Marvel Comics Offer 700 Free Digital Issues, Suffer ‘SimCity’ Sized Server Issues

Marvel Comics is offering up 700 free digital issues through their online site and through the Comixology mobile application. Unfortunately the people who have tried to take advantage of the offer have run into a myriad of downloading errors.

Marvel had previously teased that the company would be making a rather large announcement at this year’s SXSW. The company put out a picture that showed just a large number one and showed the names of tons of different artists that had worked on their comics.

While there was some people speculating that the company was about to do a huge reboot, it turns out that they are offering up a ton of their digital #1 comics, absolutely free.

Marvel Comics seems to have underestimated just how popular this giveaway would be. The promotion kicked off yesterday and will run until 11 PM EST Tuesday.

The small window that is allowing people to take advantage of this giveaway seems to have caused some SimCity level server issues. Both the in-house Marvel comic book site and the Comixology website and mobile app have basically lost functionality.

When people are actually able to download these free comics again, they will get a whole host of different “flavors.” Marvel has released #1 comics from some of their classic lines as well as the newer titles.

Marvel is using the classic sales approach of giving people a “free taste” of their product hoping that it will lure people in to buy even more.

This sale is not so much geared towards getting the hard comic book nerds, but rather those who might find they’re interested in comics again after movies like The Avengers have wet their appetite.

It’s hard to draw in new customers when they can’t get to the product you’re offering. Marvel Comics is either going to need to extend the offer or fix their servers pretty quick for this giveaway to be anything more than a massive failure.