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PC Gamer

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PC Gamer
Logo since July 2015
CategoriesPC gaming, video games
PublisherFuture plc
First issueNovember 1993; 30 years ago (1993-11)
CountryUnited Kingdom

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[edit]

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[edit]

PC Gamer (UK)
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
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
CategoriesGames magazine
FrequencyEvery four weeks, 13 per year
Circulation19,125 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]
CompanyFuture plc
CountryUnited Kingdom
Based inBath, Somerset
LanguageBritish English


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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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
CategoriesGames magazine
PublisherAce St. Germain
First issueMay/June 1994; 30 years ago (1994-06)
CompanyFuture US
CountryUnited States
LanguageAmerican English


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[edit]

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]


  1. ^ a b c d "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 (16 August 2023). "Baldur's Gate 3 is PC Gamer's highest scoring game in 16 years. Here's why". PC Gamer. Retrieved 17 August 2023.
  5. ^ a b "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

External links[edit]