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 small publishing company based in the United Kingdom.
Its magazines and websites include:
Founded in 1985 in the UK by Chris Anderson (not to be confused with Chris Anderson, Wired's Editor-in-Chief and author of The Long Tail) Future Publishing was the fastest growing UK publisher of the nineties. From a start in computer and video games magazines, Future successfully diversified into sports, entertainment, computing and general interest magazines eventually becoming the UK's fourth largest publisher.
Anderson wanted to expand Future into the United States, and bought struggling Greensboro (N.C.) video game magazine publisher GP Publications, publisher of Game Players magazine in 1993. The company launched a number of titles including PC Gamer, and relocated from North Carolina to the Bay area, occupying various properties in Burlingame and South San Francisco. When Anderson sold Future to Pearson PLC he retained GP, renamed Imagine Media, Inc. in June 1995, and operated it as his sole company for a few years. However, when Future bought itself out from Pearson in an MBO, Anderson came back on board, and when Future floated on the stock exchange in 1999 Imagine's print magazines were merged with Future Publishing to form the Future Network PLC, a company floated on the London Stock Exchange (symbol FUTR). The on-line properties, including IGN, were put into a separate company snowball.com.
Buoyed by the Internet economy and the success of Business 2.0 in the US (and subsequently in the UK, France, Italy and Germany), Future rode the boom of the late nineties. During this period the company won the exclusive worldwide rights to produce the official magazine for Microsoft's Xbox video game console and cemented its position as a leader in the games market.
In the spring of 2001, buffeted by economic factors and the market downturn, Future Network USA went through a strategic reset of its business that included the closure of some titles and Internet operations and the sale of Business 2.0 to AOL/Time Warner.
By early fall 2002, Imagine Media had refocused on its core business, publishing five games and technology magazines: Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer, PSM: 100% Independent PlayStation 2 Magazine, Maximum PC and MacAddict. It was then that Imagine became Future Network USA, adopting the name of its parent company, Future plc.
Future used this strong portfolio and its strength in creating media for young men as a platform for growth into the action sports and music markets. In December 2005, after three years of organic growth and strategic acquisition, Future Network USA became Future US, to reflect its diversification into markets beyond games and technology.
In 2005, Future US made its first venture into the women's market with the launch of Scrapbook Answers and with the addition of Women's Health & Fitness, Pregnancy, and Decorating Spaces, to its portfolio of titles with the Future plc acquisition of Highbury House plc.
On September 19, 2007, Nintendo and Future announced that Future US would obtain the publishing rights to Nintendo Power magazine. This came into effect with the creation of issue #222 (December 2007).
On October 1, 2007, it was announced that Future US would be making PlayStation: The Official Magazine, which ended up replacing PSM and first hit newsstands in November 2007. With this launch, Future US is the publisher of the official magazines of all three major console manufacturers in the US.
By 2017, Future US has shuttered all but four of its websites and magazines and moved all the jobs to the UK. At reputation website glassdoor.com, Future US is rated by its current and former employees low-stars because the leaders in the UK who have absconded all decision making powers from US leaders are generally seen as tone deaf