So, Does Japan Actually Read Game Magazines?

Apparently! Some people read Japanese game magazines like Famitsu when scans leak early onto the internet. Other people actually buy the print publications. But how many?

The Japanese Magazine Publishers Association has released circulation numbers for domestic video games magazines. Data is between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009.

Title: Weekly Famitsu

Publisher: Enterbrain

Circulation: 500,000

Dengeki Nintendo DS

ASCII Media Works

160,000

Famitsu PSP+PS3

Enterbrain

150,000

Dengeki PlayStation

ASCII Media Works

131,061*

Arcadia

Enterbrain

120,000

Dengeki G's Magazine

ASCII Media Works

120,000

Famitsu Xbox 360

Enterbrain

120,000

Famitsu DS+Wii

Enterbrain

100,417*

Dengeki Maoh

ASCII Media Works

100,000

Famitsu Wave DVD

Enterbrain

100,000

Dengeki Girl's Style

ASCII Media Works

80,000

Dengeki Hime

ASCII Media Works

80,000

Famitsu Connect! On

Enterbrain

80,000

B's-LOG

Enterbrain

50,000

Game Japan

Hobby Japan

30,000

*verified circulation

To put things in context, American magazine Game Informer has 3.5 million readers, dwarfing Weekly Famitsu's circulation. However, Game Informer is owned by GameStop, America's largest game retailer, which does not exactly provide a level playing field for competing print publications in GameStop shops. Famitsu is, it often seems, simply a mouthpiece for the Japanese game industry to put out press releases.

UK print magazine EDGE, on the other hand, has a circulation of approximately 28,000 as 2008 — a number that continues to tumble year after year. In comparison, Japanese magazines covering arcade games, dating games and erotic games all have larger circulations than EDGE.

The Japanese game mag industry is certainly more varied and niche than its Western counterparts. Whether or not it can continue to post healthy circulation numbers as mankind makes the transition from analogue to digital remains to be seen.

2009 Japanese Anime/Game Magazine Circulation Numbers [ANN][Pic]


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