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Nintendo Power Publisher Future Considering Magazine Closures
Nintendo Power Publisher Future Considering Magazine Closures
September 28, 2011 | By Frank Cifaldi

September 28, 2011 | By Frank Cifaldi

United Kingdom lifestyle website and magazine publisher Future plc has long publicized its challenge in maintaining operations in the United States, but if recent statements are an indicator, the company may announce a major move soon.

In a note to investors ahead of the close of its fiscal year on September 30, company representatives said that a challenging quarter means that the company will not only accelerate its plans to transition Future U.S. to a primarily digital model, it is also now considering more drastic measures.

"With trading conditions in the U.S. reflecting ongoing weakness and decreasing visibility at newsstand, and an acceleration in the year-on-year growth rate in digital revenues, the Board is now considering a wider range of strategic options in respect of its U.S. operations," the note said, possibly referencing a split or sale of the division.

In the United States, Future publishes the three official console magazines -- PlayStation: The Official Magazine, Official Xbox Magazine and Nintendo Power -- along with PC Gamer, retailer Best Buy-partnered @Gamer, and websites that include GamesRadar. Its British parent is best-known as the publisher of that region's Edge.

Plans to accelerate the U.S. division to digital were announced in July, though the company says that during the last quarter, the position has become "more challenging, reflecting a combination of a much smaller scale of business; the radically different business model applicable to US magazine publishing generally compared with the UK; limited portfolio protection with exposure to only three special-interest sectors; and a faster-declining print advertising market."

Future plc will announce its preliminary results for the fiscal year on November 24, and promises a "further update and blueprint for 2012 and beyond" for its U.S. division at that time. The company expects a six percent drop in revenues.

Of note, the company says an earlier restructuring of its UK division to "ensure even faster growth in digital and more efficient execution of print" resulted in a 10 percent staff cut.

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is this a surprise? dead platform, dead format. who knew?

Cody Scott
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i wouldnt say traditional media is dead, id say the price is too high. I prefer a physical copy over file stored on a computer.

Jen Bauer
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I loved Nintendo Power, but I stopped subscribing around the time the GameCube came out. I have been begging them for a digital format of the magazine (especially the older mags, which I still have but are coming apart due to age/how much I thrashed them around when I was younger). I hope they'll consider a legal means of purchasing current and older issues digitally soon for us old folk.

Russell Carroll
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I think it is sad.

In the internet age I've found there is a wealth of articles, but not very much in-depth information. I get Nintendo Power every month and am always shocked by how much more information I get out of it than in all the quickie internet articles put together.

Somehow in the movement to the web we've left a lot of information behind.

When NP is discontinued, and I'm sure that day is coming, I'll be sad to have lost a great resource that provides information and depth of coverage I find no-where else.

Ali Afshari
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Yes, now it seems like a rush to get the latest blurb about a hot new title, or which rockstar dev said what about a console's hardware limits, than actual quality articles.

Dan MacDonald
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Edge is one of the few magazines I still subscribe to. I would be sad if it went away.

c anderson
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I don't give a crap about Nintendo Power; however I do care about other magazines Future produces including PCGamer. I would be sad if it went away.

Eric Geer
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The problem with Nintendo Power--is well...Nintendo--Don't get me wrong--I love Nintendo--and I love their games--maybe in say Japan the magazine would be great because they actually get lots of great games--here in the States the games released for Nintendo platforms have been games that aren't really interesting for the fans would actually buy the magazine---the casual audience that Nintendo has tried so hard to grab onto is not the fanbase that is going to pick up magazines to find out what's coming down the line---its the core audience that buys the magazines. Only two noteworthy games left for the Wii in the US are Kirby and Zelda--not much press to print on that. Maybe if Nintendo Power can hold on until WiiUs release there might be a resurgence of demand for the magazine.

Arthur Tam
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This combined with the fact that they shut down the official Nintendo forums for the most part because they probably didn't want to maintain them seems like they will be seeing a relative drought in self generated press, which will make things harder for them since it will be left in the hands of the online news blurbs, which will be more prone to extremes than a rational journalist perspective.