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Magazine ABCs show a games press in decline

But Moshi Monsters magazine on the rise, hitting 163,000 readers

Circulation numbers are down across the board for the games press in the latest ABC figures for consumer print magazines during 2011.

Future Publishing's Edge magazine saw sales fall from 28,051 in 2010 to 24,443 in 2011, while the official magazines also saw significant readership losses.

PlayStation Official now stands at 38,262, down from 46,012, while Official Nintendo Magazine is at 36,197, a drop from 45,015. Official Xbox 360 Magazine fared better, with a smaller decrease, from 60,859 to 58,610.

Future's other unofficial titles did nothing to buck the downward trend, with PSM 3 seeing the largest slide, down to just 16,815 from 20,640. The very recently revamped N Gamer fell to 7,745 from 10,589 and Xbox World 360 from 23,061 to 20,738. Games Master dropped to 23,313 from 28,003.

PC Gamer held comparatively steady, falling to 23,652 from 25,019.

Future, a company recently beset by cuts and job losses, is expected to comment on the falling figures later today.

It was a similar story at Imagine, where 360 Magazine actually fell to below 10,000 readers, with a figure of just 9,335, compared to 2010's 11,183.

Games TM was at 15,066, down from 18,025, X360 fell from 24,090 to 20,695 and Play down to 15,693 after a larger drop from 21,735.

Uncooked Media's 360 Gamer went down from 15,325 to 13,124.

The only success was the Moshi Monsters tie in magazine, which saw an average of 162,838 sales per issue for the period between July 1 and December 31 in 2011. Its April 1 to June 30 figure was 113,748.

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Long-running consumer gaming outlet reportedly won't be closed, but will still suffer staff cuts

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Latest comments (18)

Isnt it obvious, Paper magazines are (WAY TOO EXPENSIVE). Considering that magazines are semi vanity/throwaway elements - there might need to be less platform specific game titles (from future) - considering they all have similar cross-cover reporting of the same title - do we need two versions of a Xbox or PS3 magazine.

I think a all in one magzine can offer more value per issue. There is still something nice about a game mag but the price point is a real stickler.

Lastly, for the same price, one could have had 1.5 novels/digital ebooks.
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Thomas Dolby Project Manager / Lead Programmer, Ai Solve4 years ago
Just like the games industry itself, the press has to face the change over to digital. Their loss is gamesindustry.biz's gain though I imagine!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Thomas Dolby on 16th February 2012 1:51pm

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Matt Martin Editor, GamesIndustry.biz4 years ago
I wonder if the format holders will even bother with official magazines for the next generation? Sony and MS have very good channels of communication to players, although I'm not so sure about Nintendo.
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Show all comments (18)
Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.4 years ago
Matt, Nintendo has a weekly video segment called Nintendo Week they publish on the Nintendo Channel for Wii. I suspect this will carry over (and hopefully be expanded a little) for Wii U.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 4 years ago
Lots of those numbers are unsustainable. Expect a cull.

A magazine can still do things that the internet can't. But whether this has enough marginal utility to support a business model is a different matter.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 4 years ago
@Andreas
We tear out pages from magazines, stick them on the wall, write on them etc etc
Also I prefer to read a mag over an electronic device in the corner of a pub, on a late night tube etc etc

I read my Kindle more than books, but I am happier having my Economist and Private Eye made from dead trees.
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I'd hate to tear our pages from a Mag. Far better to print it via the printer and mount it on a board.
Digital mags and newspapers hold up well on the ipad as a collection, although every now and then the broadsheet is useful for recyling as pet litter. Whereas Magazines just stack up somewhere, taking up space without the ability to merge reviews or certain articles into one nice binder. That way all the non relevant fluff like news/gossip/ads can be discarded.

The Game mags will probably rely heavily on advertising from related game/non gaming proponents, but with the rise of digital, its hard to say how effective the final readership will be. All in all, game mags will need to downsize and go the way of Times (which has a fantastic digital wall/article)
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matthew bennion Web Development 4 years ago
I'd say magazines need to work more on features and general articles than news and reviews in order to create more exclusivity

Edited 1 times. Last edit by matthew bennion on 16th February 2012 4:41pm

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Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis4 years ago
I get EDGE on Zinio on my iPad now days and it costs a fraction of the price of the paper version.

I think the main hurdle for magazines is purely timing.
People are used to getting news as it happens with the Internet and getting it free, getting news a month after it happened and paying for it just isn't going to appeal to people and there are only so many previews you can do to be interesting.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Barrie Tingle on 16th February 2012 9:19pm

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Jason Sartor Copy editor/Videographer, Florida Today4 years ago
I get the print edition of EDGE and like the magazine more than reading the material on a video screen. I like the ability to take it everywhere, flipping through pages, marking different pages and columns and being able to grab it whenever I want or to have it next to any other periodical to compare the previews with the reviews or checking the feature on a studio from one issue to the game development feature in another issue side by side.
I am going to miss the glossy pages, layout, design, ease on the eyes and use of printed paper.
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Jasdeep Sahota Studying Business and Marketing, De Montfort University4 years ago
I've been a loyal follower of PSM3/PSM2 for the best part of a decade, so it's sad to see print suffering across the board. I hope the mags can be effectively phased into digital formats soon as I'd hate to see them go away for good.
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Mags are good for the loo period :)
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Roland Austinat roland austinat media productions|consulting, IDG, Computec, Spiegel Online4 years ago
@Andreas, you can store them as long as the cloud where they are stored doesn't decide that your rights have expired or that they don't want to store them anymore. See the Kindle erasing books over night, that was a good story a few months back.

That said, I'm an EDGE subscriber since the mid 90s, today that's about the only magazine I still read in printed form on the games industry. Because it's doing something different than the net and other magazines are doing - I have yet to find as many good reports about sometimes even obtuse topics (memory card symbols anyone?) anywhere else.

Plus I can read it on the beach, in bed, on the bus, in the bathroom and it doesn't need batteries - passes my "b test" with flying colors. Oh, and I see the colors - mostly - as intended by the page designers. On a reflecting monitor, maybe dimmed down to save battery power, without proper calibration to boot? Well.
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Rob Jenkins marketing manager, Gametraders4 years ago
I too love Edge and in general printed magazines, but to me it seems they may go the same way music CDs went. Smaller sales - I think clever publishers should get aggressive in digital format, drop the price to a desirable amount and sell via the Apple magazine center or similar. Plus add an app like Flipboard where daily updates can come in via the web for free for subscribers... Future and other publishers need to see it won't get better for print. Plus people are liking digital versions because of their environmentally friendly delivery - no paper = no trees.
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Tony Johns4 years ago
I love Edge and GamesTM.

I also love Retro Gamer for their information on past games.

So it would be sad to see them all go.
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Rodney Smith Developer 4 years ago
I love Edge but magazines are yesterday. I can't even remember when I last bought one.
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 4 years ago
Stick it out on ipad and tablet for half the price and it'll sell (if the quality is right) . In this climate I can't justify 5 quid for a mag I'll throw away.



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Jamie Read 3D Artist, Neon Play Ltd4 years ago
I now kind of feel bad for cancelling my Official Nintendo Magazine subscription last week. At least the Official Nintendo Magazine was 3.99 and not 6 like some of them and I had got a decent saving and free 3ds game for subscribing.
I think the main reason for me for dropping the subscription is 1. Having piles of physical magazines takes up room 2. By the time the magazine came out, it was already old-ish news 3. I read most of its contents on other webisites for FREE.
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