Future of print video game magazines looks bleak

The next time you see Nintendo Power or The Official Xbox Magazine at a newsstand, don’t take it for granted.

Futue Publishing, the company that now handles all of the brand-specific print publications for the video game industry, is struggling and said recently it may have to take drastic measures.

In a note to investors, the company wrote, “With trading conditions in the U.S. reflecting ongoing weakness and decreasing visibility at newsstand, and an acceleration in the year-on-year growth rate in digital revenues, the Board is now considering a wider range of strategic options in respect of its U.S. operations.”

In the US, Future publishes Nintendo Power, The Official Xbox Magazine, and Playstation: The Official Magainze. These used to be run by different companies, and Nintendo Power used to actually be managed in-house by Nintendo. Because of the deteriorating conditions on print media, though, massive consolidation has taken place. The publisher also owns PC Gamer magazine.

Earlier this year, Future made major personnel changes including the immediate firing of the head editor of its online game site GamesRadar.com. It also slashed freelance writers as well.

The company at one point said keeping the print publications alive was one of its main goals, but it seems that is just a pipe dream now.

Future also has a strong division in the UK, where its print publications are not in immediate jeopardy.