The Future Network has won the publishing rights to the official magazine for the Microsoft Xbox games console, in one of the most extensive licences ever granted.
The Network, which won the right to handle the title through its US arm Imagine Media, will control publication of The Official Xbox Magazine in all global territories outside Japan. In the UK, this will involve setting up a new Future subsidiary company to handle the title, creating a Chinese wall between Xbox and its rival, The Official PlayStation 2 Magazine, which Future also publishes. The London-based subsidiary will report to Future's US operation.
'I don't think anyone's been asked to do something like this outside of specific territories before,' Chris Anderson, the chairman of Imagine Media and The Future Network, said. 'It's a really, really huge deal.'
Anderson added that Future would lever the international reach of the licence to establish a co-ordinated global advertising sales operation.
The publisher will begin a search for ad agencies to handle a worldwide launch of the title. Anderson promised an aggressively marketed launch with a substantial budget.
The launch will have to meet circulation targets globally that will be set on the basis of the number of consoles sold in each country.