PC Gamer

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PC Gamer
PC Gamer logo.png
Logo, introduced in July 2015
Categories PC gaming, video games
First issue1993
Country United Kingdom
Website pcgamer.com

PC Gamer is a magazine 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.

A magazine is a publication, usually a periodical publication, which is printed or electronically published. Magazines are generally published on a regular schedule and contain a variety of content. They are generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by prepaid subscriptions, or a combination of the three.

A PC game, also known as a computer game or personal computer game, is a type of video game played on a personal computer rather than a video game console or arcade machine. Its defining characteristics include: more diverse and user-determined gaming hardware and software; and generally greater capacity in input, processing, video and audio output. The uncoordinated nature of the PC game market, and now its lack of physical media, make precisely assessing its size difficult.

Future plc British media 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 listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


Review system

PC Gamer reviews are written by the magazine's editors and freelance writers, and rate games on a percent scale. In the UK edition, no game has yet been awarded more than 96% ( 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 ). [3]

<i>Kerbal Space Program</i> space flight simulator game

Kerbal Space Program, commonly abbreviated as KSP, is a space flight simulation video game developed and published by Squad for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. In the game, players direct a nascent space program, staffed and crewed by green humanoid aliens known as "Kerbals". The game features a realistic orbital physics engine, allowing for various real-life orbital maneuvers such as Hohmann transfer orbits and bi-elliptic transfer orbits.

<i>Civilization II</i> turn-based strategy video game

Sid Meier's Civilization II is a turn-based strategy video game in the Civilization series, developed and published by MicroProse. It was released in 1996 for the PC and later ported to the PlayStation by Activision.

<i>Half-Life</i> (video game) 1998 first-person shooter video game

Half-Life is a first-person shooter video game developed by Valve and published by Sierra Studios for Microsoft Windows in 1998. It was Valve's debut title and the first in the Half-Life series. Players assume the role of Gordon Freeman, a scientist who must find his way out of the Black Mesa Research Facility after an experiment with an alien material goes wrong. The core gameplay consists of fighting alien and human enemies with a variety of weapons and solving puzzles. Unlike many other games at the time, the player has almost complete uninterrupted control of Freeman, and the story is told mostly through scripted sequences seen through his eyes.

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%, 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%. [3]

The 4th Golden Satellite Awards, given by the International Press Academy, were awarded on January 16, 2000.

The International Press Academy honored interactive products and interactive media features in the late 1990s and early 2000s with an annual Satellite Award.

<i>Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude</i> video game

Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude is an adventure video game that is part of the Leisure Suit Larry series. The game introduces a new main character, Larry Lovage, as Larry Laffer's nephew.


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 year later in June 1994. [1]

1993 has seen many sequels and prequels in video games and several new titles such as Star Fox, Virtua Fighter and Ridge Racer.

1994 has seen many sequels and prequels in video games and several new titles such as Super Metroid, Donkey Kong Country and Sonic & Knuckles.

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, respectively). 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 exists.[ citation needed ]

Malaysia Federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia

Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. The federal constitutional monarchy consists of 13 states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand and maritime borders with Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines and Vietnam. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital and largest city while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. With a population of over 30 million, Malaysia is the world's 44th most populous country. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, is in Malaysia. In the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries, home to large numbers of endemic species.

Russia transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia

Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), it is, by a considerable margin, the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with about 146.79 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the largest city in Europe; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund Strait. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. The capital city is Stockholm. Sweden has a total population of 10.3 million of which 2.5 million have a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi) and the highest urban concentration is in the central and southern half of the country.

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
[4] [5] [6]
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) [7]

21,272 print 3,241 digital
24,513 total (Jan – Dec 2012) [8]

23,652 print 379 digital
24,031 total (Jan – Dec 2011) [9]

25,019 (Jan – Dec 2010) [10]
26,487 (Jan – Dec 2009) [11]
32,619 (Jan – Dec 2008) [12]
38,654 ABC (July - December 2007) [13]
PublisherRichard Keith
First issueDecember 1993;25 years ago (1993-12) [1]
Company Future plc
CountryUnited Kingdom
Based in Bath, Somerset
Language British English
Website www.pcgamer.com


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). [14]

Almost exclusively devoted to PC games, the magazine has a reputation for giving in-depth reviews. [15]

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. [16]

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 . [17] 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. [18] 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 was 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 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. [19]

PC Gamer US

PC Gamer (US)
PCG US 201.png
Cover of PC Gamer US #201 (June 2010)
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;25 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 rival magazine PC Games and merged its staff into the magazine. [20]

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 ]

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. [21]

Coconut Monkey

Coconut Monkey is the mascot for the US edition. He was created by founding editor Matt Firme, and modelled on a Bermudan tourist trinket. Coconut Monkey appears in the pages of the magazine, and has occasionally provided commentary on demo discs included with the magazine. The Coconut Monkey appears in a number of game mods.[ citation needed ]

The Coconut Monkey is often used to parody vaporware by advertising the unreleased game Gravy Trader, which has been given a 101% score on some of the review disks. The character would often cite that he would do "something" (dependent on the train of thought), but use the excuse "but I have no hands" as a reason for not doing it (even though his two hands and fingers are clearly visible on his belly). As a side note, he claimed he was the product of a coconut (his mother) and a Sri Lankan rat basher (his father).[ citation needed ]

Ethics controversy

In January 2015, writer Tyler Wilde was found to have written numerous articles about Ubisoft while dating a Ubisoft employee with the title "Communications Associate". [22] [23] This, together with the fact that Editor-in-Chief Tim Clark was aware of the relationship, led to general questions about the publication's ethics policies. Clark and Wilde responded, pointing out that Wilde had not reviewed any Ubisoft games during the relationship, and admitting that the relationship should have been disclosed in other coverage. Clark stated, "PC Gamer writers will continue to be obliged to disclose any significant personal relationships with people whose work they might cover." [24]

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