Last week, GamePro shocked the industry when the magazine mainstay announced it was changing over to a quarterly format
. Julian Rignall, vice president of GamePro media, recently explained the decision to Gamasutra
. In a market with dwindling circulation, Rignall believes there's still a place for print. According to the executive, the choice is either to become incredibly cheap and "disposable" or, as GamePro plans to do, become a more expensive, premium product.
Rignall said their just isn't a place for "sort of six, seven dollar magazines that are kind of cheap and a bit crap with low production." Magazines, to him, are no longer an impulse purchase, and most gamers can get their info on websites (like this one) anyway. According to Rignall, today's magazines are sold to a different kind of customer, "sort of upper-middle-class NPR listeners," that have "a level of connoisseurism about what they like."
In addition to targeting a different kind of consumer, GamePro will also reduce distribution, limiting to locations where "we know they'll sell." Also, thanks to the quarterly format, breaking news coverage will take a backseat to "more thoughtful" coverage. Rignall likens it to "a magazine that kind of celebrates gaming in the terms of its sort of context within history, what's kind of going on now and where it's going."
Head over to Gamasutra
for more on the new GamePro, including Rignall's belief that even if it fails, he hopes it will usher out the era of gaming magazines "in style."