Have the rise in copy sales outstripped your forecasts at all?
The results haven’t really been a surprise to us – we’ve always been confident about our portfolio and obviously now we’ve claimed all the official licences for PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo. There have also been a lot of improvements over the year and we’ve seen the effects of that in the results. It’s been a great start for all the new magazines – there’s a long way to go but it’s early days.
For Nintendo there’s still a long way to go with Wii – every time it comes into retail it sells out. And DS is still piling on the users. Both those factors mean that there are plenty more opportunities to take Official Nintendo to the next level. On Xbox 360, again, I still think there’s more to come. The installed base is really well established, and there is still good software flow – there’s still plenty to come out of that. But I think Nintendo will be the dramatic one to rise – we’re very positive about that.
You recently teamed up with Panini for Girl Gamer. Do you think this reflects the changing demographic of gaming – and will you launch a mag to address that?
We’ve always been really flexible in what we do in terms of the gaming audience. Girl Gamer’s a good example of that, where we work hard to create a product that delivers games content to that audience.
I think you’ll see more of that – I don’t know if we’ll have a major launch aimed at the female gamers, but I can see us continuing to partner up, being flexible and quick on our feet – I think Girl Gamer is a good example of that.
One of the few circulation drops in your portfolio was on PC titles – why do you think that is? Has Imagine’s new PC mag had an impact on PC Zone and PC Gamer?
I think it’s clear consumers will try the new magazine, but we’re confident in the products we have – we’re pretty sure we’ll get those sales back, and of course online is a big factor in the PC market, more so that in any other market. We’ve recognised that already and we’ve adapted to meet that change.
One element Future has been criticised for in the past has been commitment to the web – do you think you’ve resolved that now?
I think we’ve totally addressed that issue. If you look at Gamesradar, we’ve just relaunched it, it looks fantastic and the traffic’s brilliant. We’ve got a great platform on which to build. We’re the third biggest online network in the world, and there’s way more to come. I think we’re in a great place.
Do you think Future’s recent success proves that print publishing remains a highly valued part of the games media market?
Our content is more relevant than ever before, and we’re reaching even more people with it. Our position in the market is as strong as it has ever has been.