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Mixed fortunes for Future’s games titles

Edge posts record ABC as gamers look forward to next-generation consoles
[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Game Developer and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource Games Press]

16/02/06 - Future today releases the latest ABC audited circulation figures for all 11 games titles in its UK portfolio of 100 regular magazines. The games portfolio is audited six monthly.

As expected, sales of Future's games magazines held firm as UK games players look forward to the next-generation of gaming hardware. Despite the transitory period, highlights amongst the figures include multi-format magazine Edge posted its highest ever ABC figure and PC games titles, PC Gamer and PC Zone showing improved second-half performance in 2005.

UK games circulation information

Revered multi-format games title Edge posted an impressive 16.4% year-on-year and 7.9% period-on-period rise to 33,522 copies, its highest ABC figure since it launched in 1993. The sharp rise in sales of Edge comes as the magazine continues to break news on the next-generation consoles to its audience of hardcore early-adopters.

Future's PC gaming portfolio, PC Gamer and PC Zone both recorded small period-on-period increases in the second half of 2005, with PC Zone selling 33,580 copies and PC Gamer 48,699. Both titles have undergone successful redesigns and editorial refocuses to ensure they continue to meet the demands of the loyal enthusiasts they serve.

Official PlayStation 2 Magazine held steady throughout 2005, posting a small second half decline of 0.9% to 132,069 monthly copies.

Overall, Future's PlayStation portfolio grew period-on-period in the second half of 2005, thanks to a strong showing for its PSP focussed Official PlayStation 2 Magazine specials, with an ABC of 31,859.

As gamers move away from the first-generation console, Official Xbox Magazine declined 24.3% period-on-period in the second half of 2005 to 64,403 copies. Future launched Xbox 360: The Official Xbox Magazine in September 2005, which will post its debut ABC in due course.

Xbox World 360 reported a growth of 3.1% period-on-period to 19,048 copies as it benefits from its new next-generation focus. The magazine continues to grow and is currently the best-selling unofficial 360 title in a competitive sector.

PSW remains the UK's best-selling unofficial PlayStation magazine, with an ABC of 43,708 copies per month.

Future's unofficial Nintendo title, NGC falls 18.1% in the second half of 2005, period-on-period to 11,200 monthly copies. With the launch of Official Nintendo Magazine by Future, NGC remains part of the company's Nintendo portfolio and will evolve later this year, as the new home console, codenamed Revolution, is launched.

James Ashton-Tyler, Group Publisher for Future's London entertainment titles, said:

"As expected trading has remained challenging over the last six months for our gaming portfolio, but several titles have announced some second-half circulation improvements over the first six months of 2005. We also have a lot of exciting new developments to look forward to in the year ahead."

James Binns, Group Publisher for Future's Bath entertainment titles, added:

"Edge's ABC performance demonstrates that early adopters are already soaking up information on the next-generation consoles and Future is perfectly poised to take advantage of the new wave in 2006. With strong Official partnerships in place, we also look forward to reinvigorating our unofficial titles like PSM2 and NGC"

ENDS

Editors' notes

Period-on-period - Compares the performance of titles in the ABC period of July - Dec 05 over Jan - June 05.

Year-on-year - Compares the performance of titles in the ABC period of July - Dec 05 against July - Dec 05.

A breakdown of the ABC figures for Future's individual UK titles audited for the period for Jan - Dec 2005 and Jul - Dec 2005

[table]Magazine | July-Dec 2005

Official PlayStation 2 Magazine | 132,069

Official Xbox Magazine | 64,403

GamesMaster | 55,520

PC Gamer | 48,699

PSW | 43,708

PSM2 | 40,428

PC Zone | 33,580

Edge | 33,522

Official PlayStation 2 Special Edition | 31,859

Xbox World 360 | 19,048

NGC | 11,200[/table]

For more information:

Will Guyatt, Media Relations Manager, 01225 822517

Terri Davey, Group Communications, 01225 822774

About Future

Future plc is an international special-interest media group with offices in the UK, US, France and Italy. Founded in 1985 with one UK magazine, today it creates over 150 special-interest publications, websites and events with strong portfolios in the computing, games, music, automotive, sports, crafts and leisure sectors. Future employs over 1,500 people worldwide. It is the fifth largest magazine publisher in the UK and the 11th largest US magazine publisher at newsstand by retail sales value. Over 100 international editions of Future's magazines are also published under licence in 30 other countries across the world. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange (symbol FUTR).

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