By Jared Newman | Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 6:03 pm
You know a video game is popular when it spawns its own magazine.
Such is the case with World of Warcraft: The Magazine, debuting this weekend at the BlizzCon gaming convention in Anaheim, Calif. The quarterly publication has the blessing of publisher Blizzard, and it’ll be run by former Official Xbox Magazine Senior Editor Dan Amrich. Instead of being ad-supported, the magazine will subsist on straight sales, with $39.95 getting you a yearly subscription.
Ars Technica’s Ben Kuchera has a pretty good rundown of the reasons and roadblocks for the magazine, including the token “print is dead” disclaimer. But I actually think World of Warcraft: The Magazine has a decent chance of surviving.
It’s at least got a better shot than than another upcoming pring gaming mag, Electronic Gaming Monthly. If you missed that news, EGM will relaunch under new ownership after shuttering last January. While both magazines will ride on the strength of their respective brands, World of Warcraft: The Magazine has a distinct, dedicated audience, while the general gaming crowd sought by EGM is pretty fickle. We’re likely to go anywhere for our information, provided that it’s accurate and timely. Print magazines try to argue that they provide deeper commentary and perspective, but there’s plenty of that online as well.
WoW: The Magazine’s strategy is a classic one: Fill the niche market. It’s doing the same thing as platform-specific gaming mags, like Official Xbox Magazine, but it’s even more targeted. If the magazine can nail down the interviews, profiles and insight that’s being promised, it’s got a solid product no one else has.
Indeed, Wow: The Magazine will face the same struggles as other print publications, but WoW fans could use a reason to take their eyes off the screen anyhow, and this way they don’t even have to disengage with the game.