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Britain's first dedicated gaming magazine to fold

After 17 years in the business PC Zone magazine is finally to close

PC Zone, Britain's first magazine dedicated to computer gaming, is to close after 17 years of publication.

"The end is nigh," announced PC Zone on its website, saying its owner is consulting the magazine team about the proposed closure following a strategic review of its PC games portfolio.

Since 2004, Future Publishing has owned the magazine, which it redesigned, re-staffed and subjected to tighter budgetary controls.

PC Zone, which saw its readership peak in the 1990's with the popularisation of PC gaming, pioneered the giveaway of demo game CDs with its issues.

It was also known for its off-beat humour and adolescent jokes, says BBC tech reporter Daniel Emery, who has worked for the magazine.

The publication built itself up on the legacy of gaming magazine Zero which closed in 1992, and it has seen greater demand for some of its controversial issues.

However, the increased attractiveness of gaming consoles and the wide availability of game demos and information on the internet has reduced readership. PC Zone has been selling only about 11,000 copies a month at its last audit, reports the BBC.