Imagine Publishing

Last updated
Imagine Publishing
Private limited
Industry Magazine publishing
Founded 14 May 2005;13 years ago (2005-05-14)
Headquarters Bournemouth, England, U.K.
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
Damian Butt
(Group Managing Director)
Aaron Asadi
(Publishing Director)
Marco Peroni
(UK Finance Director)
Jane Hawkins
(Production Director)
Cathy Blackman
(Head of International Licensing)
Darren Pearce
(Circulation Director)
James Hanbury
Website Imagine Publishing

Imagine Publishing was a UK-based magazine publisher, which published a number of video games, computing, creative and lifestyle magazines.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Video game electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor

A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.

Computing VERGA

Computing is any activity that uses computers. It includes developing hardware and software, and using computers to manage and process information, communicate and entertain. Computing is a critically important, integral component of modern industrial technology. Major computing disciplines include computer engineering, software engineering, computer science, information systems, and information technology.


It was founded on 14 May 2005 with private funds by Damian Butt, Steven Boyd and Mark Kendrick, all were former directors of Paragon Publishing, and launched with a core set of six gaming and creative computing titles in the first 6 months of trading. It was taken over by Future plc on 21 October 2016.

Paragon Publishing

Paragon Publishing Ltd was a magazine publisher in the UK, which published computer games and other entertainment titles from 1991 to 2003.

Creative computing covers the interdisciplinary area at the cross-over of the creative arts and computing. Issues of creativity include knowledge discovery, for example.

Future plc company

Future plc is a British media company founded in 1985. It publishes more than 50 magazines in fields such as video games, technology, films, music, photography, home and knowledge. It is a constituent of the FTSE Fledgling Index. The company also owns the US company Future US.

In October 2005, it had acquired the only retro games magazine Retro Gamer, after its original publisher, Live Publishing went bankrupt. Early in 2006, it further acquired the rights to publish a considerable number of titles including gamesTM, Play, PowerStation, X360, Digital Photographer and iCreate, from the old Paragon Publishing stable of magazines when owner Highbury House Communications went into liquidation, following Future Publishing's withdrawal of its offer to buy the company, due to threats of a monopoly-investigation by the United Kingdom Competition Commission. [1] [2] [3]

<i>Retro Gamer</i> video game magazine

Retro Gamer is a British magazine, published worldwide, covering retro video games. It was the first commercial magazine to be devoted entirely to the subject. Launched in January 2004 as a quarterly publication, Retro Gamer soon became a monthly. In 2005, a general decline in gaming and computer magazine readership led to the closure of its publishers, Live Publishing, and the rights to the magazine were later purchased by Imagine Publishing. It was taken over by Future plc on 21 October 2016, following Future's acquisition of Imagine Publishing.

<i>GamesTM</i> magazine

GamesTM was a UK-based, multi-format video games magazine, covering console, handheld, PC and Arcade games. The first issue was released in December 2002 and the magazine was still being published monthly in English and German up until the last edition was published on 1 November 2018.

<i>Play</i> (UK magazine) British magazine dedicated to the Sony PlayStation

Play is a monthly magazine produced by Imagine Publishing in the United Kingdom, which reports on Sony's PlayStation product range. It is the UK's longest-running PlayStation magazine. Issue 269, the magazine's final printed edition was published in April 2016, and it has since become a digital only publication. As well as being sold in the UK, PLAY is also sold in Australia. Though because of the distance between the two countries, Australia is one month behind, so some of the information may be inaccurate or old. Prior to issue 249, PLAY came with a covermounted DVD every issue.

In May 2006, Imagine launched its first bookazines, initially focusing on technology content for Photoshop and Mac. This portfolio would become one of Imagine's core strengths, with worldwide distribution, notably in the USA and Australia.

In 2007 Imagine launched SciFiNow, the Official Corel Painter Magazine,HD Review and Total PC Gaming.

SciFiNow is a British magazine published every four weeks by Kelsey Publishing in the United Kingdom, covering the science fiction, horror and fantasy genres. It launched in April 2007. The magazine features genre TV shows, films and culture of the past, present and future, including TV listings.

Total 911 was acquired from 9 Publishing in 2008, and was purchased to demonstrate that Imagine's efficient publishing model could be applied to any market, not just technology.

<i>Total 911</i> magazine

Total 911 is an international magazine devoted to the Porsche 911 sports car, from 1963 to the present day. It is published monthly in the UK by Future plc and currently edited by Lee Sibley.

2009 saw the company's most significant and successful new magazine launch - How It Works, which quickly became Imagine's flagship title and paved the way for the creation of a whole knowledge division. How It Works was the brainchild of MD Damian Butt, and CD Mark Kendrick, whose love of 70s Ladybird books spawned a desire to create a lavishly illustrated, simple-to-understand new educational magazine for families.

Linux User & Developer was acquired in 2009. 3D Artist was launched into the niche CGI magazine market. Imagine's main videogames website went live in 2009 also.

In partnership with PixelMags, Imagine became the first publisher to migrate its entire portfolio as digital editions on the iPad/iPhone for the US launch in March 2010.

Imagine launched the world's first title for the Android OS - Android Magazine in 2011, following successful bookazine tests of this topic.

2011 also saw Imagine embrace digital publishing further by giving all employees a free iPad, or cash alternative.

In 2012 Imagine expanded its knowledge magazine division with new launch All About Space, followed in 2013 with All About History and World of Animals. A new digital editions publishing platform - Martini - went live in this year, with all Imagine titles migrating onto this bespoke platform, developed in partnership with Bournemouth-based tech company 3SidedCube.

Imagine was featured in the Sunday Times Profit Track 100 lists in 2013 and 2014; recognising the company's strong financial results, including a high net margin.

In 2015 the company moved into a new market, with Real Crime magazine. To celebrate its tenth year in publishing, free engraved iPad Mini were offered to all staff.

Imagine's final two magazine launches were in 2016, with History of Royals in April and Explore History in May.

At the point when it was acquired by Future plc, Imagine Publishing was a worldwide multimedia content producer and in October 2016 it had a portfolio of 20 regular print magazines, 25 websites, 30 mobile apps and a portfolio of over 1,200 bookazines - all published worldwide within the four key markets – technology, photography, knowledge/science and videogames.

Key titles

Key magazine titles published by Imagine Publishing included:

All of Imagine's publications are now owned by Future Publishing.

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The fifth-generation era refers to computer and video games, video game consoles, and handheld gaming consoles dating from approximately 1993 to 2002. For home consoles, the best-selling console was the PlayStation (PS) by a wide margin, followed by the Nintendo 64 (N64), and then the Sega Saturn. The PlayStation also had a redesigned version, the PSOne, which was launched in July 2000.

Game Players is a defunct monthly video game magazine founded by Robert C. Lock in 1989 and originally published by Signal Research in Greensboro, North Carolina.

<i>Edge</i> (magazine) multi-format computer and video game magazine

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Hotdog Magazine was a film magazine first published in the United Kingdom in 2000. Its publisher, Highbury Entertainment, claimed an average circulation of 17,132 between July and December 2003. By December 2005 sales were down to 13,659, and by its last edition they were thought to have fallen to just 7,000.

<i>X-One</i> magazine

XONE was a monthly magazine produced by Imagine Publishing in the United Kingdom. XONE was the UK's #1 selling independent dedicated Xbox 360 and Xbox One magazine, covering news, previews and reviews. The magazine's community and Xbox Live also featured heavily in the magazine.

Future US

Future US, Inc. is an American media corporation specializing in targeted magazines and websites in the video games, music, and technology markets. Future US is headquartered in the San Francisco with a small sales office in New York City. Future US is owned by parent company, Future plc, a publishing company based in the United Kingdom.

Julian Rignall British journalist

Julian "Jaz" Rignall is a publishing veteran with experience launching and managing numerous video game magazines and websites. A writer and editor, Rignall has also produced content for corporate websites such as GamePro Media, publisher of GamePro magazine and, marketing collateral and advertising campaigns.

Chair Entertainment Group, LLC is an American video game developer based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The company was acquired by Epic Games in 2008.

PlayFirst, Inc. is a Delaware based publisher of casual games founded in 2004 by industry veterans. PlayFirst produced the Diner Dash series, which won the 2008 Annual Casual Game Awards. and has seen over 550 million downloads. The popularity of Diner Dash series prompted spin-off series like Wedding Dash and Cooking Dash. The company’s game portfolio also includes the retro-style strategy-based Chocolatier series, and the adventure/hidden object-mixing Dream Chronicles series.

<i>Total PC Gaming</i>

Total PC Gaming was a monthly magazine published by Imagine Publishing, launched in 2007 it ran until March 2010. The magazine featured videogame industry news, game reviews, hardware reviews, and sections dedicated to fans of retro gaming and Massively multiplayer online games.

<i>All About Space</i>

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Adobe Creative Cloud software as a service offering from Adobe Systems

Adobe Creative Cloud is a set of applications and services from Adobe Systems that gives subscribers access to a collection of software used for graphic design, video editing, web development, photography, along with a set of mobile applications and also some optional cloud services. In Creative Cloud, a monthly or annual subscription service is delivered over the Internet. Software from Creative Cloud is downloaded from the Internet, installed directly on a local computer and used as long as the subscription remains valid. Online updates and multiple languages are included in the CC subscription. Creative Cloud was initially hosted on Amazon Web Services, but a new agreement with Microsoft has the software, beginning with the 2017 version, hosted on Microsoft Azure.

Creative Market is an online marketplace for community-generated design assets. The company sells graphics, WordPress themes, stock photography, and other digital goods for use by web creatives. Creative Market has over one million users and more than 250,000 purchasable items. It was founded in 2012 by Aaron Epstein, Chris Williams, and Darius A. Monsef IV in San Francisco, California.


  1. "Imagine acquires 24 Highbury titles" (PDF). Imagine Publishing. Retrieved 2006-07-18.
  2. Daniel Farey-Jones (January 24, 2006). "Highbury magazines picked off after company's collapse". Media Bulletin. Haymarket. Archived from the original on March 4, 2006.
  3. Will Harris (2005-04-18). "Future takeover derailed by Competition Commission". Inquire. VNU.