Emap's £1.2m secures its Nintendo contract

Nintendo Official Magazine: revamp

Emap has managed to hang on to the multimillion pound licence to produce the official magazine for Nintendo by promising to spend an estimated £1.2m on marketing.

Emap is believed to have beaten off stiff competition from rival magazine publishers including Future and Computec to clinch the three-year contract, which could pull in £7m to £8m of revenue.

Gil Garagnon, publisher of the Nintendo Official Magazine, suggested it was the level of marketing spend that had swayed Nintendo. "We have got a lot of competitors who are specialised in the video games industry – the way for us to make a difference is to say we are focused on the youth market rather than the games market," he said.

Emap is hoping the move will demonstrate its commitment to publishing titles in the consoles market, particularly in light of falling sales.

The Nintendo Official Magazine reported an ABC of 55,028 in February – down almost 19 per cent on the previous year. Its closest rival, NGC Magazine, also showed a decline, a fall of almost 42 per cent year-on-year. Garagnon put the decline down to the fact there were fewer and fewer games being produced by the manufacturer. "It is a cyclical sort of business. The games magazine market is very much linked to the console market," he said.

Ian Templeton, managing director of Emap Active, said: "The investment that we have put behind the relaunch reflects our belief in the magazine and our determination to achieve supremacy in this market."

The relaunch will be unveiled today (Friday). The magazine will be perfect bound with a cover price of £3.15 and is expected to feature exclusive screenshots of four of the biggest Nintendo GameCube titles currently in development, including Mario Sunshine, Starfox Adventures and Dinosaur Planet.

A one-shot spin-off, GameCube Official Master Guide, is also due to launch simultaneously with the GameCube console on 3 May. It will include an interview with the creator of Mario, Shigeru Miyamoto, and take a look at GameCube’s broadband capabilities.

Ruth Addicott

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