UK games magazines have experienced a general slump in sales, with the transition period ahead of the launch of new formats hitting single-format titles the hardest, according to latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulation.
For the six-month period from January 1st to June 30th 2005, the UK’s biggest selling games title, Official PlayStation 2, fell from 172,593 copies per month to 133,242. Official Xbox Magazine’s circulation dropped from 88,136 to 85,072.
Elsewhere in the single-format console field, PSW, Play, XBM, Xbox World, P2, NGC, Cube and Nintendo Official Magazine all experienced drops. Emap’s NOM remains the biggest selling Nintendo title on 37,760, down from 44,195.
In the PC games sector, market leader PC Gamer fell from 54,442 to 48,326, PC Zone, which has recently relaunched, fell by almost 8,000 copies to 32,632, while PC Format managed to climb to 41,694.
Multi-format titles enjoyed mixed fortunes. Gamesmaster shed nearly 7,000 readers for the period, down to 55,388, while Edge capitalised on its next-gen coverage, rising slightly to record a six-month ABC of 31,078.
Overall, market leader Future’s portfolio of titles was down in circulation by 6.8 per cent year-on year to 513,773 per month. The firm’s PlayStation magazines were worst hit, down 18 per cent year-on-year to 229,126 copes per month.
“We’ve announced an unsurprisingly mixed bag of ABC results across our games portfolio,” commented Future Entertainment publishing director Mia Walter. “The overall decline of 6.8 per cent year-on-year comes at a quiet time in the current generation, with no big triple-A releases like Halo 2 or GTA: San Andreas.”