Gaming magazines aren’t dead yet

It seems like everyone is saying “print is dead” lately, especially when it comes to videogame magazines. Even though I write for a gaming Web site, I really enjoy reading gaming mags — even the sh*tty ones. Does anyone remember Gamefan? That magazine was both terrible and awesome at the same time. 

But print is not dead yet, and things are starting to look up… for the UK pubs, at least. Future Publishing’s numbers say that they’re actually reporting growth for their gaming rags.

Future has released the results of the ABC audit (whatever that is) of its print products, which showed growth in their nine gaming publications. Their Official Nintendo Magazine saw an increase of almost 28% over last year’s sales numbers. The Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox 360: The Official Magazine also saw increases of 12 and 2.2% respectively.

James Binns, publishing director of games, says that this growth may have something to do with their specialized focus. He says that “what people don’t want is general interest stuff.”

Binns on Web sites: “Web sites are so good at first access content. You’ve really got to play to the strengths of the media… If you want to know about a great game first, probably, the web’s the best place to go… [but] our readers have always said in surveys that the main reason they buy us for is for reviews – reading a review in print is still quite nice and print has such a legacy of respect which is one of the reasons we keep coming back.”

I wonder how our US magazines are doing. EGM is looking (and reading) pretty thin these days, while Game Informer gets better by the month. And Play? That’s like an ugly girl under a lot of makeup. Pass.

What do you read? Is print dead? Wouldn’t a Destructoid mag be the worst thing ever?

Dale North