U.S. game magazine (EGM, Games For Windows) and website (1UP.com) firm the Ziff Davis Game Group has announced that it will discontinue publication of the Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine after the January 2007 issue.
A statement from the company explains: "The Game Group is laser-focused on continuing to expand its rapidly growing digital media presence and on further strengthening its multiplatform properties and powerful integrated network. As such, the Game Group has determined that Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, a property licensed from Sony Computer Entertainment America and limited to print, no longer fits its strategic vision."
According to the firm, Sony Computer Entertainment America will remain a key content and marketing partner for Ziff Davis Game Group, which will cover SCEA's PlayStation 3 and first-party games extensively across all of its media outlets, including EGM, 1UP.com, and GameVideos.com. The Game Group editorial team will also "work closely with SCEA in the development of digital content for the PlayStation Network, accessible only through the PS3."
Due to the long-term decline in the magazine advertising market, Ziff Davis has been gradually transitioning away from print for some time, aggressively building up 1UP.com as its central website portal. The company, which has previously closed magazines including XBN and GMR, most 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.
Scott McCarthy, President of Ziff Davis Game Group, explanied of the overall move: "The powerful online capabilities of the exciting PlayStation 3, coupled with ever- increasing broadband penetration in the U.S., allow for much more efficient distribution of game demos, videos, and trailers. With this next generation of game consoles, the days of having to bundle a disc with a magazine to distribute games-related content are over. And the disc has clearly been a major driver for consumer interest in premium-priced, platform-specific magazines in the past, when the magazine disc was the only way gamers could get such content."