ABC FIGURES: Slump for computer sector as the games market slows down

The computer market was up by just under 1 per cent year on year, with the previously buoyant market being held back by most sectors performing badly.

The computer market was up by just under 1 per cent year on year, with the previously buoyant market being held back by most sectors performing badly.

The indifferent performance of the games market, where games have reached their maturation, has had an impact on the magazine market. Future's Official Play-Station magazine was down just under 39 per cent year on year to 215,508, while its PC Gamer title registered a 12.1 per cent fall to 73,549.

Kerin O'Connor, the marketing director of Dennis Publishing, said: 'It's been a volatile market - there aren't a lot of people buying games, and there haven't been terrific games coming out.'

The Future Network is closing a number of its smaller computer magazines as it streamlines its portfolio. Mike Frey, the managing director of Future, said: 'We are closely affected by the market and we have to accept that these disappointing figures are the symptom of a slowdown.'

VNU's consumer title Computeractive led the overall computer market with a sale of 327,962, up 0.7 per cent year on year.

The internet sector was up more than 21 per cent year on year, but this was due to several launches, rather than existing titles. The lead title, The Net from Haymarket, was down just under 12 per cent year on year to 52,600.

Verdict IPC Magazines is hoping to carve out a niche in the internet sector with the launch of a consumer title codenamed Project Spider, in March. The recent launch of PlayStation 2 and the introduction of Xbox later this year will help revive the games market.

COMPUTER MAGAZINES

Title                  Publisher   Total ABC   Period on   Yr on yr

                                                period %

Computeractive         VNU           327,962         n/a        0.7

Official PlayStation   Future        215,508       -28.3      -38.7

Computer Shopper       Dennis        155,709        -6.5      -10.3

PC Pro                 Dennis        155,477        -6.4       -6.3

PC World               VNU           128,118        -3.9      -12.7

PC Plus                Future         95,606       -18.7      -13.9

Official PlayStation2  Future         81,883         n/a        n/a

PC Gamer               Future         73,549       -12.5      -12.1

Nintendo Official      Emap           67,615        -5.2      -14.1

PC Zone                Dennis         64,103       -12.7      -18.0

The Net                Haymarket      52,600        -2.8      -11.8

Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (July-December 2000)





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