Game Informer Magazine Launches Aussie Edition

Game Informer is the world's most read games magazine, with over three million subscribers in the US. Now it's getting an Australian version.

Due to launch before the end of the year, the Aussie edition of Game Informer will be published by Citrus Media and backed by EB Games. Much of Game Informer's success overseas is down to its relationship with Gamestop, the biggest games retailer in the US and owner of EB Games. Gamestop customers get cheap subscriptions, you see. And with a readership of that size, Game Informer is often the first print publication to bring news of the biggest games.

We caught up with Game Informer Australia's launch editor Chris Stead, former editor of Australian GamePro and Gameplayer.com.au, for a quick chat about what you can expect.

Hey Chris, when's the first issue out? The first issue will be available before Christmas. Your readers should sign-up to the Facebook group Game Informer Australia to get updated on exact dates in the coming weeks.

So you're the editor, but who else do you have on the local staff? I’m the editor. We will have a local freelance team as well, headed up by Adam Mathew who I believe is one of the great reviewers on the local scene.

What's the relationship with EB? Will EB members get it free? EB Games will play a huge role in our distribution model, but that is the extent of the relationship. You’ll be able to pick the magazine up at the counter when you’re doing your games shopping at the bargain price of $4.95 and we’ve briefed the EB staff on just why Game Informer is considered the number 1 games magazine on the planet, so they’ll be helping us get the word out there. You’ll also be able to pick up a pretty amazing subscription offer through the stores. And that’s where the relationship stops - the magazine’s editorial independence is complete, it is solely distribution.

Will it be distributed in store and newsagents? As well as picking it up at EB, you will be able to find it at newsagents across the country for the same price. However, I believe that most Aussie gamers will feel compelled to subscribe once they get the product in their hands and get a feel for just how ahead of the game it is... especially as subscribing is so cheap. The way we’re positioning it and the content that we have, it’ll be a no-brainer.

What's your mission statement for the mag? To give Australian gamers the respect they deserve by getting them access to the biggest and best world exclusives first, and to ensure that the local scene gets representation in the world’s number one gaming publication.

How do you see Game Informer as compared to your most obvious competitor, Hyper? I am a big fan of Hyper: like many (if not all) journos in the local industry I had my ‘levelling-up’ period through the mag back in the '90s and that affection remains. Game Informer is on another level, however. The US magazine gets the biggest and the best things first, even ahead of online. I have access to all that content, plus the opportunities that I generate locally as well. It’s powerful stuff, especially as we will be going on sale more-or-less alongside the US – we’re a concurrent publication, not an out-dated port, which I hope shows the level of respect we have for the local gamers. That said, Hyper has battled through plenty of challenges over the last two decades, and I am sure the competition will work to the benefit of both mags’ editorial.

Won't you just be pimping EB preorders and used games? Editorially we will not be pimping anything that we don’t think the locals will enjoy reading. I guess sometimes that may be a pre-order if it is stupid cool (like night vision goggles). But that’ll be it. I can’t see any reason to talk up used games at all: really Game Informer is all about the present and future.

And finally... isn't print dead? Not at all. The US magazine has 3.6 million subscribers, which is a pretty long way from dead. I’ve just spent two-and-a-half years running a games website and to be honest, I think the anarchy of the medium acts to undermine it. In general, good editorial falls flat, and crap editorial rakes in the hits and there’s too much pressure to deliver traffic on an hourly basis for a lot of sites: editorial quality is the first thing to buckle. I am really looking forward to focusing over the course of a month on one product and channelling all that is awesome into it. With the unmissable cover features that the lads over in the US consistently nail and our price point, I think we’ll be offering something that will more than compete with online. It’s certainly going to be a fun finding out!

Thanks Chris. I'm curious to hear from you: do you still buy games magazines? If so, which ones? And are you interested in Game Informer?


Comments

    Sounds good. I'lll try and grab the first edition and see how it goes.

    May have a read in me if the price remains the same and content is read worthy.

      The US Game Informer Mag has a podcast out now, which gives you a good idea of what the mag is going to be like. It is a great podcast. Check it out.

    I'm a big fan of Chris's work and enjoyed his stuff on the GamePlayer website but I can't justify handing over cash for a magazine when I can get the same info for free on this website, podcasts like ours or Drunken Gamers Radio and internet shows like The Benny and Richie Show or Gametrailers TV.

    I've joined the Facebook Group so it should give a good indication if a copy has something I can't get online.

      What's a 'magazine'?? :P

      I don't see how they can survive in an area such as videogames, where so much changes on a daily/weekly basis, let alone in a month, which is pretty much the time that it takes them to compile and issue and have it to subscribers and stores.

      The only thing that magazines seem to do alright with these days are exclusive previews, but even then, scans make it online and around the world before the magazines do.

      There will ALWAYS be a market for print media.

      It offers a completly different experiance to online. I, for example, work part time at a coffee shop, and a magazine like this is perfect to read during my lunch break. Also during brekfast, instead of our horrible horrible newspapers (the herald sun should be a tabloid for gods sake), or on the train/bus or just at uni, waiting for your next class to start.

      Granted, online media are moving towards closing that gap, with things like the iphone giving us the portability that print media has had for so long, but it's still not quite there yet.

      Another thing magazines are good for are really in depth reviews. Again, not saying anything bad to things like good game or kotaku, but your reviews are often fairly brief and don't tell us too much about the game. Long reviews like on IGN or Gamespot are okay, but who really wants to be staring at the screen reading text for so long? Long reviews in magazines are well edited, well planned out, and easier to read

        I've given up on text reviews - we write them on our website but only after we review them on the show.

        I think if you listen to a podcast or watch a review on a show you can genuinely tell if someone actually likes the game or not. Especially as most podcasts or TV shows are made by people who actually spend their own cash - so these are the people that are going to be the most honest about whether they got their money's worth or not. They don't have to worry about advertising or pissing off PR.

        Of course weeding out the fanboys might take some time but there are plenty of great shows out there that give their honest opinion for free.

    Hyper

    Hyper has been mode advertisements than actual writing for years now.

      I just flicked through my issue and counted all the ads... there really aren't that many, actually. Not compared to other mags out there. I wouldn't count back cover and the inside covers because no magazine actually has content on those pages. :P

        Who are you? Hyper e-damage control? lol.

          Well he could be that, or perhaps he's someone who enjoys facts rather than anecdotal evidence provided by someone on the internet.

          Just saying.

    Will be subscribing.

    It will be interesting to see what happens to Gameplayer.com, looks like another forum move is on the way.

    Eyes get tired looking at monitors all day so they could do with a break.

    $4.95 is pretty good for its retail price. Is it released monthly?

    $4.95 is a fantastic retail price. I currently get PC PowerPlay for $7.95, and i think hyper is similarly priced?

    Sweet, going to subscribe now. About time we got an aussie version :D

    Hyper has gone up to $9.95 :(

    That's okay though, because the mag is fantastic. Dan Staines, especially.

    could be cool

    I'll check it out and see if it grows on me.

    I used to subscribe and brought Hyper since day one with the flaming basketball on the cover (and after 'Megazone' died) and boy, how I loved it. I related with the reviewers, their in magazine jokes, loved their special articles, won prizes, got a few letters published and would 'most' of the time agree with the reviews of the games I loved or loathed. Now since early 'this year' it's sad to say I struggle to look at Hyper when I browse through the gaming section at my local newsagent. For some reason I don't like their new direction (except changing the review score to out of 10). I can't relate to the reviewers, the articles no longer interest me and I usually feel more angry/frustrated about their reviews that I'm constantly disagreeing with. Maybe it's because I'm quickly reaching 30 and I've grown older then it's younger reviewers and the magazine feels more targeted at my year 6 students. Maybe it's because international websites and 'official' magazines are getting review copies months in advance and out before the release of the game. Or maybe, just maybe it just not that good as it once was!

    I now read OXM or OPSM. And 4-5 years ago anything with the word 'Official' in it I wouldn't have looked twice at. Now I'm little more mature, it's a lot easier to see when someone is trying to bullsh!t you into buying their exclusive game.

    cheapest gaming mag ever

    about time

    "EB Games will play a huge role in our distribution model, but that is the extent of the relationship. You’ll be able to pick the magazine up at the counter when you’re doing your games shopping at the bargain price of $4.95 and we’ve briefed the EB staff on just why Game Informer is considered the number 1 games magazine on the planet, so they’ll be helping us get the word out there."

    I'm worried if this means that EBgames employees will start pestering its customers to subscribe to this magazine. I mean, its a nice magazine and all but I don't want to be given a sales pitch every time I buy a game.

    I may be wrong, but I have heard that in America the employees at Gamestop HAVE to ask you for a subscription to meet a quota or something just as annoying.

      Yes I'm sure we will ask for subscriptions, but we don't really HAVE to ask, although we do have targets to reach. For me it will be a pride thing... the mag launched in Italy (who's gaming industry is supposedly similarly size to aus.) and now has over 60,000 subs, making it the largest gaming mag there, I'd love to beat them! :)

    YOU ALL HAVE TO CHECK THIS OUT.
    Go to youtube.com
    type in : Gears of War Game Chamber

    a very serious setup and it is for sale..

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