WIRED EDITOR ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF SUPER
08.01.01 :: Los Angeles, CA :: Van Burnham, Contributing Editor of Wired magazine and author of "Supercade: A Visual History of the Videogame Age" (The MIT Press), in partnership with HyperMart co-founder Allen Graber, today announced the formation of Super Media LLC. With offices in Los Angeles and Atlanta, the new entertainment media company also revealed plans to publish the print magazine SUPER – "the guide to electronic entertainment in the 21st century." A preview issue will be available in Q4 2001 and the magazine is scheduled to launch nationwide early next year.
"SUPER is a next-generation electronic entertainment magazine for the adult consumer audience," said Burnham in a statement following the announcement, "An audience that has traditionally been ignored by the consumer entertainment and enthusiast gaming press."
According to the statement, SUPER is a magazine for adults who like to have fun, love to play games, watch DVD movies, listen to the latest music, and believe in the future of entertainment.
"SUPER is about the future of fun," said Burnham. "Fun to an excessive degree."
The magazine will cover all forms of electronic entertainment – focusing on interactive entertainment, but also including DVD movies, recorded and downloadable music, television, and online entertainment – as well as the leisure technology, emerging media, and cultural trends that define modern life.
The preview issue will feature a comprehensive Buying Guide to help consumers navigate the latest 128-bit home entertainment systems – including the Sony PlayStation 2, Microsoft Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube – and portable gaming devices such as the 32-bit Game Boy Advance. "We are on the cusp of the largest interactive entertainment cycle in history," Burnham stated. "Next-generation game platforms and key software titles are going to be the hottest products for Holiday 2001... Consumers need to know what to invest in."
According to a recent Deutsche Bank interactive entertainment industry overview, the industry expects $22 billion in worldwide revenues this year, growing to $30 billion by 2004. With a worldwide market cap now estimated at $65 billion, interactive entertainment has become too big for mainstream media to ignore.
"Interactive entertainment is emerging as the key means of entertainment and expression for the 21st century. However, the overall awareness of this medium is limited by the media that covers it. Relegated to niche game publications, DIY online outlets, and the occasional Pokémon cover story, today’s videogame coverage alienates its most critical readers – the mainstream consumer audience," said Burnham. "Until now."
Based on sales figures released at a recent SCEA press conference, it’s been determined that the strongest consumers for the PlayStation 2 are not the 15-24 year-old kids and college students of previous hardware generations – but the nearly 500,000 24-35 year olds who rushed out to buy every unit of Sony’s next-generation game console the day it was released. With the introduction of the 128-bit era of videogames we have truly entered a new era for videogame enthusiasts.
The generation that was raised on Atari, NES, and Genesis may be all grown up – but the figures prove that these adults have still got their game on. "The unbelievable truth is that there were no entertainment magazines positioned to reach this demographic," said Burnham, "The category was wide open."
SUPER will be targeted directly at what is now the most important audience in the gaming industry – and the most valuable demographic to advertisers across the board – entertainment consumers and power computer users 18-35 years old.
According to Deutsche Bank, the customer base for interactive entertainment grows as the media matures and a greater percentage of the population is exposed to video and computer games. Since interactive entertainment is a relatively new industry (compared to film and television), they predict sales will increase as the population ages and more consumers are exposed to the media. From 1980 to 2005 (the peak of the 128-bit platform cycle), they estimate that the number of people in the target demographic for games will have expanded 600 percent, from 20 to 140 million individuals.
"We now live in a brave new world of converging entertainment media, where videogames ship with Top 40 soundtracks, game consoles include built-in DVD players, and blockbuster Hollywood films are developed using the latest videogame technology," said Burnham. "This reality – magnified by the evolution of the core audience for this brand of entertainment – is a signal that it’s finally time for a new brand of entertainment magazine. That magazine is SUPER."
Key to the success strategy of the magazine is the uncompromised quality of its editorial content and cutting-edge design. According to the statement, SUPER is smart, sharp, and profoundly cool. SUPER will feature writing by top tier talents and acknowledged industry experts who share their insightful opinion, technical expertise, intelligent analysis, and dead-on humor with an emphasis on consistency in vision, diversity in voice, and uncompromised editorial integrity. The intense graphic style of SUPER will consist of super-saturated visual imagery that explodes off each page, pushing the envelope of print design with every section and feature.
SUPER will be based in downtown Los Angeles, now regarded as the epicenter of the entertainment universe. According to Burnham, "As the home to E3, as well as most major movie studios, record labels, and game developers, L.A. is going to be ground zero for the future of the electronic entertainment industry."
Van Burnham will serve as President and CEO of Super Media LLC, and will assume the role of Creative Director for the magazine – overseeing production, design, and editorial. Allen Graber will assume the role of Chairman and Publisher. "After spending the past five years working with Internet start-ups, this will be a welcome change of pace," Graber said. "I look forward to the opportunity to be a part of such a dynamic industry."
For media or advertising inquiries contact SUPER at 213.626.0891 or email SUPERmediaPR@aol.com
Entertainment publishers, developers, and their representatives should send products and press releases for review to:
411 South Main Street #414
Los Angeles, CA, 90013
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