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ABCs: Future's games media continues to increase audience reach

Growth celebrated across print, digital and event portfolios

14/02/08 - In today's ABC magazine circulation figures, Future, the special-interest media group, continues to increase the combined audience of its games media. The company's print, website and event portfolios are reaching more gaming enthusiasts than ever before.

In the year to 31 December 2007, combined copy sales of Future's games magazines have increased by 23% - with growth on every console title in the business. The company's Official titles are spearheading growth, with significant double-digit increases for Future's established Microsoft and Nintendo magazines. Official Nintendo Magazine posted an increase of 37% year-on-year to 58,754 copies - the highest figure for any Nintendo magazine since 2001. Xbox 360: The Official Xbox Magazine held onto its position as the UK's best-selling games magazine with a 19% year-on-year increase to 66,894 copies.

Official PlayStation Magazine, the latest title to launch from Future's 13-year publishing partnership with Sony, announced a debut ABC of 46,018 copies, with the company revealing that sales of the title continuing to grow following the audit, thanks to the pre-Christmas price drop for the PlayStation 3 to?299.99, and an influx of Triple-A games.

Future's independent console titles also revealed welcome growth, with multi-format magazines Edge and GamesMaster reporting period-on-period increases. Xbox World 360 increased sales by 37% year-on-year to 31,698 copies. With a flow of quality games and a lower price point for the PlayStation 3, independent titles PSM3 and PSW also recorded period-on-period growth.

Thanks to the continuing success of the Nintendo DS and Wii consoles, Future's recent launch, the independent Nintendo title, NGamer posted a debut ABC of 17,047, making it the UK's best-selling unofficial Nintendo magazine.

Meanwhile, Future also reports significant growth for its portfolio of gaming websites. According to internal HBX statistics for January 2008, the GamesRadar ( www.gamesradar.com) network (including CVG.co.uk) now attracts 6.3m unique users a month - further widening exposure to Future'sgames media. The company's Golden Joystick Awards are unrivalled as the world's longest established gaming awards ceremony, and attracted an impressive 750,000 votes from UK gamers - an increase of more than 20% from the previous year.

Robert Price is Chief Executive of Future UK:

"The latest news from Future's games business shows there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful about gaming media. Future commands a rapidly growing audience of gaming enthusiasts, with marked increases in all areas of operation - across print, digital and event portfolios.

We've seen the rapid growth of the GamesRadar online network alongside an increase within our print portfolio, which demonstrates both can successfully co-exist. We continue to invest and invigorate our Official and independent games magazines - and Future now publishes all three official magazines for Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony in both the UK and US. More than ever Future now offers advertisers unrivalled access to a passionate audience of young males across multiple media platforms."

ENDS

About Future

Future plc is an international special-interest media group with offices in the UK and US. Founded in 1985 with one magazine, today it creates over 180 special-interest publications, websites and events, with strong portfolios in the games, technology, music, film and active sectors including sports, automotive and crafts. Future exports, syndicates or licenses its publications to 90 countries internationally. The Company employs more than 1,200 people and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (symbol FUTR).

For more information

Will Guyatt, Future UK Media Relations Manager, 01225 822517

Victoria Bacon, Head of Group Communications, 0207 0424033

Games Press

Games Press is the leading online resource for games journalists. Used daily by magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, online media and retailers worldwide, it offers a vast, constantly updated archive of press releases and assets, and is the simplest and most cost-effective way for PR professionals to reach the widest possible audience. Registration for the site and the Games Press email digest is available, to the trade only, at www.gamespress.com