German giant hits UK market

German giant hits UK market

German PC and video gaming giant Computec is launching into the UK with plans to secure 15% of the sector’s revenue next year.

Computec is putting an initial investment of DM12 million (£7.4 million) behind the development of its UK magazine and online operation, which will kick off with the launch of a PlayStation title early next year. Another title is expected to follow in the spring.

Computec has hired former Emap Images publisher Marc Swallow as managing director of Computec UK and has set itself a 15% market share target for 2000. Nigel Taylor, former ad manager of VNU’s ComputerActive becomes ad director.

Computec, which was founded in 1989, is aggressively rolling out its global businesses on the back of its German flotation last November. It already has a US operation.

The company is planning a major marketing campaign to launch its first UK consumer title and is hoping that an aggressive policy of targeted software covermounts will help it gain a foothold.

It will face stiff competition from Future Publishing, which dominates the UK market with a 60% market share. Paragon Publishing became the UK’s second-largest publisher following its acquisition of IDG’s video gaming titles in September and the liquidation of Rapide Publishing last month.

“We are never going to have a huge portfolio in the UK but we are looking to build strong brands in all the critical markets,” said Swallow.

Computec Media has a 36% share of the German PC and video games publishing market. Its closest competitors are Weka, which was acquired by Future Publishing earlier this year, and IDG.

It publishes Germany’s leading PC games magazines PC Games and the second-largest video gaming title PlayStation Zone.

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