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The most recent ABC circulation figures for games magazines demonstrate what we all knew - that readership is going down. We know this because they're getting lighter - thanks to fewer ads which means advertisers see fewer people or better alternatives.

There's irony a-plenty with the figures too. Dreamcast mags have actually gone up. But then this is probably something to do with concern that it was to be canned. Seeing as the console has now been scrapped, we heavily doubt this success will continue.

Playstation mags go down. The two worst are Future's Official PlayStation Magazine which plummeted to 215,508 from 300,459 and PlayStation World, which came from a promising first ABC of 100,374 but has gone down to 62,946. Future's bad time continues with drops across the board: PlayStation Power, PlayStation Max, PC Gamer, PC Format and Edge. The company is in trouble - apparent in its decision today to cut 350 jobs in the UK and US.

Paragon and Dennis also saw declines across almost their entire games portfolio. The only company that came out well was Emap. And here's another irony - Emap has since decided to sell its entire games portfolio to Dennis. On-the-ball games site MCV says that CVG Online, The Player, Computer among others will be whisked over to Dennis next week.

The details haven't been disclosed of course, but there was a fairly positive comment from Dennis' MD - all about investment and no expected redundancies, so hopefully not too many people will be laid off.

Why the fall? The Internet. The fact is that while many people will always buy magazines, the credibility of games Web sites has rocketed. Most magazines readers don't know and don't care that magazine content is often skewed by commercial pressure from computer companies. What they do know is that Web sites are fast, friendly and more consistently accurate. ®

Related Links

MCV
The Audit Bureau of Circulation

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Future slashes 90 jobs in UK
Sega takes UK Dreamcast to under £100
Sega to cease Dreamcast production

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