It is obvious the mainstream media doesn’t get gaming. Games aren’t reviewed next to films, music or books in the papers or on TV’s culture programmes. Only the men’s mag market manage a decent showing. But, that will change as we get editors who grew up with a PSOne, rather than those who grew up with a steam train.
What factors do you think can change this attitude toward gaming?
Games becoming big-selling mass market items help. What doesn’t help is the lack of willingness for games companies to advertise in papers and many magazines – simply put, if no games advertisers want to be in The Guardian (or Grazia, or whatever), then there’s little pressure to be brought on the editorial side for coverage.
Also, the me-too, sequel-led nature of the games industry doesn’t help either. Editors show increasing resistance to covering the same game over and over again, with only a few tiny changes between versions.
Do you think magazine publishers are still struggling to fully take advantage of both print and web?
I don’t think anyone’s got the print and web relationship quite right yet – including readers. But I still feel that good content will attract loyal fans wherever. Too often, the specialist press pays peanuts and gets monkeys. And then wonders why its readers are so fickle.
Do you think the number of gaming websites out there has reached saturation point?
There is plenty of room in the market for more sites, and even more magazines. But both need to do much more to differentiate themselves. Not everyone can be IGN (or fairly obviously Official Xbox). So stop trying!