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. 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.
Logo, introduced in July 2015
|Categories||PC gaming, video games|
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).
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%.
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.
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.
Both American and British magazines are published thirteen times per year (twice in December), although there are sometimes variations.
|PC Gamer (UK)|
Cover of PC Gamer UK #326 (January 2019)
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
|Frequency||Every four weeks, 13 per year|
|Circulation||19,125 print 2,929 digital|
22,054 total (Jan – Dec 2013)
21,272 print 3,241 digital
24,513 total (Jan – Dec 2012)
23,652 print 379 digital
24,031 total (Jan – Dec 2011)
25,019 (Jan – Dec 2010)
26,487 (Jan – Dec 2009)
32,619 (Jan – Dec 2008)
38,654 ABC (July - December 2007) 
|First issue||December 1993|
|Based in||Bath, Somerset|
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).
Almost exclusively devoted to PC games, the magazine has a reputation for giving in-depth reviews.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
The podcast began again in March 2016 with a new episode being released weekly.
|PC Gamer (US)|
Cover of PC Gamer US #201 (June 2010)
|Editor in Chief||Evan Lahti|
|Former editors||1994-1996 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
|Publisher||Ace St. Germain|
|First issue||May/June 1994|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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". 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." 
Three months ago, Imagine bought IDG's PC Games and folded it into PC Gamer
Battlefield 1942 is a first-person shooter video game developed by Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. The game can be played in single-player mode against the video game AI or in multiplayer mode against players on the Internet or in a local area network. It is a popular platform for mod developers, with a large number of released modifications that alter the gameplay and theme.
In-game, players assume the role of one of five classes of infantry: Scout, Assault, Anti-Tank, Medic, and Engineer. Players also have the ability to fly various World War II fighter aircraft and bombers, navigate capital ships, submarines, and aircraft carriers, man coastal artillery defenses, drive tanks, APCs and jeeps, and take control of anti-aircraft guns and mounted machine guns.Each battle takes place on one of several maps located in a variety of places and famous battlefields in all of the major theaters of World War II: the Pacific, European, North African, Eastern, and Italian Fronts. Combat is between the Axis Powers and the Allies. The location determines which nation-specific armies are used (for example, on the Wake Island map, it is Japan versus the United States, while on the El Alamein map, it is Germany versus the United Kingdom). The maps in Battlefield 1942 are based on real battles and are somewhat realistically portrayed.Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077 is an upcoming role-playing video game developed and published by CD Projekt, releasing for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Adapted from the 1988 tabletop game Cyberpunk 2020, it is set fifty-seven years later in dystopian Night City, California, an open world with six distinct regions. In a first-person perspective, players assume the role of the customisable mercenary V, who can apply experience points to stat upgrades to reach prominence in the character classes NetRunner, Techie, and Solo. V has an arsenal of ranged weapons and options for melee combat, all of which can be modified. V travels Night City by foot and in a range of vehicles.
Cyberpunk 2077 is being developed by CD Projekt Red, an internal studio within CD Projekt, using the REDengine 4 game engine. They launched a new division in Wrocław and partnered with Digital Scapes to assist development. The staff exceeds the number that worked on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.DayZ (video game)
DayZ is a survival video game developed and published by Bohemia Interactive. It is the standalone successor of the mod of the same name. Following a five-year long early access period for Windows, the game was officially released in December 2018, and will be released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in early 2019.
The game places the player in the fictional post-Soviet Republic of Chernarus, where a mysterious plague has turned most of the population into violent "infected". As a survivor, the player must scavenge the world for food, water, weapons, and medicine, while killing or avoiding zombies, and killing, avoiding, or cooperating with other players in an effort to survive the outbreak.
DayZ began development in 2012 when the mod's creator, Dean Hall, joined Bohemia Interactive to commence work on the standalone version of the game. The development has been focused on altering the engine to suit the game's needs, developing a working client-server architecture, and introducing new features like diseases and a better inventory system. The game sold over three million copies during its early access phase.Dota 2
Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed and published by Valve Corporation. The game is a sequel to Defense of the Ancients (DotA), which was a community-created mod for Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion pack, The Frozen Throne. Dota 2 is played in matches between two teams of five players, with each team occupying and defending their own separate base on the map. Each of the ten players independently controls a powerful character, known as a "hero", who all have unique abilities and differing styles of play. During a match, players collect experience points and items for their heroes to successfully defeat the opposing team's heroes in player versus player combat. A team wins by being the first to destroy a large structure located in the opposing team's base, called the "Ancient".
Development of Dota 2 began in 2009 when IceFrog, lead designer of the original Defense of the Ancients mod, was hired by Valve to create a modernized remake for them in the Source game engine. It was officially released for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux-based personal computers via the digital distribution platform Steam in July 2013, following a Windows-only open beta phase that began two years prior. As the game is fully free-to-play with no heroes needing to be bought or otherwise unlocked, revenue is made from microtransactions, such as loot boxes, and a battle pass subscription system called Dota Plus, which all only offer non-gameplay altering virtual goods in return, such as hero costumes and voice-line sets. The game has also been updated with various other features since release, such as support for virtual reality (VR) and a transition to the Source 2 engine in 2015.
Despite some criticism going towards its steep learning curve and complexity, Dota 2 was praised for its rewarding gameplay, production quality, and faithfulness to its predecessor, with multiple gaming publications considering it to be one of the greatest video games of all time. Since its release, it has been one of the most played games on Steam, with over a million concurrent players at its peak. The popularity of the game has led to official merchandise for it being produced, including apparel, accessories, and toys, as well as promotional tie-ins to other games and media. The game also allows for the community to create custom game modes, maps, and hero cosmetics, which are uploaded to the Steam Workshop and curated by Valve. A digital collectible card game featuring the characters and setting of Dota 2, called Artifact, was released in November 2018. Developed by Valve as well, the games will have content updates that are created in tandem with each other.
Dota 2 has a widespread and active esports scene, with teams from across the world playing professionally in various leagues and tournaments. Premium tournaments of the game often have prize pools totaling millions of U.S. dollars, the highest of any esport. The largest of them is known as The International, which is produced annually by Valve and most commonly held at the KeyArena in Seattle. Valve also manages an event format known as the Dota Pro Circuit, which are a series of tournaments held prior to Internationals that award qualification points based on results for getting directly invited to them. For most tournaments, media coverage is done by a selection of on-site staff who provide commentary and analysis for the ongoing matches, similar to traditional sporting events. Broadcasts of professional Dota 2 matches are streamed live over the internet, and sometimes simulcast on television networks, with peak viewership numbers in the millions. The game has also been used in machine learning experiments, with a team of bots known as the OpenAI Five showing the ability to compete against, and sometimes defeat, professional players.Fortnite
Fortnite is an online video game developed by Epic Games and released in 2017. It is available in three distinct game mode versions that otherwise share the same general gameplay and game engine: Fortnite: Save the World, a cooperative shooter-survival game for up to four players to fight off zombie-like creatures and defend objects with fortifications they can build, Fortnite Battle Royale, a free-to-play battle royale game where up to 100 players fight to be the last person standing, and Fortnite Creative, where players are given complete freedom to create worlds and battle arenas. The first two game modes were released in 2017 as early access titles and Creative was released on December 6, 2018. Save the World is available only for Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, while Battle Royale has been released for those platforms in addition for Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android devices.
While the first two games have been successful for Epic Games, Fortnite Battle Royale became a resounding success, drawing in more than 125 million players in less than a year and earning hundreds of millions of dollars per month, and since has become a cultural phenomenon.Future US
Future US, Inc. (formerly known as Imagine Media and The Future Network USA) 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.
Its magazines and websites include:
Official Xbox Magazine
Broadcasting & Cable
TWICEHeroes of Might and Magic II
Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars is a turn-based strategy video game developed by Jon Van Caneghem through New World Computing and published in 1996 by the 3DO Company. The game is the second installment of the Heroes of Might and Magic series and is typically credited as the breakout game for the series. Heroes II was voted the sixth-best PC game of all time by PC Gamer in May 1997.
An expansion pack, The Price of Loyalty, was released in 1997. Later, 3DO bundled Heroes II and its expansion pack in one box, released as Heroes of Might and Magic II Gold in 1998.Just Adventure
Just Adventure is a computer game website dedicated to the genre of adventure games. Founded in 1997, it publishes reviews and previews of adventure games, as well as opinion articles and interviews with game designers. The site was founded by Francis "Randy" Sluganski, who died on November 6, 2012 after a ten-year struggle with cancer.The site's reviews have been quoted on some adventure game box covers, and it is listed as a reviewer on CNET's Metacritic and GameRankings.
Ragnar Tornquist, the creator of the adventure games The Longest Journey and Dreamfall: The Longest Journey has stated that the reviews on Just Adventure are "very important to [him]". In 2000, PC Gamer US columnist Michael Wolf called Just Adventure "the best site on the Web for the adventure game fan".Operation Crusader (video game)
Operation Crusader is a 1994 computer wargame developed by Atomic Games and published by Avalon Hill.
Operation Crusader was among the first titles released in Avalon Hill's push to revive its computer game division during the 1990s, in an attempt to diversify its business because of falling board wargame sales. The company hired Atomic Games as a key to this initiative, and Crusader acted as the spiritual success to its earlier V for Victory wargame series, reusing and updating much of the game design and code from those titles.PCGamesN
PCGamesN is an online video game magazine. Its parent company, Network N, was founded by James Binns (formerly of Future Publishing) in late May 2012. PCGamesN launched the next month. The website was originally designed to host channels for separate franchises and to mix original content with aggregated and user-created content. The launch team included Tim Edwards, former editor of PC Gamer. PCGamesN added ten new channels and two new writers for a total of seven staff writers in August 2012. The website added editorial staff from GamesMaster and the Official PlayStation Magazine in 2015.PC Accelerator
PC Accelerator (PCXL) was an American personal computer game magazine that was published by Imagine Media (currently a subsidiary of Future plc). It was known for its Maxim-like humor and photography.PC PowerPlay
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.
In 2018, Future, owner and publisher of PC Gamer, purchased PC PowerPlay and related computing titles from nextmedia, incoporating PC PowerPlay articles into the online versions of PC Gamer.The magazine comes with a DVD which includes game demos, freeware games, animes, teaser trailers, patches, mods, maps, utilities and computer wallpapers, a CD version was also available until September 2005 where it was replaced by a DVD edition.Rust (video game)
Rust is a multiplayer-only survival video game developed and published by Facepunch Studios in February 2018 for Microsoft Windows and macOS. Rust was initially created as a clone of DayZ, a popular mod for ARMA 2, with crafting elements akin to those in Minecraft.
The objective of Rust is to survive in the wilderness using gathered or stolen materials. Players must successfully manage their hunger, thirst, and health, or risk dying. Despite the looming threat of bears and wolves, the primary menace is other players due to the game being solely multiplayer. Combat is accomplished through firearms and primitive weapons, such as bows. In addition, vehicles controlled by non-player characters will occasionally roam, attacking heavily-armed players. These can be defeated with persistence. Rust features crafting, though initially limited until the discovery of specific items in the game's open world. To stay protected, players must build bases or join clans to improve their chance of survival. Raiding is a major aspect of Rust and is done more frequently by large clans.
Rust was first released in December 2013 to the Steam Early Access program, while in an alpha state. Further into its development, the gameplay was changed significantly. Dangerous wildlife replaced zombies as the primary environmental threat and several fundamental revisions to the crafting system were released. 2014 saw the game ported to the Unity 5 game engine, providing substantial graphical changes. Around this time, Rust introduced immutable, predetermined skin colour and biological sex tied to players' Steam account details. Despite being fully released, the game continues to receive updates.
Throughout Rust's alpha release, critical reviews were mixed, with many comparisons made to other survival games. Rust was commonly explained as being a mixture of DayZ and Minecraft. During this period, reviewers frequently noted the game's unfinished nature. During its pre-release phase, critics praised the concept and gameplay and by March 2017, Rust had sold over five million copies. After leaving Early Access, it received mixed reviews from critics. The player vs player combat and survival aspects were highlighted by those who enjoyed the game, though reviewers were critical of the constant need to grind for materials, along with the harsh beginner experience.Terraria
Terraria is an action-adventure sandbox video game developed by Re-Logic. The game was initially released for Microsoft Windows in May 2011, and has since been released for various consoles, handhelds, and mobile devices. Gameplay of Terraria features exploration, crafting, building, and combat with a variety of creatures in a procedurally generated 2D world. Terraria received generally positive critical reception upon release, with direct comparisons to Minecraft and praise given to its sandbox elements. By December 2018, the game had sold over 26 million copies across all platforms.Two Point Hospital
Two Point Hospital is a 2018 business simulation game developed by Two Point Studios and published by Sega for Linux, MacOS, and Microsoft Windows. A spiritual successor to Bullfrog Productions' 1997 game Theme Hospital, Two Point Hospital puts players in the role of a hospital administrator tasked with constructing and operating a hospital (and, by extension, an empire of hospitals in the fictional Two Point County, where the game is set) with the goal of curing patients of fictitious, comical ailments. The game was designed and developed by some of the creators of Theme Hospital, including Mark Webley and Gary Carr. They made use of their expertise in developing games such as Theme Hospital and Black & White and wanted players to be confident in using the menus. The use of humour was deemed important because visiting real hospitals is unpopular.
Two Point Hospital was released to a positive reception from critics, who acclaimed it for its style, humour and its faithfulness to Theme Hospital's aesthetics, but the game was criticised for its repetitiveness and lack of challenge.