The long-running Australian gaming e-zine Pixel Hunt has adopted an on-demand service for creating printed editions.
The service in question is MagCloud (the same one used by Drew Taylor to launch JumpButton last year). Pixel Hunt's Issue #17 is the first to become available in print, and will cost AUD$10 for a print copy (which includes a bonus digital copy as well).
With this trend of a flattening magazine landscape looking to continue, MCV spoke to editor Dylan Burns and print editor Patrick Lang about making the change.
What is Pixel Hunt's main focus and what makes it a unique proposition from the other local gaming mags?
Pixel Hunt occupies a unique space in the Australian video game journalism sphere. Our focus is more on commentary, opinion and analysis rather than the strict structure of previews/reviews that most gaming magazines and websites rely on.
We enjoy having an ongoing dialogue with our readers, and reward those who keep coming back every issue by having regular columns and continuing themes. Yet we're also distinctly approachable, with a keen sense of humour and a design that's easy on the eyes (we also enjoy long walks along the beach and candlelit dinners).
DB: I’ve always seen Pixel Hunt as a cathartic platform for the who’s who of Australian games writing to let their hair down a little, allow themselves to scratch any writing itches and engage more closely with readers who follow them in various publications and across social networks.
I’ve talked to some writers who see Pixel Hunt as a prestigous space to get published, as it’s a magazine (now) that is read by Australian games press. We aren’t dictated in any way by an owning publisher. We have complete freedom to print what we want.
Tell us a little bit about your expectations for the new print business model. Are you expecting it to take off?
DB: We’re only a day into sales, but it’s working quite well. I love the idea that people can order however many copies they want from MagCloud and have them delivered to their door.
I’m not particularly happy with the postage costs, but we’re looking into ways to save on this for future issues. For digital copies, the ease with which a PDF copy can be paid for and downloaded is great. Being able to give readers a free digital copy with their print purchase – to peruse while they wait – is also very consumer friendly.
From a marketing perspective, I think it’s important for people to be able to see and feel a physical product – to flick through and enjoy the awesome design work that Aaron has done. I’d love to see something like MagCloud start up in Australia, to further hammer down those postage costs.
PL: MagCloud and similar print-on-demand services give businesses like ours fantastic opportunities to expand into the traditional print market in an easy, affordable manner. We're very much just dipping our collective toe into the water at the moment and getting a feel for it. Hopefully it will prove to be wildly successful - ideally we would like to see copies of Pixel Hunt everywhere!
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