON does not value Let’s Play or me.”
The Eisner nominated series — about the professional and personal lives of a female video game developer dealing with the male-dominated industry — had been running on WEBTOON since 2016. With somewhere upwards of 3 million weekly readers, it was a significant success for the platform, and was later brought into print via Rocketship Entertainment. Earlier this year, production company Allnighter announced plans to adapt the series into a live-action television project.
In addition to her personal experience, Krecic cited others’ concerns with the company, noting the controversial “side hustle” ad campaign, and pay disparity for Latin American creators, in addition to “the ongoing lack of transparency and errors in accounting that I’ve experienced personally.”
“No one is more disappointed with this outcome than I am,” she wrote, before promising that Let’s Play will return at a new venue, to be announced “when the time is right.”
In response, WEBTOON released a statement to Popverse.
“We’re saddened to see any creator leave, but we believe in creators controlling their work and destiny,” the statement reads. “Creators are always our top priority, and we’ve been clear that we’re working to make real changes for creators, providing more tools and support. We recently shared an update with all creators to provide more transparency into how our business works and outline upcoming changes we have planned, which can be found here: https://bit.ly/3A21jWY”
That link directs to a notice labeled “ORIGINALS Creators Update - Increasing transparency and improving processes at WEBTOON” that includes payment details and reads, in part, “While we cannot guarantee success for everyone, we’re committed to providing the best chance for success by building a platform where story and art can instantly attract millions of readers. There may be varying levels of promotion at different times, but we are doing everything we can for your work to reach as many people as possible.”
Notably, however, the notice was posted September 20, more than a month before WEBTOON announced that it was planning on ending its Creator Rewards program and changing the ways in which it monetizes work starting in February 2023, with more details to be revealed in coming weeks.