Gaming magazines in the U.K. have continued to suffer overall circulation declines, despite increases in Xbox 360 and Nintendo magazines.
Numbers provided by the Audit Bureau of Circulation in the U.K. indicate an increase in Official Xbox 360 Magazine to over 65,000, up from 56,000 for the six month period ended December 2006, and in Xbox World 360, which moved from 23,000 to 30,200 over the same period. Both magazines are produced by Future Publishing; other Xbox magazines, including 360 Gamer and X360 also made small jumps.
The Official Nintendo Magazine also saw an increase, moving to just under 48,000 from 43,000.
Overall, however, the picture for the videogame magazine industry appears bleak. Official PlayStation 2 Magazine numbers nosedived from over 76,000 to just over 44,000, while PlayStation World, PSM3 and Powerstation all experienced shrinkage as well. PC Gamer dropped to 43,620 from 41,599, while PC Zone declined from just over 27,000 to 24,385. Edge Magazine, which covers multiple formats, also suffered a drop from 35,145 copies to just over 30,000, while Games Master slid from 53,900 to 47,800.
Videogame magazines have come under increasing assault in recent years, as growing numbers of gamers turn to online sources for free and immediate information. Speaking in a recent interview with Sean Sands, Games For Windows Magazine Editor-In-Chief Jeff Green claimed “the rise of the internet” was largely responsible for changes in the gaming magazine landscape, but also that the magazines themselves also had to accept responsibility for failing to rise to the challenge. “I think frankly that it’s a good thing that this has happened,” he said. “Game magazines have sucked for forever now. So fat and lazy. So content just to go for the low-hanging fruit. The online competition has forced magazine editors to start thinking more creatively about what to put in their magazines.”