DC Comics will no longer include complimentary access codes for digital versions of all their $3.99 physical titles.
The complimentary digital program begin in April 2017 along with a price increase of several $2.99 "Rebirth" titles to $3.99.
But as of May 2's titles, the free digital codes are gone for most titles - although the cover prices will remain the same.
A DC Entertainment spokesperson confirmed to Newsarama Wednesday that digital download codes for DC's physical books will no longer be on every $3.99 issue, however the publisher stated they would instead focus the digital code benefit on a smaller and more select group of books. According to DC, readers can anticipate that digital codes will be included on physical copies of #1 issues of major titles, select event books, annuals, and other special books.
DC would not confirm which specific titles will have the digital download codes going forward, meaning it's not clear if upcoming launches like writer Brian Michael Bendis' various Superman books or Scott Snyder's Justice League will have digital download codes included with physical issues.
Retailers contacted by Newsarama on Wednesday told us they were never informed of the change.
Several retailers did pointedly note that Marvel Comics currently do offer a digital promotional code as a benefit with the purchase of the print version.
Concurrently, readers may discover another discrepancy at comic book stories with the much-anticipated DC Nation #0 that was released in print today for 25 cents. Although the print copy has a suggested retail price of 25 cents (with retailers paying 13 cents wholesale), comiXology has released the DC issue free of charge to digital readers.
DC Nation #0 is also being released the Wednesday before Free Comic Book Day 2018, which takes place in comic book stores across the country on this Saturday. Because the low-cost issue is timely, some comic book stores will be giving DC Nation #0 away free of charge at FCBD, but others will honor DC's printed cover price of 25 cents.
Although all of the FCBD titles are promoted as free to customers, retailers have a variable cost to stores depending on the publisher and volume, but according to retailers contacted by Newsarama the wholesale price on the quarter-priced DC Nation #0 is, in most cases, cheaper than the individual whosesale cost of the FCBD titles.