Wednesday, November 15, 2006

US firm surrenders licence to online

US publisher Ziff Davis has announced it will close the official US Playstation Magazine after the next issue, due to the pressures of the internet. The publisher has already closed two other magazines, as it concetrates on building up internet portal site
It recently posted a quarterly loss of $0.5 million for its game division, citing "a decline in print advertising and circulation revenues", partially offset by online revenue increases.


For those not into gaming, the official licenced magazines were always seen as a surefire way to make cash from game fans, with most publishers competing for the kudos it gives to be official. Moving that proposition entirely online is a major step.

Partly this move is down to the practice of cover discs becoming essential to games mags. It raised the price substantially, and now that broadband has taken over, people are less likely to pay £7 for something they could download at home...
Partly it's down to advertising revenue shifting.
And partly it's because the publisher has not only realised a valid online offering, but also worked to create a viable portal site with a comprehensive range of titles. It's an alternative to having seperate sites for each title in your portfolio, and has also worked well for publisher Cnet.

There are blog posts already on 1up from ex-staff:

It also allows your editorial and advertising staff to work across titles, creating greater economies....

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?