PC Gamer

Last updated

PC Gamer
PC Gamer logo (2015-present).svg
Logo since July 2015
Categories PC gaming, video games
Publisher Future plc
First issueNovember 1993;30 years ago (1993-11)
Country United Kingdom
Website pcgamer.com

PC Gamer is a magazine and website founded in the United Kingdom in 1993 devoted to PC gaming and published monthly by Future plc. The magazine has several regional editions, with the UK and US editions becoming the best selling PC games magazines in their respective countries. [1] [2] The magazine features news on developments in the video game industry, previews of new games, and reviews of the latest popular PC games, along with other features relating to hardware, mods, "classic" games and various other topics.


PC Gamer and parent Future began digital PC Gaming Show at E3 2015. [3]

Review system

PC Gamer reviews are written by the magazine's editors and freelance writers, and rate games on a percent scale. In August 2023, Baldur's Gate 3 became the first game to receive a rating of 97% in the UK edition. [4] Prior to this, no game was awarded more than 96% by the UK edition ( Kerbal Space Program , Civilization II , Half-Life , Half-Life 2 , Minecraft , Spelunky and Quake II ). In the US edition, no game has yet received a rating higher than 98% ( Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri , Half-Life 2 , and Crysis ). [5]

In the UK edition, the lowest numerical score was 2%, awarded to The 4th Golden Satellite Awards for Interactive Media Winner Big Brother 1. The sequel, Big Brother 2, was given an even lower score of N/A%,[ citation needed ] the review explaining that "[PC Gamer] put as much effort into reviewing it as they did in making the game". In issue 255, August 2013, the score of 2% was matched by the review of the re-released Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, originally given 3% when it first launched. In the US edition, the lowest score awarded was 4%, given to Mad Dog McCree , unseating the previously lowest-rated game, Skydive!, given 5%. [5]


There are two main editions of PC Gamer, a British version and an American version, both are published by Future plc. Founded in the United Kingdom in November 1993, the American sister version was launched a few months later in June 1994. [1]

There are also numerous local editions that mainly use the materials of one of the two editions, typically the British one, including a Malaysian (discontinued in December 2011) and Russian edition (discontinued in December 2008). The Swedish edition, though rooted in its UK counterpart, has grown to be more independent, largely due to the immense popularity of PC games compared to console games in Sweden, and now produces most of its own material. An Australian edition was published monthly by Perth-based Conspiracy Publishing since August 1998, but it appears to have been discontinued in mid-late 2004. A Spanish edition titled "PC Juegos y Jugadores" also existed, but closed in 2007. [6]

Both American and British magazines are published thirteen times per year (twice in December), [1] although there are sometimes variations.

PC Gamer UK

PC Gamer (UK)
PC Gamer UK January 2019 cover.jpg
Cover of PC Gamer UK #326 (January 2019)
EditorPhil Savage
Former editors
Former Editors

1993–1994 Matt Bielby
1994–1995 Gary Whitta
1995–1996 Jonathan Davies
1996–1999 Jim Flynn
1999–2000 James Ashton
2000–2003 Matt Pierce
2003–2006 Mark Donald
2006–2009 Ross Atherton
2009–2012 Tim Edwards
2012–2013 Graham Smith
2013–2017 Samuel Roberts
[7] [8] [9]
Staff writers
Staff writers
Tim Edwards
Graham Smith
Tony Ellis
Craig Pearson
Tom Francis
Richard Cobbett
Jon Hicks
Jim Rossignol
John Walker
Alec Meer
Matt Avery
Chris Buxton
Andy Butcher
Michael Gapper
Kieron Gillen
Mike Channell
Tim Stone
Adam Oxford
Quintin Smith
Duncan Harris
Drew Northcott
David Lyttleton
Chris Thursten
Tom Senior
Marsh Davies
Andy Kelly
Joe Donnelly
Categories Games magazine
FrequencyEvery four weeks, 13 per year
Circulation 19,125 print 2,929 digital
22,054 total (Jan – Dec 2013) [10]

21,272 print 3,241 digital
24,513 total (Jan – Dec 2012) [11]

23,652 print 379 digital
24,031 total (Jan – Dec 2011) [12]

25,019 (Jan – Dec 2010) [13]
26,487 (Jan – Dec 2009) [14]
32,619 (Jan – Dec 2008) [15]
38,654 ABC (July – Dec 2007) [16]
PublisherRichard Keith
First issueDecember 1993;30 years ago (1993-12) [1]
Company Future plc
CountryUnited Kingdom
Based in Bath, Somerset
Language British English
Website www.pcgamer.com/uk/


The British edition of PC Gamer has been in constant monthly publication since 1993. Subscribers get a special edition of the magazine with no headlines on the front cover (only the masthead and BBFC rating). [17]

Almost exclusively devoted to PC games, the magazine has a reputation for giving in-depth reviews. [18]

The magazine originally shipped with an accompanying 3.5-inch (89 mm) floppy disc. A CD demo disc (labelled CD Gamer) was released alongside the floppy disk edition from issue 11 onwards with the first CD Gamer containing all the content from the previous 10 issues' floppy discs. The single CD was later expanded to two CDs.[ citation needed ]

An edition with a 9 GB DVD known as DVD Gamer ran alongside the 2CD edition for a couple of years, until production of the CD Gamer edition ceased as of issue 162. The UK Edition then only came with a single double-sided DVD. In August 2011, the UK magazine announced it was to be discontinuing the disk as of issue 232, and replacing it with more pages of content within the magazine and exclusive free gifts. [19]

Regular features

The magazine has many regular features which make up each edition of the magazine. These include sections called ´Eyewitness´, ´Previews´, ´Send´, where letters from the readers are spread over 2 two-page spreads, at least one special feature, which reports on gaming related issues such as the effect of PC gaming on the environment, a review section which reviews the latest released PC games and re-reviews titles that have been released on budget and ´Extra Life´ which reports on modding games and gaming culture and revisiting old games. There is also a ´Systems´ section, which reviews and recommends hardware such as video cards and monitors. The back page of the magazine is entitled ´It's All Over´ and usually consists of game related artwork such as a version of Dalí's The Persistence of Memory featuring items from Portal . [20] For a time, one of the magazine's features, ´Gamer Snap´, where amusing pictures sent in by readers were printed in the magazine, however the feature was discontinued and replaced with a Guess the Game where readers sent in drawings of memorable scenes in video games drawn in Microsoft Paint.[ citation needed ]

Forum and blog

The PC Gamer blog was started to coincide with the transfer of the PC Gamer UK site to become part of the Computer and Video Games network which incorporates all of Future plc's gaming magazines. The move brought some controversy, with many long-standing members of the forum leaving due to the new forum's cramped spacing, advertising and slow loading times. The introduction of a blog was seen as one of the redeeming features of the switch. The blog has since been regularly updated with contributions from many of the magazine's staff. The topics discussed range from the controversy over violent video games, to the benefits of buying a PC over a console.

In 2010, PC Gamer re-launched their website and blog by bringing together the online communities of both the US and UK magazines into one website. [21] As a result, the PC Gamer blog now has contributions from both the US and UK magazines, all hosted at the new website along with the forums for both magazines.


The PC Gamer UK podcast started on 4 May 2007 and ran 93 episodes until its final episode, which was released on 5 July 2013. It had a rotating cast made up of members of the staff including Chris Thursten, Tom Senior, Graham Smith, Tom Francis, and Marsh Davies. The podcast was formerly hosted by Ross Atherton until his departure in June 2009 and then by Tim Edwards until his departure in 2012. The host position varied between Chris Thursten and Graham Smith from week to week. Previously monthly, the podcast was recorded every fortnight. Participants discussed the games they had been playing and news from the industry, and answered questions submitted via Twitter.[ citation needed ]

The podcast began again in March 2016 with a new episode being released weekly. [22]

PC Gamer US

PC Gamer (US)
Editor in ChiefEvan Lahti
Former editors1994–1996 Matt Firme
1996 Dan Bennett
1996–2000 Gary Whitta
2000–2004 Rob Smith
2004–2005 Dan Morris
2005–2007 Greg Vederman
2007–2009 Kristen Salvatore
2009 Gary Steinman
2009–2013 Logan Decker
2014– Evan Lahti
Categories Games magazine
PublisherAce St. Germain
First issueMay/June 1994;29 years ago (1994-06)
Company Future US
CountryUnited States
Language American English
Website www.pcgamer.com


The American edition of PC Gamer launched in 1994.

In 1999, Future US, then known as Imagine Media, purchased the rival magazine PC Games and merged its staff into the magazine. [23]

Demo disk

Similarly to the British edition, the magazine shipped with a demo disk, though diskless versions were available. The CDs were replaced by DVDs in the American edition on a month-to-month basis.[ citation needed ]

When PC games with full motion video (FMV) sequences were popular in the mid-to-late 1990s, PC Gamer's CD-ROM included elaborate FMV sequences featuring one of their editors. To access the features of the CD, including the demos, patches and reviews, the user had to navigate a 'basement', which played very much like classic PC games such as Myst . It was in this game sequence that the magazine's mascot, Coconut Monkey, was introduced just as the editor was leaving the magazine, marking the transition from the FMV demo CDs to the more contemporary menu driven demo CDs that were subsequently used.[ citation needed ] The cover disc of the July 1998 issue of the Slovenian, Swedish, and UK editions of PC Gamer were infected with the Marburg virus, [24] [25] which CNN Money stated caused the malware to become a "widespread threat". [26]

In the September 2011 edition of PC Gamer, it was announced that they would be dropping the demo disk altogether and concentrating on improving the quality of the magazine instead with a promise of a larger magazine printed on a heavier paper stock. The usual demo disk content would be made available online. [27]

Related Research Articles

<i>Amstrad Action</i>

Amstrad Action was a monthly magazine, published in the United Kingdom, which catered to owners of home computers from the Amstrad CPC range and later the GX4000 console.

<i>Maximum PC</i> US magazine

Maximum PC, formerly known as boot, is an American magazine and website published by Future US. It focuses on cutting-edge PC hardware, with an emphasis on product reviews, step-by-step tutorials, and in-depth technical briefs. Component coverage areas include CPUs, motherboards, core-logic chipsets, memory, videocards, mechanical hard drives, solid-state drives, optical drives, cases, component cooling, and anything else to do with recent tech news. Additional hardware coverage is directed at smartphones, tablet computers, cameras and other consumer electronic devices that interface with consumer PCs. Software coverage focuses on games, anti-virus suites, content-editing programs, and other consumer-level applications.

<i>PC Zone</i> British video game magazine

PC Zone, founded in 1993, was the first magazine dedicated to games for IBM-compatible personal computers to be published in the United Kingdom. Earlier PC magazines such as PC Leisure, PC Format and PC Plus had covered games but only as part of a wider remit. The precursor to PC Zone was the award-winning multiformat title Zero.

<i>Darwinia</i> (video game) 2005 video game

Darwinia is a 2005 real-time tactics and real-time strategy video game for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It is the second game developed by Introversion Software, and is set within a computer environment that simulates artificial intelligence. It received favourable reviews and won three awards at the 2006 Independent Games Festival. A multiplayer sequel, Multiwinia, was released for Windows in 2008. Darwinia and Multiwinia were released together as Darwinia+ for the Xbox 360 in 2010.

<i>PC PowerPlay</i> Australian magazine

PC PowerPlay (PCPP) is Australia's only dedicated PC games magazine. PC PowerPlay focuses on news and reviews for upcoming and newly released games on the Microsoft Windows platform. The magazine also reviews computer hardware for use on gaming computers. The magazine is published by Future Australia.

<i>PC Format</i> Former UK computer magazine (1991–2015)

PC Format was a computer magazine published in the United Kingdom by Future plc, and licensed to other publishers in countries around the world. In publication between 1991 and 2015, it was part of Future plc's Format series of magazines that include articles about games, entertainment and how to get the most out of the platform. Despite the occasional mention of alternatives, PC Format takes the term 'PC' to mean a Microsoft Windows-based computer.

<i>Edge</i> (magazine) UK video game magazine

Edge is a multi-format video game magazine published by Future plc. It is a UK-based magazine and publishes 13 issues annually. The magazine was launched by Steve Jarratt. It has also released foreign editions in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Covermount</span> Storage media packaged as part of a magazine or newspaper

Covermount is the name given to storage media or other products packaged as part of a magazine or newspaper. The name comes from the method of packaging; the media or product is placed in a transparent plastic sleeve and mounted on the cover of the magazine with adhesive tape or glue.

<i>Retro Gamer</i> UK 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>Ground Zero: Texas</i> 1993 video game

Ground Zero: Texas is a full motion video game, released for the Sega CD in November 1993. The game relies heavily on video footage, with which the player interacts. It contains 110 minutes of interactive footage from four different cameras. It was directed by Dwight H. Little, who is also known for the films Marked for Death and Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.

<i>Official Xbox Magazine</i> Monthly video game magazine

Official Xbox Magazine was a British monthly video game magazine which started in November 2001 around the launch of the original Xbox. A preview issue was released at E3 2001, with another preview issue in November 2001. The magazine was bundled with a disc that included game demos, preview videos and trailers, and other content, such as game or Xbox updates and free gamerpics. The discs also provided the software for the Xbox 360 for backward compatibility of original Xbox games for those without broadband and Xbox Live access. From January 2012, OXM no longer included a demo disc. In mid-2014, the U.S. version was merged into the UK version on the website, which lasted only a few months until Future plc announced that it was closing its website along with all the other websites that Future has published, including Edge and Computer and Video Games. In February 2015, OXM and all of Future's video game websites were redirected into GamesRadar.

<i>PC Accelerator</i>

PC Accelerator (PCXL) was an American personal computer game magazine that was published by Imagine Media. It was known for its Maxim-like humor and photography.

<i>GamesTM</i> British video games 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>Jade Cocoon: Story of the Tamamayu</i> 1998 video game

Jade Cocoon: Story of the Tamamayu is a role-playing video game developed by Genki exclusively for PlayStation. The game combines elements of role-playing video games and virtual pet management. It was developed by Genki in collaboration with Katsuya Kondō, character designer for the Studio Ghibli movies Kiki's Delivery Service and I Can Hear the Sea.

Inside Mac Games (IMG) started in 1993 as an electronic magazine about video games for the Mac. It was distributed on floppy disk, then CD-ROM, and eventually became a website.

<i>Microcosm</i> (video game) 1993 video game

Microcosm is a 3D rail shooter video game developed and published by Psygnosis in 1993. It was originally developed for the FM Towns, and ported for the Sega CD, Amiga CD32, 3DO, and MS-DOS. Microcosm featured realistic FMV animation, with the graphics being rendered on Silicon Graphics workstations. The game is either in first-person or third-person view depending on the gaming system.

<i>Planet PC</i>

Planet PC was a British PC gaming magazine aimed at pre-teens, first published in December 1999. It was issued monthly by Future plc in Bath, Somerset, and was backed by a marketing budget of £50 thousand. Similar magazines published by Future included PC Format, for which Planet PC was hoped to be a feeder. Planet PC cost £2.95 per issue, with its target market being eight-to-twelve-year-old male PC users. During the year 2000, the magazine had a circulation of 20,181. Its editor was David Bradley, its associate editor was Chris James, and its publisher was James Binns. In October 1999, two months before the release of the first issue, Binns explained that Planet PC would fill a gap seen as "too old and ... too expensive for [the] younger market".

<i>PC Games</i> German PC game magazine

PC Games is a monthly-released PC gaming magazine published by the Computec Media GmbH in Germany.

<i>Big Scale Racing</i> 2002 video game

Big Scale Racing is a 2002 racing video game by BumbleBeast.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "PC Gamer". Future plc. Archived from the original on 25 September 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2007.
  2. "PC Gamer Press Kit" (PDF). Future plc. 12 February 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2007.
  3. Farokhmanesh, Megan (1 May 2015). "PC gaming is getting its own press conference at E3 2015". Polygon. Retrieved 29 June 2023.
  4. Savage, Phil. "Baldur's Gate 3 is PC Gamer's highest scoring game in 16 years. Here's why". PC Gamer. Retrieved 17 August 2023.
  5. 1 2 "PC game reviews - PC Gamer". Pcgamer.
  6. ManicMiner (17 December 2007). "PC Juegos y Jugadores: otra revista de videojuegos que cierra". Vidaextra (in Spanish). Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  7. "PC GAMER UK Podcast #68 - Weirdly Positive". Future plc. Archived from the original on 20 May 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  8. Donald, Mark (December 2003). "A Word from the Ed". PC Gamer UK. p. 7.
  9. Donald, Mark; Atherton, Ross (October 2006). "All Change". PC Gamer UK. p. 5.
  10. "Standard Certificate of Circulation - PC Gamer" (PDF). ABC. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 December 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  11. "Standard Certificate of Circulation - PC Gamer" (PDF). ABC. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 December 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  12. "Standard Certificate of Circulation - PC Gamer" (PDF). ABC. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 December 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  13. "Standard Certificate of Circulation - PC Gamer" (PDF). ABC. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 December 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  14. "Standard Certificate of Circulation - PC Gamer" (PDF). ABC. 11 February 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  15. "Standard Certificate of Circulation - PC Gamer" (PDF). ABC. 12 February 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
  16. Audience Figures: Games | Future Advertising Archived 13 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine , PCG 188, page 5
  17. Gamer, P. C. (14 December 2018). "PC Gamer UK January issue: Atlas". PC Gamer. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  18. Armstrong, Rebecca (11 July 2005). "Fingers on the buttons". The Independent . Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2007.
  19. "PC Gamer Video Blog - The Making of Issue 232". PCGamer.com. 23 August 2011. Archived from the original on 24 September 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  20. PC gamer UK February edition Issue 184. Future plc. 2008. pp. 5–130.
  21. "Future launches PCGamer.com – new online home for global PC gaming authority « Future PLC". Futureplc.com. 14 June 2010. Archived from the original on 25 December 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
  22. "Episode 1: Tom Clancy's the Podcast | PC Gamer UK Podcast". 11 March 2016. Archived from the original on 14 October 2016. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  23. Fost, Dan (20 May 1999). "Gaming Magazines Dig in for Showdown in S.F." San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 7 January 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2007. Three months ago, Imagine bought IDG's PC Games and folded it into PC Gamer
  24. "Anti-CIH-pating the Future". Virus Bulletin . Virus Bulletin Ltd. August 1998. p. 2.
  25. "Marburg Follow-up". Virus Bulletin . Virus Bulletin Ltd. August 1998. p. 3.
  26. "Buggy WarGames". New York, United States: CNN Money. 13 August 1998. Archived from the original on 6 December 2002.
  27. PC Gamer (US), September 2011