Future US (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 South San Francisco with offices in New York City and Los Angeles. Future US is owned by parent company, Future plc, an international publishing company based in the United Kingdom.
Its magazines and websites include:
- PC Gamer
- Official Xbox Magazine
- Maximum PC
- Windows: The Official Magazine
Founded in 1985 in the UK by Chris Anderson (not to be confused with the Chris Anderson, Wired's Editor-in-Chief and author of the 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 US, and bought struggling Greensboro NC games mag publisher GP Publications, publisher of Game Players magazine. 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, now renamed Imagine, 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.
- CD-ROM Today
- Daily Radar
- Decorating Spaces
- Future Music
- Future Snowboarding Magazine
- Game Players
- Guitar One
- Guitar World Acoustic
- Guitar World Legends
- Guitar World's Bass Guitar
- Maximum Linux
- Men's Edge
- Next Generation Magazine
- Nintendo Power
- Official Sega Dreamcast Magazine
- PC Accelerator
- PlayStation: The Official Magazine
- Scrapbook Answers
- Skateboard Trade News
- Snowboard Trade News
- The Net
- Total Movie
- Women's Health & Fitness
- "Future officially takes over Nintendo Power". Nintendo Forums. 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2014-05-21.
- NewBay Media Buys Music Mags from Future US
- "netPOWER". Retrieved 2013-02-26.
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