How did the ABCs go for you?
We know that 360 Gamer has seen good growth, up to 13,928 from around 12,500 last time. The 360 Gamer team works bloody hard to turn around a great quality magazine every three weeks, which helps it stand out.
Does the three-week lifecycle of each issue work to your advantage?
Yeah it does, in a couple of ways. Firstly, we are able to break news quicker than our rivals and time things better for exclusives – we get some covers that others wouldn't off the back of that. It's a good point of difference for PR and marketing people. The other way in which it's of benefit to us is the RSV – the Retail Sales Value. The cover price we have, 2.89, is equivalent to something like 4.20 per month – which is a tempting amount for retail.
What does 360 Gamer offer that its rivals can't?
We've got as much value in terms of quality and quantity of pages and content as any of our competitors. It's a bit cheaper, so it provides a bit more value for the punter, and as well as using the daily updated news site on 360Gamer.com, the fact it's out every three weeks means we tend to get scoops compared to other specialist 360 consumer mags. We've also got nice covers and well-timed features that the other 360 mags don't.
You have Yu-Gi-Oh! and NEO magazines on your books. Do these sell well with gamers?
NEO in particular often has games features. We certainly know from surveys that nearly all NEO readers are gamers, even though they tend to skew towards Nintendo or PlayStation as opposed to Xbox. But it's a good example of a non-video games magazine that offers both PR and advertisers a defined audience. They know it can work for certain, particular types of games. Yu-Gi-Oh!'s readers are a younger audience, and more likely to be handheld gamers.
You don't have a Nintendo or PlayStation publication. Why?
We'd all like to launch a PS3 and a Wii title. It's been considered more times than I could tell you. But when you look at the market you can see it's crowded. Last year, we saw a Wii mag that performed at less than 10,000 sales and the closure of a PlayStation magazine that was doing nearer 5,000. If we could do something in that market and didn't feel like we were overcrowding it we'd be happy to give it a go. We've certainly got the capacity and the ability. But we'll maintain our focus in other areas for now.
How is Gamer.tm evolving?
It's working out well for us. We launched in October, and we had three staff on it. Luke Albiges is the editor on it. Jay Filmer has a very good background in video games journalism, and he was one of the main factors in the development of the Gamer.tm site. We tried to make it look a lot different than other multiformat video games portals out there.
How do you differentiate it from other consumer sites?
We've tried to change the way that things can be searched so it feels easier. It also stretches across the whole screen, so if you're looking at it on a widescreen monitor, it fills the complete space. It makes the site look more immersive. We've got a couple of hundred thousand unique visitors and growing – we're pitching that as Gamer.tm being the fastest growing multiformat consumer site out there.
Do you have any concerns about the online, multiformat consumer market being crowded?
There are few out there, aren't there? We're just trying to provide something a bit different. Consumers are seeing that and we're carving out our own niche, so we're beginning to achieve our aims. We don't want to make a ‘me too' site that does things that already exist. That just dilutes the market.