Cue another round of “print is dying” chatter. In a rather sudden announcement, monthly gaming magazine GamePro has revealed to IndustryGamers that it will be switching to a quarterly release schedule, starting with the Winter 2011 issue that arrives on November 8. Expect a shift in direction as well, with the new format embracing more of a “coffee style” approach described as “a visually stunning, tactile experience [with] rich, engaging editorial.”
The new GamePro will deliver issues that are roughly 15 percent larger than the older monthly releases, amounting to an added 50+ pages of editorial content. The production values will be ramped up as well and the price will be set at $9.99; it’s no surprise to read that IndustryGamers is hearing the new GamePro is shooting for a presentation that falls closer to Future Publishing’s monthly Edge. The quarterly schedule will allow GamePro to position itself as an “ultimate buyer’s guide,” with releases coming in March, June, September and November.
“We all know the print landscape has changed over the last several years and gamers in particular are reading print in a very different way,” GamePro president Marci Yamaguchi Hughes said in a statement. “We’re proud of the passionate community and loyal audience we’ve built on GamePro.com who seek the latest news and information. With our move to a quarterly publication, enthusiasts will have a go-to resource for the best games to purchase during the heaviest buying periods of the year.”
GamePro isn’t the first gaming print mag to reformulate its business. Electronic Gaming Monthly disappeared after UGO purchased 1UP from Ziff Davis several years ago, only to return under new ownership. That magazine continues to be monthly, but its business is supplemented by an online component, EGMi.
GamePro’s move will require a different approach; online outlets already have a leg up on print publications, which need long-lead access in order to cover the latest developments in gaming. GamePro’s three-month window is likely too long-lead for its preview-based gaming coverage to remain relevant, so the content will have to come from elsewhere.