The latest ABC circulation figures, covering the period from January to June 2002, have been released, showing significant gains for market leader Future Network in the field of games magazines – clocking up a 65 per cent share of the market, an all-time high for the company, and a 22 per cent rise in circulation for its games magazines as a whole.
Future now sells an average of 687,978 video games magazines each month – a significant chunk of which is accounted for by Official PlayStation 2 Magazine, with 195,293 sales per month on average, a rise of 138 per cent on the same period last year. PSM2 is next in line, with circulation of 81,464 – a rise of 83 per cent over last years figure, making it the second fastest growing monthly consumer magazine.
The company also dominates the Xbox sector thanks to its wholly-owned subsidiary, FXN International, which publishes two magazines – Official UK Xbox Magazine, with 38,409 circulation, and X Gamer, with 33,484, clocking in at first and second place in the sector respectively. Its leading GameCube publication, NGC, has a circulation of 30,626.
PC Gamer continues to be a strong seller for the company, being its third best selling title at 80,413 – just a little behind PSM2. Multi-format title GamesMaster has a circulation of 58,656 while highbrow games magazine EDGE improves its figures once again, with circulation of 31,063.
The weakest performing title in the portfolio is kids-focused PlayStation title PlayStation Max, which sells a paltry 24,779 copies a month. Outside the games division, the news is also good, with Total Film registering a 10 per cent year on year growth, and Metal Hammer up 16 per cent.
These are encouraging ABC figures, according to Future chief exec Greg Ingham, particularly in relation to our games magazines, which continue to show the benefits of the increased activity in the video games market… With the second half of the year traditionally the stronger one for our games magazines, we are in a good position to benefit if console sales perform as expected.