Print is dead - a phrase we've almost come to accept as gospel, particularly when it comes to the tech savvy audience engaged in tech and video games. But, surprisingly, the latest readership and sales figures have shown that video game magazines are beginning to show a significant amount of growth - particularly over the last year.
Game Informer is the major success story, fresh off a successful launch in Australia. Game Informer now has a circulation of over 40,000 copies - the highest in the country. According to Editor Chris Stead, this success is the result of compelling content.
"I strongly believe that good, consistent content is enough to not only make print succeed, but thrive in today's market," he claimed. "It is absolutely possible to deliver an experience to a magazine consumer that they can't get anywhere else and to surprise them with new and interesting product and analysis from all corners of the gaming world. It's my goal to continue to amaze our readers with each and every issue and today's results give me great confidence that the Australian and New Zealand gamers are responding."
Of course, the fact that Game Informer is offered as part of an EB membership system, in combination with its $5 cover price, is a contributing factor to the magazine's success - but across the marketplace the general trend is upwards, even for more expensive magazines.
The Official PlayStation Magazine, which is price at $14.95 saw a 54% increase in its readership, with an estimated readership of 154,000, whilst the Official Xbox Magazine, retailing at a similar price, moved up 34% to a readership of 162,000.
In addition, both Hyper and PC Powerplay saw strong percentage increases in readership - 13% and 6.8% respectively.
While the numbers still pale in comparison to traffic seen on Australia's biggest gaming websites, these figures still buck the trend. It appears that gamers are still reading magazines, and are still interested in that experience.
Does anyone here still buy games magazines? If so which ones? I have a soft spot for print, having spent a long part of my career working on magazines, but now that I'm less involved in the day to day production I've found myself becoming less interested. That said, I think there is great content to be found in every games magazine published locally in Australia.
I'm keen to hear your thoughts!