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ABC figures reveal Future's magazine dominance

The latest circulation figures for UK magazines show that Future will hold slightly over 95 per cent market share if its bid for rival Highbury House is successful - but headline publication Official PlayStation 2 has seen a drop in sales.

The latest circulation figures for UK magazines show that Future will hold slightly over 95 per cent market share if its bid for rival Highbury House is successful - but headline publication Official PlayStation 2 has seen a drop in sales.

Future's titles currently hold just under 74 per cent market share, which increases to almost exactly 95 per cent if the circulation of Highbury House' titles is included in the figure.

Official PlayStation 2 continues to be the UK's best selling magazine by a huge margin, selling some 172,593 copies per month according to the ABC figures - more than twice the sales of its nearest rival, Future's own Official Xbox Magazine, which had 88,136 circulation.

The gap has closed somewhat, however - with OPS2 dropping around 15,000 sales since the last set of annual figures, while Official Xbox has picked up around 5,000 additional sales in the same period.

Also on the rise was Highbury's most popular magazine, Play, whose circulation rose by over 10,000 copies to 68,963 - just shy of the performance of Future's most popular unofficial magazine, PlayStation World, which had 70,077 circulation.

Future's Games Master has also seen a boost in circulation, no doubt assisted by the company's decision to purchase and subsequently suspend the production of its major rival, Computer And Video Games; Games Master rises from over 50,000 circulation in the last set of figures to over 62,000 in this year's.

Entirely less positive was the situation for PC games publications; market leader PC Gamer dropped 7000 copies a month to come up with 57,023 circulation, dipping below 60,000 for the first time in its annual ABCs, while main rival PC Zone lost nearly five thousand copies and dropped to 40,480 circulation.

Future's flagship multiformat title EDGE saw a very slight increase in sales year on year, rising to 28,790 circulation from 27,300 - not a major improvement, but enough to keep it comfortably ahead of its main rival, Highbury's gamesTM, which had circulation of just 20,117.

In total, the ABCs tracked average sales of 885,084 games magazines per month in the UK, spread across 19 titles.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz earlier this week, Future CEO Greg Ingham downplayed the importance of the ABC results, saying that his company is instead "very focused on delivering value to both readers and advertisers."

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Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.

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