Media Insight: GMR Magazine

Ziff Davis Media Game Group 101 Second Street San Francisco, CA 34105 415/547-8000 415/547-8777 (fax) With its newest publication, Ziff Davis Media Game Group aims to reach those among the estimated 20 million video-game and computer-game players who do not presently turn to the magazine world for their gaming news (though the publisher is settling for an average rate base of 225,000 for 2003). In terms of demographics, this means 17- to 25-year-old males, "those with enough disposable income to buy a video game a month," says Editor-in-Chief Simon Cox, who plans to have the first issue out in January. GMR joins a long list of Ziff Davis game-related pubs, including Electronic Gaming Monthly, The Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, GameNow and Computer Gaming World, to name a few. Some of these cover only a single gaming platform (Computer Gaming World covers PC games) while others aim for a narrow demographic (GameNow is a teen magazine). By comparison, GMR covers all platforms and a broader age range. Content/Contacts All pitches should go to Cox, via email. Content is best broken down by section, starting with the front of the book, which will be built of shorter items. Look here for new- game mentions and Web sites of interest. "We are always looking for little bits of data for that," says Cox. The next section, called "Next," includes game previews. For this section on up-and-coming action, Cox looks for exclusive screen shots and exclusive access to new games. The "Now" section features some 30 reviews a month, including games on Playstation, Xbox and all of the other major game platforms. The "More" section includes tips and strategies: This is a good place for a game-maker to extend the shelf life of a game by offering maps, tips, and so on. Email Pitch Tips When it comes to product reviews, which are the heart of the magazine, Cox will consider games from a number of categories. "I am interested in those that have buzz, those that are sequels, that have a history with the gaming public, those that have technical advantages over other games, and those that are associated with designers who have done great games in the past," he explains. Beyond that, he's looking for something that really stands out. "I just want to know what the angle is on the game: What's so great about it and why should we be covering it? For PR people, that means they need to have read my magazine. Comments Cox has competition. He knows it, and he wants the PR community to help him generate stand-out content. "The more exclusive something is, the more space it gets in the magazine." Once Cox agrees to do a product review, expect no special favors. "The reviews are all about integrity," he says. While most pitches will come from game developers and manufacturers, the occasional feature story means there also will be room for others, especially on the technology side. For instance, experts who can talk about the technology of gaming or about the evolution of various game platforms may score a hit here. In The Pipeline Cox has nothing specific planned, but he says that online gaming continues to grow in importance among his readers. His coverage of that arena will no doubt grow commensurately. In addition, Cox is always looking for innovative products that cross the traditional divide between various sectors of the entertainment industry. For instance, he is interested in games that incorporate figures from pop music, or games based on movies and movie themes. Cox works on a tight timeframe: He will look at pitches as little as one month in advance of publication, and he goes to press two weeks later.

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