Mediaweek's "60 Seconds With Jonathan Simpson-Bint" of Future US

60 Secs With Future's Simpson-Bint

NOVEMBER 05, 2007 -

Q. As a gaming publisher, how are you facing the obvious challenge facing gaming titles in print? A. I don’t think there’s a massive exodus of game players from games magazines. We thrive on newsstand sales, and our numbers have remained pretty strong. If you’re a real passionate gamer, a magazine is still an oasis experience. Gaming magazines are very visually satisfying. And we don’t have news in our magazines. They’re much more feature-led. Q. How do your recent online launches support your printed magazines? A. We were quite late to the Web for one reason or another. We realized the world doesn’t need more reviews of PC games, so we’re trying to see what need isn’t being met. We started FileRadar, a site where PC gamers can download unique characters that we advertise as a companion to PC Gamer. Guitar World magazine will be spinning off this year, and we have deals that will let us become the first commerce engine for these tabs. It’s iTunes for tabs. Q. Why did you keep Pregnancy after selling off your other female-targeted titles last year? A. For a completely old-fashioned reason: It makes money. Q. Speaking of women, is it true your gaming magazines have a big female readership? A. It used to be 1 percent; it’s 15 percent now. And two of our biggest ones are edited by women. But no one’s cracked the formula that has made a game a phenomenon among women. That’s a bit of a holy grail. Q. Is it true you’re a big believer in conspiracies? A. I’ve always had a reputation of not taking things on face value. The more someone, my kids included, tries to convince me of something, the more I want to dig around myself. My kids don’t like that, though. There’s no reasoning at all with a 2-year-old.