Gamesindustry.biz reports that Future Publishing's numbers in the UK were almost uniformly down in 2008. The only magazines in the publisher's stable that saw sizable increases in readership were Playstation: The Official Magazine and PSW (which is unofficial, incidentally). Playstation: The Official Magazine in particular did well, adding over 7,500 new readers. The only other magazine to see any growth at all was Official Nintendo Magazine, which increased its readership by an incredible 41 people. All other Future gaming publications in the UK, including stalwarts like PSM 3, Edge, Official Xbox Magazine and PC Gamer, saw significant decreases in readership.
Additionally, VG247 is reporting that 19 employees are being laid off from Future's San Francisco and New York offices. A Future UK spokesperson referred to the laid off employees as "redundancies," saying, "These changes were made in line with Future's stated strategy of focusing on structure and costs in a severe global economic downturn." The report does not specify which departments the layoffs affected.
The news comes in the wake of lower revenues and readerships for Future's US publications and an increase in users on Future's websites. It raises the question: Just what kind of future there is for Future's print business?
(Update: We've confirmed via a Future US employee -- who wishes to remain anonymous -- that none of the 19 positions eliminated were from editorial. Sales and marketing were the only departments affected.)
Source -- VG247 - Future lays off 19 staff from SF and NY offices
Source -- gi.biz - Circulations slide for majority of Future games magazines