UK games mag figures make for uneasy reading

Will there still be videogame magazines on the shelves in 10 years time? I’d like to think so, but the latest ABC figures for UK magazine circulation suggest otherwise.

Out of the 14 magazines listed, only The Official Xbox Magazine saw a rise in readers… if you can call 25 extra readers a rise. The Official Nintendo Magazine and GamesMaster took the biggest hit, each seeing a loss of around 6,000 readers.

I’m surprised by this as GamesMaster has recently re-launched and usually comes with free gift such as last month’s Mortal Kombat 3D mouse mat and this month’s Zelda belt.

The ABC figures in full, courtesy of MCV:

Official PlayStation (Future)
2010: 46,012
2009: 47,033

Official Xbox (Future)
2010: 60,859
2009: 60,834

Official Nintendo (Future)
2010: 45,015
2009: 51,271

GamesMaster (Future)
2010: 28,003
2009: 34,313

EDGE (Future)
2010: 28,051
2009: 29,007

gamesTM (Imagine)
2010: 18,024
2009: 20,013

NGamer (Future)
2010: 10,589
2009: 12,499

PCGamer (Future)
2010: 25,019
2009: 26,487

360Gamer (Uncooked)
July – December 2010: 15,325
January – June 2010: 14,288
July – December 2009: 18,527

Xbox World 360 (Future)
2010: 23,061
2009: 25,874

360 (Imagine)
2010: 11,183
2009: 14,116

X360 (Imagine)
2010: 24,090
July – December 2009: 26,532
January – June 2009: 26,092

Play (Imagine)
2010: 21,735
2009: 24,062

PSM3 (Future)
2010: 20,640
2009: 21,224

Adding insult to injury, ABC have also published figures for licensed kid’s magazines. The Ben 10 magazine sells an astonishing average of 71,104 copies while the Toy Story magazine debuted at 48,525.

Maybe it’s time for the likes of EDGE to start sticking free freebies and such to their front covers?

Matt Gander

Matt is Games Asylum's most prolific writer, having produced a non-stop stream of articles since 2001. A retro collector and bargain hunter, his knowledge has been found in the pages of tree-based publication Retro Gamer.

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  • I think you might be the only one interested in a Mortal Kombat 3D mouse mat, Matt. Do you even use a mouse mat? Does anyone?

    The kids’ magazines sell because the brands – Ben 10 in particular – are insanely popular. Not because of the freebies.

  • The free gifts aren’t of interest to me, but I’m sure they are to somebody. If anything, they help a magazine become an impulse buy?

    If kid’s magazines sell well because of the brand, why do they ALWAYS have a freebie attached? Even the Beano has a gift with every issue. In my day, that sold well just because it was funny and cost about 30p.

  • Those NGamer figures are downright depressing. If I’m being honest, though, NGamer undersell themselves in my opinion.

    There’s lots of intelligent and passionate writing in there, but the colour scheme is a little heavy on the primaries. Plus, the freebies are a wee bit naff. I know Nintendo games generally contain colours that weren’t previously invented, but perhaps it’s time NGamer Magazine aimed for the readers they deserve?

    I’ve been a fan ever since the early NGC days, but I do find myself feeling slightly embarrassed/hesitant when I consider recommending the magazine to someone who isn’t as enthusiastic about the subject as I am.

  • In an ideal world, ONM would be aimed at the casual and NGamer at the hardcore. Say, Nintendo fans age 15+, but I expect their readership is way below that.

    I don’t mind the colours they use but the free gifts vary from ‘straight in the bin’ to ‘ohh, that’s quite nice’.

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