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Future takes a swing at magazine rival

Binns questions lack of clarity behind Imagine's PC games magazine

Future Publishing's James Binns has called out rival Imagine Publishing for not being transparent with its circulation figures.

Imagine's Total PC Gaming launched in November 2007, and although on issue 16, no official ABC figures have been released.

"What's interesting in the PC market is we had a competitor launch that hasn't revealed ABC's yet," said Binns in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz published today.

"Total PC Gaming has talked up quite a big talk and they're 16 issues in now and haven't owned up to their copy sales. If it was still 16 issues in and I was still hiding – it's weird for them to boast so much and then show so little," he added.

But despite being on the news stands for well over a year, Imagine's MD Damian Butt has said that the magazine is still in its launch phase, and needs time to build a fanbase.

"The reason we haven't ABC'd Total PC Gaming is because it's still in its launch phase, and we never ABC until the title has had time to establish itself," he said.

"Otherwise we would always be at a massive competitive disadvantage against those rival magazines that have had years to build up subs and export sales, which as you can see from the ABCs for PC Gamer and PC Zone are quite considerable."

Despite knocking its rival, circulation for Future's PC magazines were in decline again last year, with PC Gamer down to 32,619 readers, PC Zone down to 19,023 readers, and PC Format 18,003.

However, Binns is adamant neither of the titles will face the axe in the future, as they continue to remain profitable for the company.

"On those sales levels we still make a good profit. We're not vain about keeping them open," he said.

"The crossover in readership is really low because these magazines have such legacies. If we thought that one magazine might sell [what all three sell combined] we'd be fooling ourselves."

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